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California ARB breaks ground for new headquarters in Riverside

27 October 2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) broke ground on its new state-of-the-art Southern California headquarters. The 380,000-square-foot building—to be built near the campus of the University of California, Riverside—will be home to one of the largest vehicle emissions testing and research facilities in the world, said the agency.

The new structure, designed to house research and testing of next-generation vehicles, continues the legacy of ARB’s previous labs, including the 44-year-old El Monte facility that helped expose the VW cheating scandal in 2015.

The new headquarters will include light-, medium- and heavy-duty test cells, with additional space for creating new testing methods for future generations of vehicles. There also will be space for enhanced onboard diagnostics and portable emissions measurement system development, and a separate chemistry laboratory. Planned office and administration space will accommodate about 460 employees. In addition, there will be a formal reception area, media center, and a 250-person auditorium with an adjacent conference room for overflow for Board meetings, workshops or other events.

The ARB chose the site near the University of California, Riverside, in March 2016 and completed environmental studies in June 2017. Construction costs of $419 million, which include $108 million for specialized laboratory and testing equipment, were approved by the California Legislature in July. Of those costs, $154 million comes from fines paid by Volkswagen for air quality violations related to the diesel car cheating case. Additional funds will come from the Motor Vehicle Account, the Air Pollution Control Fund and the Vehicle Inspection Repair Fund.

Currently, the ARB and other state officials are in the process of choosing the contractor to design and build the new headquarters, based on established state contracting process and rules. Construction is slated to begin in February.

Source: California ARB