Long Beach, California, United States
When San Mateo County leaders approached SOM to design a new county headquarters, they had ambitious sustainability goals. Climate leadership is needed now more than ever, and this county on the San Francisco Peninsula is particularly vulnerable to the perils of climate change, including wildfire, drought, and sea-level rise. County leaders were also cognizant of the symbolic weight and long-term impact that this building will have. Civic buildings are built to endure for generations, and when purposefully designed, these structures become essential to the municipality’s identity. With its structural design that uses cross-laminated timber to reduce embodied carbon, County Office Building 3 (COB3) will stand as a testament to San Mateo County’s environmental stewardship.