California Independent System Operator Headquarters

Folsom, CA

In California, it’s not just PG&E, SMUD, or some other local utility that helps keep the lights on at your home or office; it’s the California Independent System Operator (CA ISO) who manages the state electrical grid and wholesale electrical market. CA ISO leads by example in sustainable design with a headquarters consisting of an administrative office building, a public space building with meeting areas and cafeteria, and a Mission Critical building that houses emergency operations. The perimeter precast hybrid moment frames used for the office building help maximize natural daylighting to the space and allow 90% of the regularly occupied spaces to have access to outdoor views. The LEED Platinum facility also includes a pedestrian bridge from the public building to a viewing room in the Mission Critical center to give the media and public a real-time view of operations on the campus. 

Quick Facts

  • Size: 278,000 SF
  • Architect: Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture
  • Utilized integrated steel detailing to reduce the project schedule
  • Design of the site included amenities to promote alternative transportation; the site was also optimized to preserve native oaks and provide open space and habitat
  • Construction Cost: $116,000,000
  • Contractor: Clark Construction
  • Precast walls erected on the mission critical building in one month
  • Over 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfills, over 20% of the building materials content is recycled, and 38% of the building materials were obtained within the region


  • 2012 DBIA National Awards - Best Overall Project 
  • 2012 DBIA National Awards - Best Office Building Project 
  • 2012 Engineering News-Record California - Best Office Project 
  • 2011 SEAOC Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards - Award of Excellence (Sustainable Design)
  • 2011 Sacramento Business Journal - Judges’ Choice Award
  • 2011 PCI Design Award - Best Office Building (Low Rise)

Photo credit: Rien van Rijthoven Photography