Sunday, February 25, 2007

Green Pyramid

Great story about a very worthwhile trend that is moving throughout the culture, and isn’t the building chosen as headquarters perfect?

Pointing the way to green future
West Sac's pyramid becomes the state's building laboratory.
By Edie Lau - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Sunday, February 25, 2007

The pyramid building in West Sacramento, once headquarters of the Money Store, is turning a new shade of green.

The 10-story ziggurat on the bank of the Sacramento River will remain gold on the outside. It's the inside, now home to the California Department of General Services, that is adopting the color of the environmental movement.

Guardians of DGS, the landlord agency of state government, aspire to make the ziggurat a test case for environmentally friendly building practices -- a project they fondly call "greening the Zig."

"We need a laboratory to test how ideas become acculturated," said Ron Joseph, who, as director of DGS until his retirement last month, championed his agency's metamorphosis.

The greening is happening in ways visible and not-so-visible. A sign on the door to the room housing computer servers is obvious, for example. "Conserve Energy," it admonishes. "Turn off lights!"

But a campaign to reduce the number of computer printers in the building -- thereby saving on paper, electricity and cartridges -- is evident only to the employees who have given up the luxury of printing documents at their desks.

With the Zig and its 1,200 occupants leading the way, the department aims in the next eight years to transform 1,600 buildings under its control into models of sustainable work spaces.