With an organizational focus on sustainable transportation, the new Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Headquarters leads by example by providing its own staff with a state-of-the-art facility featuring 95% of the LEED criteria for top performing location and transportation resources. Although project budget only allowed for a LEED Silver certification pursuit, the exceptional collaboration and effort by the full project team brought the project to LEED Gold status.

At a Glance

RIM Architects
Oakland, CA
244,287 SF
RIM Architects (Architect)Turner Construction Company (General Contractor)
LEED (Gold)
  • LEED Consulting
  • LEED Fundamental & Enhanced Commissioning

The Challenge

BART and the project delivery team entered this engagement with an already established strong foundation in sustainability. Stok was charged with identifying which areas of opportunity were most strategically appropriate to focus on to bring the project to the next level of performance. Specifically, Stok: 

  • Facilitated a deep sustainability discovery and concept process
  • Provided sustainability consulting to enhance performance and wellness attributes of the project
  • Navigated all aspects of the LEED certification pursuit
  • Performed LEED Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioning to ensure proper functioning of building systems
“Stok took an expert, holistic, and informed approach to sustainability at BART HQ, helping us focus on initiatives with the greatest positive impact, bringing in the right stakeholders at the right time to keep the whole team engaged, and understanding the importance of staying aligned with the bigger picture timeline and vision. The Stok team was always open to exploring our questions and collaborated seamlessly with the USGBC to work through the nuances of our unique project, which we’re now able to apply to future high-performance BART projects. Having Stok on the team kept us confident in our ability to meet our sustainability goals, and we’re extremely proud to have achieved a higher LEED certification than we originally targeted without impact to project budget or schedule, reinforcing BART’s commitment and capability to push toward a sustainable future.”

Photo credit: Tyler Chartier

By the Numbers

Annual cost savings
Energy reduction below baseline
Off-site energy demand produced via renewable energy
Water reduction below baseline
Gallons of water saved per year
Tons of construction waste diverted

Photo credit: Tyler Chartier

The Solution


Utilizing Stok’s signature sustainability discovery and concept facilitation process, Stok identified and explored opportunities to help propel additional social and environmental performance. For transportation, this included free BART rides for staff and augmented bicycle facilities including storage, additional showers/lockers/changing rooms, and bicycle repair space. For in-office occupant comfort, this included a first cost operational energy savings and occupant comfort comparison between standard heat pump and variable refrigerant flow options, additional wellness programs, officing flexibility, and design for ergonomics, daylighting, glare control, lighting control, and material reflectivity. The team also explored opportunities for supply chain management of consumables, considerations for recycled, reused, or salvaged materials and furniture for reduced cost as well as reduced indoor emissions and carbon emissions, and old service train equipment as salvaged art installations. 


An exceptional outcome of this project was the move from LEED Silver to LEED Gold through above average efforts by the ownership team. As the project progressed and illustrated the potential to achieve the next level of certification, Stok engaged with the owner’s project representatives to identify additional LEED credits that the ownership team could own and carry through to award. These credits included the Comprehensive Composting Pilot Credit and the Renewable Energy Procurement Credit. Stok worked to onboard BART to the credit requirements and facilitated negotiation between BART and the GBCI for application of the owner’s ongoing renewable energy procurement program to the LEED certification process. BART successfully completed both of these credit pursuits, resulting in LEED Gold certification.


The LEED Certified base building included infrastructure to allow for a high-performance HVAC system, but first cost concerns pointed toward a lower performing option. Quickly, the full project delivery team rallied around approaches to support the high-performing option. Stok facilitated cross-discipline conversations and collaboration that allowed comprehensive opportunities and implications to be surfaced and coordinated. These included elements like identifying where the construction cost differences were focused and how to reduce them, evaluating rebates and PACE financing to address any cost deltas, and understanding the secondary implications of each solution including thermal comfort, zoning control, acoustics, aesthetics, peak demand, and annual energy costs. As a result, the project team was able to proceed with the high-performance HVAC option with no additional construction cost, allowing the project to achieve 92% of the maximum LEED points available for Energy Performance. 

ENR announced BART Headquarters as the winner of its 2022 Best of the Best Projects Awards in the Interior/Tenant Improvement category.

Photo credit: Tyler Chartier

Project Leadership

Michael Hummel
Jason Breede