Innovation through artful design and engineering

How DSD helped Bishop Ranch deliver renewable energy solutions and redefine the standard for business campuses.


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The Challenge

Bishop Ranch is a historic business park that serves as the heartbeat of commerce in San Ramon, California. Once the site of a world-renowned pear orchard, today it’s the corporate home for Fortune 50 leaders — including GE Digital, SAP, Chevron, and Bank of the West — along with the 30,000-plus employees who support them.

When Bishop Ranch’s owner, Sunset Development, decided to create a “City Center” to offer shopping, dining, and entertainment to business tenants and residents, they envisioned a retail ecosystem unlike anything the world had seen before. To accomplish this, they needed partners who could expand what was possible. Partners like DSD.

Bishop Ranch
Bishop Ranch

The Solution, Phase 1

Because of its creative, integrated approach, DSD was selected to develop City Center’s renewable energy solution. The DSD engineering team worked seamlessly with architectural partners to extend their visionary design throughout every aspect of this new community gathering place.

The result is a rooftop and canopy PV system whose function is arguably as breathtaking as its aesthetic. DSD’s engineers utilized special “bifacial” solar module technology to capture power on both sides of the panels, optimizing energy production while providing an unobtrusive design and integrated wire management. The solar project at the City Center offsets about 75% of its annual electric usage, saving Bishop Ranch and Sunset Development approximately $316,000 on the first year alone.

This project made City Center the largest shopping center in the world to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The results were so impressive — both aesthetically and pragmatically — that Sunset Development commissioned DSD for subsequent project phases.

The Solution, Phase 2

The next phase of solar for Bishop Ranch is extending the installation across all 600 acres of the business center campus. Solar solutions, such as canopy, ground mount, rooftop, and energy storage are being strategically designed to power office buildings, medical facilities, and service centers. The canopies in particular were designed to accommodate electric vehicle charging infrastructure, furthering the positive environmental impact for the campus, its visitors and employees.

Because the project implementation happened over phases, DSD was able to take unique elements of the City Center solar canopy design and extend the approach to other projects to not only  gain efficiencies, but also maintain a singular aesthetic throughout the campus. For example, the DSD team was able to replicate the tapered cellular beam design and use it on every one of 800+ columns throughout subsequent phases of the solar installatons.

DSD Bishop Ranch-Canopy EV

The architectural vision was to let sunlight penetrate the canopies and make the structural supports minimalist.

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

“The second phase of solar installation at Bishop Ranch is a testament to their sustainable business practices, and we are excited to partner with them at this scale to design and build this architecturally stunning solar plus storage portfolio.”

Ben Jones
VP – Canopy Design Engineering

“DSD is the perfect partner to help us achieve our renewable energy goals. They have the ability to create the innovation and architecturally beautiful solar solutions, while optimizing energy production.”

alexander mehranAlexander Mehran, Jr.
President and CEO
Sunset Development Company

The Outcome

Upon completion, these solar and energy storage projects will produce 24,312,801 kWh of clean, renewable energy annually. The final installation will offset 90% of the campus’s total energy, reducing Sunset Development’s energy costs and placing Bishop Ranch as the largest multi-campus, on-site solar and energy storage installation in the world. In addition to its renewable energy program, Bishop Ranch also has an extensive recycling initiative and green cleaning practices that redefine how a mixed-use business campus can operate sustainability.

The Impact

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