Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

File Type: Free Content, Case study
Release Date: January 2005
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Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

Fast Facts

Address: Phoenix, AZ
Company/Developer: Opus West Corporation
General Contractor: Opus West Construction Corporation
Property Type: Government Office
Square Feet: 300,000 square feet plus 1,000-square-foot parking garage
Height: 6 stories

Building Description: Constructed primarily of architectural pre-cast concrete, masonry and tinted, reflective, insulating glass, this building features energy conserving methods, such as high performance glazing. The first two floors include masonry to complement materials used on the adjacent historic Evans House. The site also includes a landscaped plaza with a view of the Historic Carnegie Library.


This LEED-certified project, located in the Capital Mall district in Phoenix, is the new home for the offices and labs of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and 10 other government agencies.

Once the site of an abandoned mortuary and two city blocks of deteriorated asphalt parking lots, this development features landscaped plazas surrounded by a beautiful, environmentally friendly office building and a space-saving parking structure. Not only did the ADEQ building enhance the 12th Avenue and Adams Street block, it captured the historical elements of the area by drawing much of the design and architecture from the historical Evans House and Carnegie Library across the street.

Because the agency is dedicated to protecting Arizona’s natural environment, the ADEQ needed a building that would support this effort and serve as an example of their mission. The project was designed and built using green building practices, including the use of high-recycled content materials, recycling of nearly all construction waste, energy conservation techniques, low water-use landscaping and alternative fuel measures for employees.

In the final analysis, the state of Arizona was able to significantly reduce their overall occupancy costs by consolidating several state departments into one efficient building and Opus West enjoys a 25-year lease, after which time the state will buy the building for a dollar.

Green Features

lobby of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality


Sustainable Sites

  • Fifteen electric vehicle charging stations on site.
  • Bicycle storage and shower facilities.
  • More than 50 percent of the site restored to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.
  • Storm water management.
  • 42 percent of impervious paving surfaces shaded to reduce heat islands.
  • An Energy Star roof to reduce heat islands.
  • Erosion control and storm water management combined.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Use of low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and carpet and no urea formaldehyde used in the composite wood products.
  • Plumbing designed for appropriate disposal of liquid waste.

Water Efficiency

  • A graywater tank system that provides landscaping water by recycling bleed water from the building’s cooling towers.
entrance to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality


Energy and Atmosphere

  • Energy Star transformers used selectively.
  • Use of VFDs on all HVAC electrical equipment.
  • Motion sensors on all interior lighting fixtures.
  • Solar panels on rooftop carports.
  • CFC reduction in HVAC equipment.

Materials and Resources

  • 87.5 percent of all construction debris recycled.
  • More than 50 percent of the site was restored to provide habitat and promote biodiversity.