The City of Walnut Creek works to integrate sustainability into its own facilities. A few of the current and completed projects are highlighted here.
New Solar Projects
The City of Walnut Creek has installed solar panels on carports at Heather Farm Park (left) and at Boundary Oaks Golf Course (right). The projects went live in January 2018 and are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 717 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of taking 150 cars off the road each year. They are expected to save the City about $2.8 million over 20 years.
The solar projects were part of an innovative “Regional Renewable Energy Procurement” (R-REP) program lead by the County of Alameda. Walnut Creek joined the collaborative procurement process in 2012, which allowed participating public agencies to pool their purchasing power and significantly reduce the administrative, technical, and installation costs for new renewable energy projects.
LEED-Certified Downtown Library
The Walnut Creek downtown library is the City’s first publicly owned LEED-certified building. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The sustainable features of the new library include:
- Control of solar gain through roof overhangs, sun screens and interior shading
- Stormwater management
- Reduction of heat islands
- "Energy Star" rated roof High performance glazing Energy efficient heating and cooling and lighting
- Energy efficient, under-floor heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) distribution
- Daylight harvesting controls to automatically dim unneeded light
- Infrastructure will be installed for future photovoltaic installation
- Construction waste management
- Use of materials with recycled content and regionally manufactured materials
The City of Walnut Creek has a number of green initiatives for its operations and facilities. Recent initiatives include:
- An energy audit was conducted for major facilities in 2017 to identify what efficiency and HVAC improvements were best to make. Lighting and HVAC energy efficiency improvements at the City's 3 garages, Shadelands Art Center, the Gardens at Heather Farm, City Hall, and Lindsay Wildlife Center were identified. When complete, these upgrades will save $126,973 annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 355 metric tons per year.
- Installed new, solar powered BigBelly recycling and trash containers downtown. The solar powers internal compactors, which help keep recycling and trash from overflowing and reduce the number of trips that trucks need to make to pick up waste. Fewer truck trips helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Five new electric vehicles chargers were installed in 2016 in the City's downtown library garage.
- Swapping out existing lighting in the library garage with motion-sensor equipped LED lights. When the garage is empty, the lights power down from 55 to 15 watts, with overall energy savings reduced by 65 percent.
- Planting drought-tolerant Bermuda grass at the El Divisadero Park soccer field, thereby reducing summer water consumption by 50 percent.
- Replacing failing conventional roofs on City facilities with "cool roofs" that absorb less heat, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool the buildings on hot days.
- Installing additional electric vehicle charging stations at City Hall and the Broadway garage, thanks to a Federal grant.
- Walnut Creek is the first city in the nation to use all-electric SmartCars for parking enforcement. To date, two of the gas-powered vehicles have been replaced with SmartCars.
- Walnut Creek's street sweepers, dump trucks, back hoes and other large Public Works vehicles now run on bio-diesel.
City Hall Rooftop Solar
In 2012, the City installed 45kW of solar panels on the roof of the City Hall.