Metropolitan State Hospital Kitchen Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Sacramento, Calif. — June 16, 2010 — Vanir

Construction Management announced today that the Metropolitan State Hospital has received LEED Gold certification for its new central kitchen, which has the capability to serve up to 5,000 meals per day. The kitchen is one of the first cook-chill facilities to earn LEED Gold certification and the only one of its kind in the state of California.

“The LEED Gold distinction is a reflection of the California Department of Mental Health, Metropolitan State Hospital and the Department of General Services’ commitment to serving the needs of our hospital community while employing environmentally sustainable building practices,” said Tamer Ahmed, project director of the Department of General Services. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first cook-chill kitchen in the state of California to receive this distinction. We are thankful for Vanir’s expertise in helping to make this happen.”


LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Vanir assisted the Department of General Services in commissioning environmentally sound practices, including:

  • Reduction of water use by 30 percent in all non-food production areas
  • Reduction of CFCs in HVAC system with the use of environmentally-safe refrigerants
  • Optimized energy performance for maximum efficiency with the lowest energy usage
  • Elimination of harmful gases released into the atmosphere
  • Storage and collection of recyclables
  • Recycled and low-emission building materials
  • Optimized use of daylight, with 87 percent of the workspace lit without the use of artificial light
  • Energy efficient kitchen equipment to conserve water and electricity
  • Use of green cleaning products which meet health code requirements, while meeting the facility’s operational budget

Since the original hospital kitchen was built in 1950, it could no longer keep up with the hospital’s demands and a new kitchen was deemed necessary. The new kitchen is 27,000 square feet and houses the Department of Nutrition Services Administration staff, food preparation and food storage areas. Using a cook-chill method and unique, automated kitchen equipment, the kitchen can produce up to 5,000 meals per day and food can be cooked in bulk, flash frozen and stored for up to 30 days. It is grand in scale using items such as a 22-foot dishwasher, drive-thru refrigerator, and two ovens each capable of holding 48 full-sized commercial baking sheets.

“Helping our clients achieve LEED certification is one of our specialties,” said Mansour Aliabadi, president at Vanir Construction Management. More than 25 percent of Vanir’s project managers are LEED certified and these professionals are all well-versed in identifying areas where environmental savings are possible. For this particular project, we used our expertise to exceed client expectations by surpassing the original goal of LEED Silver certification and instead obtaining LEED Gold certification.”