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CalPERS R Street Landscape Upgrade at the Sacramento Regional Office

In an effort to significantly reduce water usage throughout the state in a time of California’s record drought, CalPERS played their part and turned off the irrigation water at the Sacramento Regional Office in 2014. As a result, their once lush green lawn quickly turned brown and became an eyesore for employees and nearby neighbors. CalPERS held a design competition to provide a new sustainable and drought tolerant upgrade and the landscape architecture group of Jacobs Engineering Group won the competition. With the assistance of Nacht & Lewis, the team was able to create a playful response improving the vital piece of the CalPERS campus.

Improvements include the removal of all natural in favor for a more user responsive environment, open and covered plazas, dining areas, outdoor work spaces and places for quiet contemplation. Drought tolerant plantings utilize reclaimed water from the building’s cooling tower and the water thirsty grass has been replaced by playful blue glass pathway, artificial turf art and a butterfly garden. Shade and night lighting has been added to extend the use of the garden throughout the year and into the evening hours and sun power has been harnessed to power park’s night lighting and charge cell phones.

With the exception of modest trees and garden plantings, the project is complete and future planting and sensible installation of low-water use plants and figural shade trees will be provided to round out the park master plan.


  • Design
  • Plan Review Approval
  • Construction Administration


California Public Employees' Retirement System


Sacramento, CA


77,000 s.f.




Negotiated Bid