SoCalGas - A Case for the Energy Resource Center
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A Case for the Energy Resource Center

"The mission of the Energy Resource Center is to serve as a one-stop 'idea shop,' where customers can find the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sensitive solutions to their energy needs."


Through the design and construction of this hallmark building of the Southern California Gas Company, a Sempra Energy Company, as well as the technologies, programs and services offered within the facility, the Energy Resource Center is committed to offering energy decision makers the most up to date economical, energy-saving and environmentally sound information.

Energy-efficiency, resource conservation and indoor air quality are key overall features of the project. The design, techniques and materials used in the building of the ERC showcase the latest strategies for energy-efficient lighting, cooling and architectural design, and highlight innovative resources for resource-efficient and energy conserving materials and equipment.

This venue for the twenty-first century provides technical assistance, energy and air quality computer tools and simulations, state-of-the-art multi-media facilities, and energy, air quality and environmental information, resources and guidance.

"...Cost effectively bringing our buildings into harmony with the environment."

Description of ERC

This 44,572 square feet building was designed by recycling (demolishing only about one-third) of the existing 1957 building complex of the Southern California Gas Company.

The center section of the complex was replaced with a new two-story addition, adding 12,572 square feet.

The building consists of main office spaces, an exhibit hall, and a dozen meeting rooms which highlight different themes from the energy industry: Air Quality, Combustion, Climate Control, Large Equipment, Residential New Construction, FoodService Equipment, Natural Daylighting and Natural Gas Vehicles.

Green Building Strategies

Design Team

A nine member team worked from the inception of the project included: The Gas Company's ERC project manager, The Gas Company construction manager, architect, construction company, interior designer, environmental consultant, energy-efficiency consultant (later), indoor air quality consultant (later) and a local government representative. A 26-person advisory board oversaw the project guidelines.

Energy Efficiency

  • ERC designated as an Energy Star Building by US EPA, exceeding California Title 24 energy building code by 45%.
  • Building envelop strategies (insulation, caulkings and sealers, roof coatings and low-e windows) increased R-values and reduced heating and air conditioning needs.
  • Lighting requirements were reduced by 40% through daylighting strategies (skylights and translucent window walls) and energy efficient lighting schemes including T-8 compact fluorescent bulbs, and monitor and sensing devices.
  • Heating and Cooling System includes indirect/direct evaporative cooling, desiccant units, absorption chillers/heaters, and package units.
  • Digital monitoring and logging system constantly reviews and adjusts mechanicals for maximization of energy use.

Resource Conservation

  • Recycled two-thirds of the existing building, putting 62% of the demolition materials back into the new construction (550 tons demolished and sorted, 350 tons reused).
  • Eighty percent of projects materials are recycled, reclaimed, containing recycled content, or from renewable resources. Examples are walkways, floors, wall coverings, stairs, ceilings and in a major portion of the building construction.
  • Water conservation measures include water saving plumbing devices as well as xeriscape and drip irrigation landscape.

Indoor Air Quality

Nontoxic adhesives, paints, finishing and furnishings included

CO2 sensor adjusts fresh air intake to optimize indoor air quality

On going maintenance and monitoring for optimal air quality


Project costs computed by architectural team reported that this recycled building project was much less than a typically constructed similar type building, and reflects expenses unique to a recycled building project, such a dismantling, sorting and hauling, and for special environmentally sensitive materials and processes. When these figures are costed out over the building life cycle, cost benefits are greater still.

Energy Resource Center (ERC)

9240 Firestone Blvd.
Downey, CA 90241-5388

Tel: 800.427.6584
Fax: 562.803.7551

Contact: Rodney Davis - ERC Operations Supervisor
Architect: Wolff/Lang/Christopher Architects, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Construction: Turner Construction, Los Angeles, CA
Environmental Advisor: John Picard, E2, Los Angeles
Commissioning Agent: Robert Bein, William Frost & Associates, Irvine, CA
Indoor Air Consultant: Healthy Building International, Irvine, CA

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