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Year: 2002
Award Type: Award of Honor
Territory: SMUD Territory
Location: Sacramento, CA
Owner: State of California Office of Emergency Services
Developer: State of California Office of Emergency Services
Architect: Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects and RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture, Inc.
Market Segement:
Government / Civic
Square Footage: 111,000
Type of Building:
Award Credit:

Mechanical Engineer

Capital Engineering

Plumbing & Electrical Engineer

ECOM Electrical Engineering


Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Interior
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Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Interior

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Headquarters and State Operations

Located at the 12-acre decommissioned Mather Air Force Base, this 111,000 sq. ft. building is the strategic command center for the State of California Office of Emergency Services and it handles a full range of emergency response activities, including information gathering, strategic planning, collective decision making, and information dissemination. The facility is a 24-hour, high-security facility whose design furthers the dialogue surrounding the emergency operations center as an evolving public building type.

The design approach, headed by RossDrulisCusenbery Architecture, Inc., finds resonance in apparent opposites: high security and symbolic permeability; operational need for controlled lighting and psychological desire for natural light. The design priorities included the use of daylighting that created a stress-mitigating public safety work environment. The message emerging from the project is that the social and technological aspects of the center can combine to create a public safety building not reliant on “bunker” imagery, traditional civic formality, or suburban anonymity.

“This is an elegant composition, a mature work by a team that’s competently extending their knowledge of how to make building performance the basis for good architecture,” exclaimed the team of jurors. “It is a really important project because of the way in which it incorporates social, cultural, psychological, and economic considerations.”

The jurors praised the design team for their well-organized approach to complex problem-solving, and for designing the quality of the engineered environment to meet the needs of the people using it, instead of the other way around. An example of this is the whole issue of using daylighting and including views and a sense of the time of day as an intrinsic part of the daylighting strategy while maintaining security. At the same time, the project achieved outstanding energy performance: Occupants don’t turn lights on in the primary spaces during the day.

    Notable Accomplishments

  • Well-organized approach to complex problem-solving.
  • The building incorporates social, cultural, psychological, and economic considerations.


  • James Weiner, AIA

    Title: Senior Associate and Director of Sustainable Architecture
    Company: Fields Devereaux Architects & Engineers
    Location: Los Angeles, CA

    James Weiner, AIA

    In addition to guiding the greening of clients’ projects across his firm’s business lines, Mr. Weiner is responsible for civic building project design and planning. He has worked extensively on the implementation of sustainable design in a wide variety of projects, including civic, institutional, commercial, residential, and hospitality facilities. He has worked with several city governments including Los Angeles and Santa Monica on the development and implementation of sustainability, and has provided master planning for CSU libraries at Los Angeles and Pomona.

    Mr. Weiner has authored several publications on sustainable and LEED-evaluated library design. He has also presented workshops and seminars on sustainable design, lighting, and energy efficiency at venues including the American Library Association’s national conferences, the University of California campuses at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Occidental College, Pitzer College, the Southern California Gas Company’s Energy Resource Center, and Southern California Edison’s CTAC facility. Mr. Weiner is a member of the Education Committee and LEED Faculty of the U.S. Green Building Council and serves as co-chair of the organizing committee of the Council’s Los Angeles Chapter. He is also a board member of the Sustainable Policies Institute in Los Angeles.

  • Alison M. Whitelaw, AIA

    Title: Principal-In-Charge
    Company: Platt/Whitelaw Architects, Inc.
    Location: San Diego, CA

    Alison M. Whitelaw, AIA

    During her 25 years of architectural experience in the San Diego region, Ms. Whitelaw has become well respected for her work on projects for private, governmental, and institutional clients. During much of her career, Ms. Whitelaw has worked to refine her knowledge and skill in the field of sustainable design. She has taught many classes and seminars on green building and sustainable design and has served as a trainer for City of San Diego project managers (implementing the City’s Green Building Policy) and for High Performance Building Envelope Seminars through San Diego Gas & Electric.

    Ms. Whitelaw believes that buildings should be designed to sustain their users, our communities, and the environment, and that they should be a reflection of and a catalyst for cultural definition.

    She currently serves as president of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, and in the past has served as the director of the AIACC and on the advisory boards of the Schools of Architecture for several San Diego-area colleges and universities.

  • Hofu Wu, ArchD, FAIA

    Title: Professor of Architecture
    Company: Cal Poly Pomona
    Location: Pomona, CA

    Hofu Wu, ArchD, FAIA

    Dr. Wu has devoted more than 25 years to teaching advanced energy efficient technologies and their integration in architectural design and currently serves as director of Cal Poly’s Environmental Design Technology Unit. In addition to his involvement in committees that generate national energy standards, he has always been an advocate of the USGBC’s LEED program. As an environment and energy consultant, his clients include utility companies, private corporations, state and federal governments as well as national and international research laboratories. His research papers have been published widely in conference proceedings. Dr. Wu holds a B. A. in Architecture degree from Tamkang University in Taiwan, an M. A. in Architecture degree from University of Illinois, and a Doctor of Architecture degree from University of Michigan.

Award Credit

Mechanical Engineer

Capital Engineering

Plumbing & Electrical Engineer

ECOM Electrical Engineering

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