DMV opens new 'green' office in Central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After months of being under construction and closed, the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Central Fresno is now officially open for business.

New sounds and a new building now greet customer at the Fresno DMV office off Olive Avenue. The exterior even features the winding San Joaquin River. Inside, there are many design elements that pay tribute to the Valley's rich agriculture roots, and it's all been done with a focus on energy efficiency.

"So we brought in a lot of light so now we need less artificial lighting, so that brings down our energy requirements. The building is also a LEED gold," said project manager Christine Fitzpatrick.

The new office is nearly twice the size of the old building and designed with a new flow for customers.

"The air is coming in on the floor. Usually air will rise and we just want to keep it low, where the people are, so less energy is used because it's not coming from the ceiling," said Fitzpatrick.

Once it's completed it will be the first state-owned zero net energy building. Construction crews spent 15 months to get to phase two of this project, so they could open the building. There are still more changes to come.

"We are going to add another 40 parking stalls for the facility since the facility is so much bigger in the new phase, and also we're going to add zero net energy with carports for the solar system that will be off the grid," said construction analyst Fred Fenton.

The zero net energy building is expected to be completed by February 2015.

Project managers say the building came in $3 million under cost at $9 million.

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