E N E R G I Z E Sen. Alquist State Office Bldg.
New construction: cast-in-place concrete
125.000 sf, San Jose, CA
The design for the new State Office Bldg. brought together new concepts for cooling and heating space along with a new approach to providing social “territories” and common spaces for its users. The program called for pulling together 25 different agencies and offices under one roof, a challenge we met by providing clarity of circulation with interactive main exterior corridors that laced together a checkerboard of 9 distinct garden environments. Each office had its own territory with glimpses into neighboring landscapes. Agencies with high visitor rates were placed at ground level porches facing the street to allow for immediate access by the public. The design was developed with Sol-Arc and ELS Architecture as architect of record.
Loop circulation at each floor meant you could never get lost, with the courtyards providing landmarks along the way. Daylighting was a major strategy on many fronts: social, energy conservation, and work efficiency. The courtyards created daylight wells serving the extending exterior skin of the structure, Together with rooftop skylight clerestories, supported by seismic ladders of twin conc. columns, natural light was brought to the work-plane of over 90% of the resident workforce.
Cooling loads plummeted as a result of reduced electric lighting usage. Direct solar gain was managed through exterior cedar sunshades, retractable courtyard canopies, and self-shading overhangs and setbacks. Cooling was significantly reduced through night-time ventilation of cooler air through ceiling plenums and a rock-bed storage locker. The massive amount of cast- in-place concrete became a tool for capturing the diurnal temperature difference and delivering an enhanced heat absorbing capacity to address demand for the next day.