2014 Winner: The Smooth Operator

The most improved building across multiple sustainability categories achieved solely through improved operations and maintenance and/or retrocommissioning.

Who led the charge



Heidi Silveira
Property Manager,           Parkway Properties


Heidi Silveira keeps the Cal/EPA Building running strong with continual improvements. “I've got to see the worms—I've heard about the worms,” said Heidi Silveira when she started at Cal/EPA Headquarters in 2006, referring to the property’s composting program. Since then, the Sacramento, CA structure has received a LEED-EBOM Platinum rating, and come to set the standard for green initiatives in the area. Heidi got her start working downtown San Francisco, and prior to her work at Cal/EPA, she assisted in the management of high-rises in Sacramento and Oakland.

Cal/EPA Building, Sacramento, CA                                               Commercial Office - 950,000 sq. ft.

Built in 2000, Sacramento’s Cal/EPA building isn’t old by most standards, which makes the work done by Heidi and her team to keep the building in top shape all the more remarkable. As Sacramento’s largest high-rise real estate project, and with a LEED Platinum rating earned in 2004, the types of changes needed to be considered for our Smooth Operator award had to be as innovative as they were creative. By becoming one of the first buildings in the country to switch to daytime janitorial services over 10 years ago, the team was able to uncover enormous utility savings; elimination of garbage can liners and the switch to reusable cloth bags in centrally-located recycling bins save about $15/k year. The property also plays host to worm composting onsite, a dedicated indoor bike room for 150 bicycles, and the use of non-toxic, no-VOC, and biodegradable cleaning products. To save energy, the property now has 736 solar panels, UV-reflecting modular panels, solar shade overhangs, and high-efficiency chillers.

The building's 736 solar panels produce an average of 32,000 kWh each month—that's roughly 230 kg of oil every month!

Daniele Horton | Founder & Principal, Verdani Partners
Larry Locascio | Vice President, Parkway Properties
Tom Medellin | Chief Engineer, Parkway Properties
Robert Young | Engineer, Parkway Properties


"We have the responsibility to synchronize our everyday efforts to make a positive difference in the quality of world that we leave to our children."

pinelli project.png