Climate Action and Resiliency

Make Sonoma County carbon neutral by 2030.

Goal 3, Objective 2

Design or retrofit County facilities that promote and maximize telework to decrease greenhouse gas emissions generated by employee commutes.


Updated: January 2023

Summary of Objective Implementation Status

 Although progress of the New County Government Center is delayed as a location is selected by the Board, the principles and practices  of workplace design that facilitate telework are likely to be used are considered industry best practices in  the management of existing space.  The pandemic has shown the importance of technology tools to facilitate collaboration while working remotely and the importance of facilities to maximize inclusivity .  The design of new work places include accommodation of technology  and spaces to accommodate remote working team members.

The new County Government Center is endeavoring to incorporate an efficient space utilization standard which allocates space based on a department’s staff numbers.  Though efficiency is in mind, opportunities to encourage collaboration would be included in the space standard.  As we have observed during the pandemic, the ability to  collaborate on line has been put to the test and constant improvements made. As the pandemic is winding down, the benefit of carbon reduction is apparent and shifting to a hybrid workforce.
As stated in the Resilient Infrastructure Objective1-3, telework and the needs of a dynamic hybrid workforce has introduced several technical challenges, particularly in respect to utilizing a shared workspace model and incorporating a seamless meeting experience between local and remote staff.  In order to address these challenges, ISD has completed a hot desk prototype as well as an updated conference room configuration to address the needs of a hybrid workforce. This prototype will be ready to demo in January 2023. Following initial feedback on the prototype, ISD will develop a solution that will allow County departments to select the appropriate hot desk and conference room configuration that will best suit their needs. ISD will be providing a dedicated staff resource to attend to what is anticipated to be a growing need for County departments.

Current aspirations for the new County Government Center’s space utilization includes provisions for accommodating teleworking staff when required to be at the office.  Many other organizations, including the federal government provide space for telework staff though at a reduced area.  Teleworking staff do not require full size work stations since their main work environment would be at home or a location where portable files are sufficient.  Teleworking staff typically require a work surface to place their laptop and log-in o be productive and can collaborate with colleagues in shared spaces such as conference rooms.  Teleworking has lead to a greater need for cloud based services and applications to support this hybrid work.  ISD is is in the process of rolling out applications such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams to enhanced hybrid work.  Furthermore, funds from Deferred Maintenance have been made available for the scanning and cloud storage of vital documents so that they may be accessed by staff electronically rather than physical retrieval and to the avoid he expense of constructing or leasing storage facilities in which to store them.  The County Government Center project will include the procurement and space planning for work station furniture that will incorporate the criteria defined in the hot desk concept as well as in areas to promote collaboration.

Specific design and opportunities for feedback will be provided in the design process.  Work place engagement will be a critical part of the design process, once authorized.

Key Milestone Update

County Government Center – awaiting Board direction on location, January 24, 2023

Microsoft Office 365 Deployment (from RI 1-3)

Phase 1 – Migration of County E-mail to Microsoft Office 365 – Completed June 8, 2022

Phase 2 – Implementation of  Microsoft Office 365 Services – In Progress

Coordination and Partnership Update

Infrastructure requirements for technology is in coordination with RI 1-3
This objective has direct impacts on the following other objectives:

  • RI 1.2 Standards for Office improvements:  The new CGC will establish standards that can be applied to existing offices
    • Awaiting Board direction on location and cost for CGC
  • RI 2.3 Design and build a new, resilient Emergency Operations Center (EOC).:  The EOC will be part of the procurement for the new CGC
      Awaiting Board direction on location and cost for CGC
  • CAR 2.3 Design or retrofit County facilities to be carbon neutral, zero waste and incorporate resilient construction techniques and materials.:  design standard for the CGC will be carbon neutral
      Awaiting Board direction on location and cost for CGC

Coordination with Sonoma Waste Management in progress to identify strategies for incorporating zero waste in design

  • CAR 3.3 Carbon Eliminating Microgrid:  As part of CGC’ s Triple net-zero goal energy independence and self-generation concepts will be utilized.
      The County is partnering with Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) Sustainable Solution Turnkey program where Investment Grade Audits (IGA) will be performed to to identify strategies  for incorporation of a microgrid (solar panels and battery storage).  The IGA’s may also identify financing opportunities in which to fund construction.
  • The IGA includes historic energy use and current rate structures.

Community, Equity, and Climate Update

Equity in the workplace is envisioned to be a primary factor in the design of the new facility. As such the new County Government Center project is awaiting direction on location and cost from the Board.  Several design principles are being developed with smaller scale space reconfigurations.

Funding Narrative

County Government Center is funded for consultant, legal, environmental and some staff but not for design or construction.