One of the most sustainable buildings in Sacramento, DPR’s office is the city’s first CLT structure and the state’s first shear wall application of CLT. Designed to be all-electric and achieve Net Positive Energy, LEED Platinum, and WELL certification, the office will support environmental, occupant, and community wellbeing while setting a new standard for sustainable construction.

At a Glance

DPR Construction & SmithGroup
Sacramento, CA
28,833 SF
SmithGroup (Architect) DPR Construction (General Contractor)
Net Positive Energy (ILFI) (targeting)LEED Platinum (targeting)WELL v2 Gold (targeting)
  • Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Analysis
  • Natural Ventilation Analysis
  • Daylight Analysis
  • Title 24 Compliance Documentation

The Challenge

Perform a rigorous ZNE analysis encompassing:

  • HVAC system alternates
  • Natural ventilation benefit
  • Lighting targets, HVAC and lighting controls
  • Envelope configuration
  • Photovoltaic system design

Holding true to its commitment to building great things, DPR Construction set out to create a living lab as its new Sacramento office, demonstrating what’s possible for sustainable design in the region. Addressing embodied carbon head on, the adaptive reuse project introduces cross-laminated timber (CLT) to Sacramento as the first mass timber building in the city.

To minimize operational carbon, DPR engaged our team early in design to evaluate Zero Net Energy (ZNE) strategies for their aggressive Net Positive Energy (NPE) and all-electric targets.

“Despite our in-house expertise of MEP systems and strong design-build engineering partners, we knew that we needed a knowledgeable third party to analyze our aggressive goals and prevent an unconscious bias in our design development. We chose Stok for their practical application of energy modeling and responsiveness to unique challenges. Through the process we’re glad to have Stok as a partner onboard that helped us navigate transforming an old 1940s building into a net positive living lab.”

By the Numbers

Reduced energy usage below baseline from specialized MEP systems
On-site energy demands produced via an on-site 265,178 kWh/year photovoltaic system (projected)
Estimated metric tons of embodied carbon footprint lowered by CLT

The Solution


Based on recommendations from our ZNE analysis, the project completed the above and introduced operable windows and Solatubes that provide access to the city’s Delta Breeze and daylighting without glare or thermal comfort disruption. We also supplemented its mechanical system with a unique thermal labyrinth that passively heats and cools outside air via seasonal thermal mass energy storage, and enhanced regional resiliency with a 9.8 kWh battery backup system that can serve as a community hub during natural disasters and prolonged power outages.


The office also incorporates biophilic design strategies through natural forms and materials used, including the sleek exposed wood interior. Beyond its aesthetic benefits, CLT lowered the project’s embodied carbon footprint by an estimated 170 metric tons and allowed for a greatly reduced installation time in the field: with digital prefabrication, 6,000 SF of structure was erected in six days. As a modern office, the space also offers flexible workspaces, including open office design, hoteling, a mix of meeting rooms and open collaborative areas, lounge spaces for community connection, and more.


For its leadership in sustainable innovation, DPR’s Sacramento Zero Net Energy office made AIA’s 2023 COTE Top Ten list. Masterfully incorporating mass timber into multiple facets of the project’s goals, DPR’s Sacramento office received the 2020 Wood Design Award for Regional Excellence from U.S. WoodWorks. The project also received the 2020 Renovation/ Restoration Award of Merit from Engineering News Record California. DPR Sacramento’s 48 employees moved into their values-aligned office in Fall 2019.


Project Leadership

Charlie Christenson
Energy Modeling | ZNE | LEED