Green Inside and Out

February 18, 2020

From the February 2020 issue of
Parking Magazine.

By Jason A. Silva

Inspired by the surrounding arboretum, Parking Structure 5 at California State University, Sacramento (Sac State) campus, is designed for safety and the best user experience.

Precast concrete columns and spandrel beams used a custom-designed formliner that creates an illusion of reverse fluting and a texture inspired by tree bark. The structure’s skin is covered with 1,722 square fins painted in tints of green as a nod to the leaf patterns of an overhead tree canopy. Innovative design of the spandrel beams raised the bottom above the stems of the double-tees, opening the interior to better daylight and views, while emphasizing the rhythm of the structure.

Fast and Efficient

The 1,750-stall, 6-level PS5 was completed in 2018 at a cost of $36 million. It replaces an existing surface lot, and serves a campus in dire need of additional parking. Automobile circulation is designed to move traffic into the structure as efficiently as possible. An off-street queue space handles periods of high volume.

Two large circulation towers feature bright lighting and campus-branded colors to make for easy wayfinding and uniformity with other parking structures on the campus. The facility was constructed using Clark Pacific Total Precast architectural concrete system. The precast solution allowed for a more aggressive project schedule and PS5 was completed in just over 10 months.

Green and Sound on the Inside

The facility achieved a Parksmart Gold certification by the Green Building Certification Institute for its technology, design, innovations, and conservation programs.

PS5 features 113 Electric Vehicle charging stations and 33 Clean Air Vehicle stalls distributed throughout all six floors. The structure features an integrated state-of-the-art seismic resistance system known as the Precast Hybrid Moment Frame designed to help recovery following a large earthquake.

It is designed to achieve a Gold certification from the United States Resiliency Council, which rates structures for safety, damage, and recovery time in the case of a seismic event.

Facility Facts

Location: Sacramento, CA

Parking Spaces: 1,750

Levels: 6

Opened: May 2018

Owner: California State University, Sacramento

Architect: Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture

General Contractor: Clark Pacific, Inc.

Parking Consultant: Watry Buehler Collaborative

Traffic Consultant: Fehr & Peers

Jason A. Silva, AIA, is an architect and design principal at Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture. Email him at

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