Eleven football fields under roof; Gold-level LEED

Address: 1200 Green Island Road, American Canyon

Owner and developer: Scannell Properties, Indianapolis

Description: 650,000-square-foot distribution facility on nearly 35 acres, with 12,773 square feet of office space and about 630,000 square feet of warehouse and industrial space. Jackson Family Wines leases 475,000 square feet and Biagi Bros. 175,000 square feet.

Completion: Oct. 14, 2009

Architecture: structure and interiors -- Perkins, Williams & Cotterill, Rancho Cordova; landscape -- Garh Ruffner Landscape Architect, Roseville

General contractor: Sierra View General Contractor, Granite Bay

Engineers: civil -- Riechers Spence & Associates, Napa; electrical -- Bosley Electric Contracting Co., Sacramento; mechanical -- ACE Heating and Cooling, Rocklin; soils -- Wallace Kuhl and Associates, West Sacramento; structural -- Wood Rodgers, Sacramento

LEED consultant: Lionakis, Sacramento

Project cost: $28.8 million

[caption id="attachment_27992" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Aerial view of the 650,000-square-foot wine warehouse (click to enlarge)"][/caption]

AMERICAN CANYON -- Eleven football fields or 10 Boeing 747 jetliners parked wingtip to wingtip could fit under the massive 15-acre roof of the new distribution center for Santa Rosa-based vintner Jackson Family Wines and Napa-based trucker and warehouser Biagi Bros.

But what got the attention of Jackson and Biagi was the ability to house about 5 million cases of wine in a warehouse chilled to 54 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit while using 38 percent less energy and 44 percent less interior water than facilities of similar size, according to Kathryn Zepaltas, director of distribution and logistics for Jackson. Eighty-four percent of construction waste was kept out of landfills.

In March, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Jackson's Napa County Distribution Center with Gold-level LEED for New Construction certification for earning 39 out of 69 possible points.

Other point-getters were low-offgasing office paint, warehouse slab seam caulk and reused furniture. A 1 megawatt solar-electricity array is planned for 200,000 square feet of reinforced roof.

Jackson consolidated cases of wine from 11 warehouses serving its North Coast wineries to this facility in early 2010. The ability to ship casegoods to major wine markets nationwide by rail made this site attractive.

“Each boxcar equals three truckloads of wine, and one locomotive moves a number of cars, so this promotes carbon footprint reduction,” Ms. Zepaltas said.

The building has 24 truck dock doors, with the ability to add 20 more, and 14 rail car doors opening to a 1,900-foot-long private rail spur. The staging area has 106 parking spaces and room for 30 truck trailers.

Traditionally, trucks would move the wine from the winery to a warehouse, where the cases would be consolidated for transportation to market. Currently, freight rail service isn’t available in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

Energy-saving features of the building include R-19 insulation in the walls and roof and a thermal plastic “cool roof” to reflect heat.

That amount of insulation, together with the “thermal mass” of that much wine, allows the 500-ton chilling system to be out  for up to 15 days without increasing the temperature of the wine more than one degree, according to Sierra View General Contractor.

"The thermal envelope is so tight and insulated, it was really worth the investment," said Robert Boller, Jackson vice president of sustainability.

The air chiller was off for three to seven days at a time during the hotter days this past summer. The system has an automatic night-air cooling.

"We're never going to run our chillers again during 12 and 6 p.m.," Mr. Boller said.

Other energy-savers include motion-activated higher-efficiency fluorescent light fixtures and variable-frequency motors in the climate-control system.

The distribution center and Jackson's seven operational wineries are getting a high-tech energy management system, guided by Energy Industries. The system already has reduced company energy usage by 9.3 megawatt-hours this year, according to Mr. Boller.

Water for the American Canyon building's open-loop cooling tower is sanitized via ultraviolet light to avoid use of chlorine.

The 11-month project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule. Almost a month was shaved from the project by having Fincast Precast manufacture the 524 concrete wall panels in its Redding factory.

The expansive slab required 13,000 cubic yards of concrete, poured up to 45,000 square feet at a time over three weeks.