DSD Creates “Art Through Engineering”
at Bishop Ranch

Earlier this month, City Center Bishop Ranch — the Bay Area’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination — was awarded LEED® Platinum certification. Totally 300,000 square feet, City Center Bishop Ranch is now the largest shopping center in the world to earn this prestigious certification.

In partnership with Sunset Development Company, along with RPBW Architects and BAR Architects, DSD developed the renewable energy solution that is a prominent feature of this boundary-breaking community gathering place, and which played a critical role in Bishop Ranch receiving its certification.

DSD Bishop Ranch Canopy


  • The system uses special “bi-facial” solar module technology to optimize energy production, by capturing power on both sides of the modules
  • The canopy structures offset 40% of the shopping center’s total energy usage
  • That offset is the equivalent of removing 7,550 cars from the road, or planting more than half-a-million trees

The solar array at Bishop Ranch.

“What DSD created is nothing less than a work of art through engineering,” says Rob Elliott, Senior Vice President Architecture & Design at Bishop Ranch by Sunset Development Company. “When you think of carports, canopies and solar arrays, you just don’t picture anything like this.”

From the start, DSD’s designers and engineers looked for ways to extend the intent of the beautiful architecture — an open concept that minimizes the appearance of functional devices, and leverages light aesthetically. Per the description on BAR Architect’s website:

City Center’s ground level facades are transparent floor-to-ceiling. At the exterior, the upper building floats over the transparent ground level. [And] visually dynamic [cladding that] changes appearance as the light varies over the course of the day and seasons …

In addition to a stunning array that produces 1.33 MW of clean energy, DSD’s design provides other key functions: like opening the flow of light into parking areas and providing shelter to patrons from the elements. This not only helps to attract additional customers, but attracts and retains employees across the various businesses housed in the center.

“We were amazed at how low [DSD] was able to keep the costs, as well,” says Elliott. “Their in-house team worked tirelessly to think creatively, work through obstacles, control expenses and leverage local incentives. They covered everything, which opened up all kinds of possibilities for us.”

City Center Bishop Ranch is the largest shopping center in the world to be awarded LEED® Platinum certification.

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