The California Department of General Services (DGS) announced today a top honor for a state facility. The California Department of Mental Health’s central kitchen facility at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk has been honored with the 2012 Facility Design Project of the Year award by the Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Association.

The Design Project of the Year award is based on the quality of the design and execution and its ability to meet the operator’s goals. The DGS-managed kitchen construction project opened its doors in 2009 and received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) GOLD certification for new construction from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The kitchen was built as a model of energy efficiency, water conservation and environmental responsibility featuring a state-of-the-art cook-chill system, which improves the hospitals ability to meet the special dietary needs of patients. The facility also consolidates meal preparation and serving functions previously scattered throughout several locations on hospital grounds, leading to lower operating costs and greater efficiency.

“The state continues leading the way in designing, building and operating government facilities that save natural resources, protect our environment and reduce operational costs,” said DGS Director Fred Klass. “This award is a tribute to our construction partners who worked hand-in-hand with DGS to deliver a quality product for our customers at the Department of Mental Health.”

DGS oversees the design, construction and operations of most state office buildings ensuring that state of California facilities use less energy and water while also increasing building operational efficiencies. Approximately 50 state facilities ranging from high-rises to DMV field offices are LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council

For more information on LEED-certified facilities owned and operated by the state of California, see this link: