CalCIMA Tours CARB SoCal Campus


CalCIMA's Environmental Committee lead a delegation of CalCIMA members to tour California Air Resources Board's (CARB) new Southern California Headquarters – Mary D. Nichols Campus, a campus establishing one of the most advanced vehicle emissions testing and research facilities globally. The new campus is the largest zero net energy structure of its kind in the United States – setting new standards for sustainable design advancing decarbonization.
The construction materials industry has proactively responded to California's sustainable development and decarbonization goals by placing time, energy, and resources into projects focused on reducing carbon impacts, recycling, conserving natural resources, and implementing alternative energy sources. Accordingly, the delegation of members was encouraged to see CARB's Southern California Headquarters campus as representative of a fundamental shift in how the country approaches sustainable buildings featuring laboratory decarbonization.

CARB's headquarters campus embodies the highest levels of sustainability and energy efficiency. Designed to meet California Zero Net Energy performance criteria, the building has achieved LEED Platinum certification and California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) Tier 2 standards.

The campus reflects an integrated approach to sustainability and decarbonization planning and design featuring:
-Onsite photovoltaic arrays generating 3.5 MW of renewable solar power/electricity;
-Climate-responsive systems to improve the energy use intensity by an additional 20 percent;
-Integrated water conservation and collection strategies
-Active chilled beam technology using less air than traditional HVAC systems reducing the total amount of energy required; and
-High-efficiency heating and cooling systems among other energy reduction measures.

CARB's new campus spans roughly 402,000 square feet across 19 acres in Riverside, California, and creates a modern platform for advanced research and development (R&D) to accelerate the next generation of sustainable transportation innovation the construction materials industry will implement to further reduce carbon emission by using the cleanest available proven technologies for mobile on- and off-road equipment.  

CARB's signature laboratory enhances the organization's testing capacity and provides the latest technology and equipment for analyzing motor vehicle emissions and their associated impact on the environment and air quality. A new chemistry lab featuring state-of-the-art instrumentation enabling researchers to analyze a wide range of motor vehicle emissions data, such as toxicity, reactivity, and climate change impacts.

From dedicated light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle test cells to specialized workspaces for on-board diagnostics and portable emissions systems, the campus consolidates previously disparate CARB operations into a centralized R&D hub – optimizing operational performance and overall efficiency.  The campus also moves beyond studying emissions from traditional engines and equipment and has the capacity to and is working on predicting and sampling wear particles from brakes and tires and other topics.  It is designed to accommodate the scientific needs of studying current and future equipment.

CalCIMA members appreciate CARB's support in touring their new facility that reflects an integrated approach to sustainability and decarbonization planning and design and looks forward to continuing its partnership with CARB as a catalyst for future change, contributing to healthier, cleaner communities for all.