California Buildings News Q1 2021

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Design & Operation of Office, Multifamily, Hospitality, Medical and Government Facilities

Q2 2020 • $5 Q1 2021 • $5

Ventilation Kills COVID We Need Fresh, Clean Air Pumped Through Capable HVAC Systems

Logistics Facilities Booming in CA

Can Hotels Become Homes?

Construction Workers Manage Covid

Contents 4 Preparing Buildings for a Permanently Different Future Early euphoria that miracle vaccines will permit a return to pre-COVID-like workplaces is proving sadly wrong, as viral variants increase and the vaccine roll-outs in our intertwined global communities prove challenging. And even after — and if — an overwhelming majority of us get vaccinated, masking and distancing will be necessary indefinitely. Meantime, we have found some very useful and productive ways to live and work away from traditional workplaces. Bottom line: We need to redesign and retool where and how we work, because 2019 is gone for good. Maybe really for the good...since many people and organizations are finding better ways to perform and new ways to repurpose buildings. So, challenges are before our building owners and managers, architects, manufacturers, service providers and governing types. History takes an L-shape turn sometimes. We can handle it if we don’t cling desperately to a bygone past. California innovators will continue to be a big part of the future, and our magazine will strive to present how the people in our state’s very creative culture are embracing a new world and making contributions to its success. Changes for the Better... Higher productivity means greater wealth, so many unintended consequences of the pandemic will enhance our standards of living. Many types of workers are more productive when they don’t have to commute two or three hours a day to and from a central business district and then endure unnecessary interruptions, meaningless meetings, costs and background noises of a traditional office. Artificial intelligence and sensoring replace much of the managerial oversight formerly required to make sure workers are actually working. Offices can be redesigned to accommodate appropriate levels of collaboration and private work— downtown or at satellite locations nearer to homes. Technologies like virtual reality and work from anywhere online tech improve recruitment, training, research, marketing, communications and sales — along with quite of bit of facility management and servicing. Even greater efficiencies will be achieved for all when acceptance of virtual conferences becomes greater—as geographic boundaries disappear for all practical purposes. Hybrid conclaves will be held, creating tiers of those who need to be physical and others who can ZOOM from LA to Stockholm at a tiny fraction of the cost of long-distance travel to learn what they can learn online. Numerous micro-conferences will be created because the sponsor cost will be minuscule. Knowledge will spread exponentially as people can afford many more conferences and exhibitors can multiply the impact of their marketing budgets. “Smarter” buildings — a decade-long goal — will become genius buildings with the savings organizations achieve to invest in artificial intelligence, sensors and numerous other features that make buildings highly desirable, safer and more secure for when you actually need to go to one. Already, serious people are reinventing the buildings of the future, along with the need for them. — Henry Eason

Construction Workers in Pandemic

Better Ventilation is Essential



Improving Ventilation in Schools

Logistics Facilities Boom in CA


Hotels Converting to Housing?

Association News: USGBC, BOMA, IFMA, Precast Concrete Institute


18 22

New Projects


Comments on articles? Suggestions? Contact

California Buildings News Team Henry Eason, Editor Ellen Eason, Publisher & Associate Editor Contributing Editors

Zachary Brown, CBRE Ken Cleaveland, Public Affairs Advocate Bob Eaton, Eaton Hotel Investments Jessica Handy, CodeGreen Solutions Rich Lerner, Construction Consultant Michael F. Malinowski, AIA, President, Applied Architecture Inc. Katherine A. Mattes, Real Estate Consultant Steven Ring, Fulcrum Real Estate Development Carlos Santamaria, CEES-Advisors

Advertising Information Ellen Eason, 415.596.9466 © Copyright 2021 Eason Communications LLC PO Box 225234 San Francisco, CA 94122-5234 Copyright © 2021 by Eason Communications LLC, publisher of California Buildings News. The publisher assumes no liability for opinions expressed in editorial contributions to the magazine or third-party quotations within articles. The publication is not responsible for claims in advertisements. Printed in the U.S.A.

Cover images: Main image: Getty Images. Hotel and warehouse: Adobe Stock. Construction: Getty Images.

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4 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

Construction Workers Successfully Cope with Pandemic By Agustin "Augie" Beltran Director of Public and Governmental Relations Northern California Carpenters Regional Council


construction workers, it’s a good day when

we all go home safe. In this time of Covid-19, the concept has taken on a new urgency. Now it’s not just about us — it’s our co-workers, our families, our friends and our entire communities. The pandemic took us by surprise. One minute we were fully employed, and the next moment, one of the most powerful economic engines in the world, the State of California, was completely shut down. For construction workers, as well as for every other California working family, our health and our livelihood were at stake. The Carpenters Union began to handle business remotely. We made funds available to help members who faced economic hardship because of Covid-19. We developed a Covid-19 online training program, which quickly became the standard for our employers and other unions. Most important, during the March 2020 lockdown, we worked with our employers and their associations, and then with local and state governments, to create procedures that would assure the safety of construction workers and make it possible for them to continue to build housing, medical facilities and other essential projects. Aside from mandatory masking, social distancing and disinfecting, it included certifying our field staff as Job Safety Accountability Supervisors, authorized to enter each jobsite and verify compliance.

Balancing Act It was a balancing act. We convinced government officials that our members play a vital role in the overall health of our state. We educated our members and our signatory employers. Our goal was to ensure that the proper safeguards were in place to ensure the safety of Carpenters as they returned to work. Photo: Getty Images.

How is it working on the ground? According to Jeff VanDeWyngaerde, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Plant Construction, “Union carpenters have kept our company open. Executives and office staff can work from home, but carpenters and other building trades workers show up every day. They implement all the Covid safety protocols, they figure out how to get their work done, masked and six feet apart. They’ve kept our industry going.” In fact, all Northern California signatory construction companies and their crews have worked hard to keep their jobs safe—and up and running. A few snapshots: u Build Group began a voluntary weekly testing program. Turning tests around in 24 hours, the company could test one day and exclude infected workers the next day, according to COO Scott Brauninger. The bottom line, he said, is that “the expense and disruption caused by testing is still a lot cheaper and more efficient than having to shut down. u Plant Construction focused on contact tracing. All Plant employees are equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled “badge” that creates a record every time an employee is closer than 6 feet to another employee for more than 30 seconds. If someone tests positive, VanDeWyngaerde said, “we know who he or she has been near.” u Covid-19 has “made us all a lot more creative,” said Matt Olson, the facility manager at USA Millwork Mission Bell’s high-end mill-cabinet plant in Morgan Hill Getting creative has included reconfiguring the facility to allow for 8 feet of social distancing on the shop floor, breaking up the workforce into small teams so that testing and contact tracing can happen quickly, implementing Covid-19 screening at a single point of entry with touchless tempera(Continued on page 32)


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Better Ventilation... Essential to Reduce Virus Spread


ust as the scientific community has risen to the challenge by creating vaccines during the pandemic, manufacturers and service companies have stepped up to innovate products and procedures that will make buildings safer for workers, tenants, patients and anyone occupying large facilities. We are all better for the companies that have developed UV-C systems that zap airborne viruses to those with better elevator technologies and others that have improved ventilation and indoor air quality and better surface cleaning. Given the airborne nature of the coronaviruses, no building feature is more important than ventilation.

This issue of California Buildings News brings news and perspectives from people in our state and new technologies that are being successfully used to help in the effort to make buildings safer. We also want to highlight building managers who have become very resourceful and tenant-focused in dealing with complex issues since COVID-19 struck. In our package of articles, we have

featured award winners at December’s global AHR conference. Boston Properties’ Danny Murtagh, one of California’s leading facility engineers, gives a real-world, practical assessment of what can be done to improve air quality, and Tishman Speyer General Manager Glenn Good shares insights into how large facilities are coping. Also, CAW Architects will describe how to design schools that are better ventilated. Getting schools back up and running will be necesExploring HVAC Issues... sary not only to continue educaHealthier Air in Buildings Page 7 tion but to relieve many parents AHR Innovation Awards Page 8 from oversight duties so they Ventilation in Schools Page 11 can fully return to work. Issues With Large Facilities Page 14 Installing improved ventilaHVAC Product Focus Page 30 tion equipment in buildings is very timely, not only because there are fewer tenants working Photo: Getty Images.

on-site that complicate installations, but interest rates are lower, so it’s cheaper to borrow money. New equipment is an expense, but most tenants are keeping up with lease payments, so owners have the money to invest in what will be necessary for fuller returns to occupancy and features that will attract new tenants concerned about health. Newer equipment is also likelier to produce energy savings long-run. HVAC is key but smaller filtration units are also important in cleansing offices from contaminates. HEPAgrade air purifiers with better filtration and UV features are a welcome addition to any workplace, hospital room, hotel or institutional facility— like schools and dorms. See Product Focus on pages 30-31.

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Realistic Improvement of Ventilation in Existing Buildings There is No Finger-Snap Solution to Achieving Healthier Air in Facilities, But Solutions Exist By Danny Murtagh When we talk about how ventilation can contribute to a healthier workplace, we must consider and separate some concepts and facts. First, ventilation rates can contribute or detract from healthier workspace, by adding more fresh conditioned air to the workspace. More fresh air means less cycling up of contaminates generated in the workspace by recirculation of the air in the workspace. Providing more fresh air and less recirculating air can reduce contaminants. When HVAC systems are designed for 100% outside air, it provides more fresh air into the building which leads to less contaminants circulating in the building. Buildings that were designed and installed without adjustable or 100% outside air, typically recirculate an amount of air in the HVAC process. In these types of buildings, good filtration and maintenance practices become much more important to maintaining indoor air quality. The amount of outside air used in HVAC is dependent on many factors or the designed system. The challenges are existing buildings often cannot increase outside air for ventilation. Regional factors like weather, temperature and humidity affect how outside air is designed into the HVAC system or limits when and how much can be used in each daily operation. Building systems are designed for energy performance and if you design a system to use outside air during high temperature high humidity days, the building systems, risers and

shafts grow exponentially and become impractical to build and operate. These are factors that are used in the thoughtful design of HVAC systems over many years and now

Things we can do in existing systems and buildings are: use more outside air if available by system design, clean and maintain the system components in the air stream, use high MERV filtration (MERV 13+) and replace filters more frequently, consider alternate air treatments like UVC and Bi-polar ions in the air stream, design space with upper level UV systems or bi-polar systems to treat air locally.

with so many existing buildings operating for years it is not a simple thing to change the system design and operation. When buildings are still on the drawing board, that is the time to select the HVAC system design characteristics and performance and to that end, we have an opportunity to consider a path of design that includes higher adjustable outside air rates of ventilation. It will be important to codify new HVAC standards into the building codes in order to mandate a new approach for ventilation.

Designing HVAC for COVID-19 Problems When we are talking about the COVID dynamics, the air movement within the work space is only partially guided by the HVAC ventilation rates and is at least equally guided by the locality, (air currents that generally stay within the space), air currents, swirls and eddies within the space which makes for a dilemma for users. You can bring in 100% fresh air but local air currents within the space will still circulate contaminants from workspace to workspace or person to person. Therefore, the personal responsibility factors with colds, flus and COVID are so important. They are far more effective in reducing contamination in COVID times. At the end of the day, you cannot undo decades of HVAC design and operation in existing buildings that have performed well for years in order to achieve higher air changes, just like that and must focus on new design and retrofit opportunities over time to start to work in a different direction. Don’t get me wrong, higher ventilations rates are generally good for a healthy indoor environment. You just cannot snap your fingers to change a building system design on a moment’s notice, nor is it necessarily the right and only thing you can do. Why have these buildings operated successfully for so many years? We live in a time when people have gotten used to snapping their fingers to get what (Continued on page 32)

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Ventilation, IAQ Companies Win Top AHR Awards Innovations Can Help Protect People from Viruses, Bad Air and Improve Efficiency The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) announced the winners of the 2021 AHR Expo Innovation Awards. “HVACR as an industry is always changing in new and exciting ways at all professional levels,” said Show Manager Mark Stevens. “Companies on the AHR Expo Show floor are listening to their stakeholders and developing new tools, products and services that make the industry more efficient, sustainable, smart, etc. Conversation is key and learning from each other at all levels within the industry is what drives innovation from year to year.”

Ventilation Winner: Aldes – CAR3®–Next Generation in Precise Airflow Innovation: The CAR3® constant airflow regulators by Aldes feature a state-of-the-art design with industry exclusive dual-side airflow adjustability and greater airflow ranges for a variety of applications. The patent pending airflow technology allows you to set or change the airflow quickly, in supply or exhaust applications, without removing the CAR3 from the duct. The technology is capable of maintaining constant airflow within +/-10% of the scheduled flow rates, within the operating range of 0.12 to 1.2 in. w.g. differential pressure for low-pressure models (CAR3-L), or 0.4 to 2.8 in. w.g. with high-pressure models (CAR3-H). CAR3 solely operates on duct pressure and requires no external power supply or sensors, and will be rated for use in air temperatures ranging from -25°F to 140°F (-32°C to 60°C). CAR3 must be equipped with a double lip gasket to provide a secure, leak free installation into rigid round duct, take-offs, collars, etc. Each regulator features a dual-side adjustment dial to allow for changes in airflow setpoint while installed in either the supply or exhaust direction without removing the regulator from the duct.

Indoor Air Quality Winner: Des Champs Technologies – Des Champs Technologies Series PLP Air-Trap™ Innovation: Des Champs Technologies Series PLP Photo: Adobe Stock.

Air-Trap™ offers a new concept in condensate trap design that permits condensate removal from AC or other condensing equipment while blocking airflow all year and requires only 2 7/8” height for positive 0-40” WC pressure. The trap can never “dry out” or freeze because it does not depend on water to seal, only fan pressure. The innovative PLP trap is the first AC condensate trap to use air pressure developed by the AC fans to prevent conditioned air from entering or leaving the unit. For a hundred years the P-Trap, a carryover from use on toilets and sinks, has been used on AC equipment to prevent air loss. Unlike the P-Trap, the PLP was designed specifically for HVAC equipment and does not require standing water to prevent air leakage. AC equipment produces condensate mostly during summer. The remainder of the year little or no condensate is produced, and the P-traps are dry most of that time. When they do have water, the bottom of the trap is prone to develop sludge and growth. The PLP operates dry when no condensate is being produced and uses a levered, horizontal pancake designed float-valve with a mechanical advantage about a pivot point. (Read more on page 30.)

Finalists: EffectiV HVAC, Inc. – PLAY-UV Adjustable UV Diffuser for High-Efficiency Filtration and Ventilation. (Read more on page 31.) TSI, Inc.- Q-Trak™ XP Indoor Air Quality Monitor. (Read more on page 31.) (Continued on page 32)

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Pressure of WC (inches)

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11 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

Better Ventilating Schools Is a Health Imperative Federal Funds Are Available for HVAC Upgrades By Brent McClure

Images of James Lick High School after undergoing a substantial renovation by CAW Architects, which included an upgraded HVAC system. Photography: James Lick High School Student Union Credit: Marco Zecchin

School HVAC ventilation systems form a key component to the health and wellness of students, as they occupy the classroom throughout the day. For schools that are already strapped for renovation funding, improving the HVAC systems often means the single, costliest item to upgrade on their campuses. Due to the high up-front cost, this can result in schools with aging and worn HVAC systems that aren’t necessarily up to the job with the cleanest air, let alone working to filter out airborne pathogens. Given that wholesale upgrades can be cost prohibitive, many school districts are replacing HVAC filters with higher efficiency filters, changing from an efficiency rating of a MERV 5 or even MERV 8, to upwards of a MERV 11 or MERV 13 (MERV, Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is the measurement standard for airborne filtration). At these higher filtration levels, HVAC systems can partially capture airborne pathogens, nearly replicating the performance of an N95 mask. At the highest levels, care must be given to ensure that the existing HVAC fans and controls will work with the higher levels of filtration. Replacing filters across an entire school district at one time can be costly. Some school districts are adjusting HVAC controls where possible, to increase the amount of outside air that is flushed into the building to double or triple the number of times the outside fresh air is completely cycled through the classroom. When districts are fortunate enough to have systems that can make these adjustments, these changes can be easily implemented without changing equipment. There are a few funding sources available to school districts to help offset a portion of these costs, including the CARES Act from the federal government passed in March 2020. Some districts have successfully utilized these funds for HVAC improvements. Additionally, California Assembly Bill 841 set aside $600 million for public school energy improvements, which also includes HVAC upgrades. These upgrades can focus both on energy savings as well as improved air quality and filtration within the classroom. Through both of these sources and a possible future statewide school bond, many districts can continue to work to get students back to the classroom safely.

Brent McClure is a partner at CAW Architects in Palo Alto, CA and can be reached at

12 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

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In addition to the high level of integration between HVAC, lighting, and security systems, building sustainability demands other technological and supporting elements that will endure over the long term. At Reliable Controls, we provide nine important elements to help you create true building sustainability—now and into the future. One of these elements demands the use of technology that minimizes waste over its life cycle. Today’s technology is often paired with a cavalier attitude about product life cycle. Vendors like Reliable Controls who are committed to sustainability understand that carefully engineered designs and meticulous component selection result in devices that endure for the long term. Reliable Controls provides comprehensive repair and responsible disposal services that extend your return on investment and minimize waste—even if our products have been in the field for decades. To learn more about the art of building sustainability please visit /TABS

14 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

With Glenn Good, Tishman Speyer

Property Managers Must Engage Far Beyond Their Own Buildings Participating in Industry Groups, Dialoguing with Government

Q: As general manager of 333 Bush Street, you are responsible for one of San Francisco’s tallest and most iconic, complex buildings. Because of COVID-19 and the consequent increase in working from home, there is much concern about the viability of dense central business districts like San Francisco, New York and Chicago. What’s your perspective? A: The concern is real. Retail tenants that depend on large numbers of employees and visitors are suffering exponentially. The good news is there is optimism with a new Administration in Washington and the continued roll-out of the vaccine. Q: You have taken on some leadership roles in San Francisco (president-elect of BOMA-SF and so on),

so do you have some views about how building management organizations can play a role in the revitalization of commercial real estate? A: It’s very important that commercial real estate firms as well as organizations, specifically BOMA San Francisco and BOMA California, get engaged at all levels in order to share our perspective on legislation and other important matters. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option. If we do not engage, commercial real estate as we know it will be negatively impacted. This means buildings will lose value and the jobs that are associated with it. Q: In what ways have building managers’ roles changed in response to the pandemic...and have we learned lessons (Continued on next page)

15 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

that will improve building management to meet tenants’ Q: How are buildings repurposing outdoor space and expectations? other common areas for tenant use? A: Building managers always wore multiple hats, however, A: This is a major emphasis of many buildings including now more than ever, they need to understand new health 333 Bush. Trinity Plaza, which is adjacent to 333 Bush, and safety requirements and develop is now a viable attraction to many plans to implement them. Tenants tenants. We have added tables are looking to building managers and chairs as well as heat lamps. to assure them that as they return, We’re also looking into portable “Building more it’s safe to do so. Building managstructures where tenants can dine than ever need to understand ers must also step up engagement and have meetings in an enclosed and connection with tenants in space. new health and safety requirethe virtual setting. People in genQ: How is the concept of eral feel alone and isolated, and ments and develop plans to healthy buildings evolving? this is an opportunity for building A: In a major way. Now more implement them.” managers to reach out and conthan ever, tenants are demandnect at all levels. At 333 Bush, we ing that buildings implement the hold a weekly virtual “Town Hall latest technological advances to meeting.” The tenants really like it. ensure that their experience is safe I provide an update on a variety of issues and tenants and healthy. As mentioned previously, HVAC is a major share and weigh in. They have mentioned how much emphasis. Touchless technology for elevators and restrooms they enjoy it. is being implemented. Centralized food and messenger Q: This issue of our magazine’s cover story is on how delivery is the protocol at 333 Bush. We’re limiting the better ventilation in large buildings can improve indoor number of visitors traversing the building. Recently, we air quality and reassure people it’s OK to return to work. obtained FITWEL-two stars and are exploring WELL What HVAC standards do you see as essential...and do certification. n most facilities owners have the resources to implement these? A: It’s essential that property managers do everything possible from a ventilation standpoint to provide tenants and visitors with assurance that working from a high-rise commercial building is safe. At 333 Bush we have installed MERV 15 rated filters, where MERV 13 is recommended. The engineers have increased the frequency of disinfecting the main air fans and coils and flushed and tested the domestic water system. Also, engineering is employing the use of outside air much more than previously. Q: Are you seeing that tenants are retrofitting their spaces to increase the likelihood that workers will return to offices? What are they doing? A: Yes and no. This isn’t a contradiction. Yes, tenants are re-configuring the layout of their spaces. However, major retrofitting is not taking place — yet. Tenants are returning but the numbers are not significant. This gives leadership teams time to think about how best to utilize their space going forward. We are seeing an increase interest in co-working space. At 333 Bush, Studio, Tishman Speyer’s version of co-working opened on March 1. We’re very excited about this and tenants like the idea of having another option to meet their employees’ needs.


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Simple Elevator Phone Self-Test Highlights Communications Gap and Ways to Improve On-Site Safety & Tenant Experience When you are entrapped in an elevator in California and need medical help, the last thing you want to hear from the person answering your emergency call is, “I’m in Connecticut and we don’t call 911.” Wait. What? This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about things to consider when choosing an elevator monitoring company. Yes, you can choose who monitors your elevator phone and there are many reasons why using the elevator company call center or answering the calls in house isn’t your best option. The reality is, the scenario described happens more often than you realize and is exactly what happened when we met with a couple of property managers in San Diego recently. Elevator Emergency Response Put to the Test One of them was familiar with and had recommended Kings III but since the other one was not; they decided to survey their property to “push buttons” and see what happened when they tried to call for help. It was not a comforting experience. Initially, they were appalled at how long it took to actually get someone to answer the call, (an average of three to five minutes, Kings III answers within seconds and code requires within 45 seconds) and from there, things went from bad to worse. Once they were connected they had to respond to a series of recorded prompts before being transferred to a live human. Unfortunately, once the operator answered she was not able to identify their location (also code required) and had no contact information for the building. When pressed as to what the operator would do if an entrapped passenger was having a heart attack and needed medical attention, they received the following response, “I’m in Connecticut and we don’t call 911.” Oh, and did I mention this was one of the major elevator company's call center answering? That was enough to reinforce the need for a change.

Paying More for Inadequate Response After testing a few more elevators and receiving similar responses, they were now concerned what would happen if someone were actually entrapped. Next, we sat down to review just how much this disappointment was costing them and that proved enlightening as well. We discovered each month they were paying just under $5,000 for all 12 buildings (29 phone lines) under their management and determined that with our cellular technology, Kings III could save them nearly $3,000/month. Regrettably, we hear similar stories from new customers across California as well as nationwide. Important to note: using Kings III does not negate your current elevator contract as elevator phones are not usually covered. This exercise also highlighted that two-way communication alone is inadequate and just because you have a working phone in your elevator doesn’t mean you’ll get the help you need. In addition to the potential reduction in your monthly expenses, Kings III can also help: Increase safety and reliability with calls being answered 24/7/365 in 175+ languages by our AEMD certified emergency dispatchers in our ETL Listed Central Station. Mitigate risk & liability exposure as all calls are digitally recorded with a date and time stamp, and made available to customers upon request. Manage tenant experience with dispatchers responding to callers with the utmost care, staying on the line until help arrives when requested and keeping you in the loop so that you have the opportunity to follow up after an incident.

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17 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

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18 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

Logistics Facilities Booming in California Due to Shopping Shifts & Pandemic-Driven E-Commerce Q&A with Jim Connor, Duke Realty chairman and CEO w 146,000-square-foot build-to-suit facility at 6450 Katella Q: The warehousingAvenue in Cypress, California was started in 2020 and distribution sector of pre-leased to a global e-commerce retailer commercial real estate is booming, especially in w 141,270-square-foot facility at 2256 Junction Avenue in California. Duke Realty owns San Jose, California was started in 2020 and is leased to a and manages more than 500 global e-commerce retailer facilities here and in other w 1,203,449-square-foot speculative development at 728 states, with more than 156 West Rider Street in Perris, California was started in 2020 million square feet. What’s and is slated for delivery in summer 2021 ahead for this sector in California, elsewhere? w 290,303-square-foot facility started in 2020 A: We are always actively developing in and currently under construction at the top 20 logistics markets in the 13344 S. Main Street in Los Angeles is U.S. Our highest priority has pre-leased to a major regional "We have made and continue and will continue to be in the beverage distributor high barrier coastal tier one w 120,609-square-foot speculato make significant investments in markets like Northern and tive development at 10415 8th California. In 2020, we completed Southern California. We Street in Rancho Cucamonga, currently have nine active 1.8 million square feet and started California was started in 2020 development projects ongoand is slated for delivery this another 2.3 million square feet ing in California. Seven in summer and is currently available of projects in California." Southern California and two in for lease Northern California. As of yearw 528,710-square-foot speculative end 2020, we have approximately development boasting more than $2 three million square feet of development million in smart building features at in the pipeline for Southern California and another 13131 Los Angeles Street in Irwindale, California was startapproximately one million square feet of development in the ed in 2020 is expected to be completed this fall and is curpipeline for Northern California. In 2021, Duke Realty plans rently available for lease to invest more than $300 million in development projects in w 146,068-square-foot facility at 13215 Cambridge Street California. in Santa Fe Springs, California was started in 2020 and is Q: Any major new projects in California? expected to be completed this summer and is available for lease A: We have made and continue to make significant investments in California. In 2020, we completed 1.8 million w 209,252-square-foot facility at 48401 Fremont Boulevard square feet and started another 2.3 million square feet of in the Silicon Valley market of Northern California is curprojects in California. Additionally, another 1.5 million rently under redevelopment and available for lease square feet of developments were started in 2019 and Q: Will the “Work From Home” shift require new remain under construction during 2020. logistics strategies? Duke Realty’s 2020 activity in California includes: A: Yes, the shift will continue to expand the trends we’ve w 1,008,646-square-foot facility at 4375 North Perris been seeing over the past year. People working from home Boulevard in the Inland Empire East submarket of Southern will likely not be going out for coffee, lunch or other work California was delivered in 2020 and is fully leased to a and commuting related activities. More food (prepared and global e-commerce retailer groceries), office supplies, home goods products, etc. will be w 800,218-square-foot facility at 4501 Patterson Avenue in delivered to consumer homes. People will continue to spend Perris, California was delivered in 2020 and is fully leased to more money on their homes as they spend more time there. a global e-commerce retailer (Continued on page 26)

20 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

Can We Retrofit Hotels, Offices Into Housing Units? Conversions Could Help Alleviate California’s Housing Shortage By Bob Eaton One of the many unintended consequences of the pandemic may be a catalyst that helps solve California’s severe housing shortage, if we convert much less-used hotels, offices and retail facilities into multifamily uses. But the process can be challenging. In real estate, there are always winners and losers that will shape the future. Hotel use—especially for business and convention use—

worker, so many commercial tenants will still require their pre-COVID footprint, even with many remote workers not coming back to the office. That said, there are examples of conversions in downtown Los Angeles and even in San Francisco, such as the successful conversion of an office building to elegant condo units at the corner of Pine and Sansome Streets in the middle of the Financial District. One analyst for a major national commercial real estate firm candidly remarked, “We have been looking at conversions on the affordable housing team, and the firm in general has been looking at opportunities across our markets. There are at least two buckets of potential conCould some downtown hotels and office towers become apartments and condos? versions—hotel and will be minimal for the foreseeable future, and the workoffice— and I’d add a third, which is retail. My impression from-home phenomenon has hollowed out many office is that it’s hard but not impossible to do these conversions, buildings. This is likely when more and more companies and the keys are keeping your basis down on the existing like Salesforce announce many of their workers don’t need building as conversion is expensive and having a site with to come into work. relatively flexible land use.” Which type of facilities are likeliest to become multiHotels Are the Easiest Facilities to family? Because of their room architecture with plumbing Convert to Housing and windows already installed, hotels would be easier and Hotels face much more dire financial challenges. less costly to convert to studio units than office buildings, Pre-pandemic hotels were valued such that considering a especially those with massive floorplates and high ceilings. residential conversion or change of use would not make It would be much costlier to install windows, plumbing, sense. The owner could likely get more value or price from electrical and other apartment or condo features in office a hotel investor as opposed to a developer looking for a towers with large floorplates, but facilities designed for change of use. In addition, the developer would have to smaller offices are more feasible. Also, some firms have factor in significant conversion costs. Now the tables may considered installing prefabricated units as a solution to be turning. There is similar stress in the commercial office turning office floorplates into affordable or even market-rate market. housing units. Prefab multifamily construction has been Most hotel industry prognosticators are suggesting gaining popularity in recent years. that the return of travelers to 2019 levels could happen in Meantime, most commercial buildings are still collecting three to four years. In fact, all hotel appraisals done in the rent, so there is much less impetus to perform conversions. pandemic are being done based on a discounted cash flow And companies will require much larger square foot-per model that anticipates that recovery scenario. Most hotel Photo: Adobe Stock.

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21 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

owners in 2020 suffered the loss of top line revenue and resultant non-existent income. In most hotels, income was not available to service the hotel’s mortgage debt, and the year was spent dealing with their lenders in establishing a pause-mechanism or forbearance agreements to deal with these unexpected shortfalls. According to Fitch Ratings, almost 20% of hotels loans are in default vs. 2% typically during pre-pandemic times. In the near term, there is no guarantee the market’s demand segments will come back or to what extent. When will business travelers return? When will large conventions and trade shows return? When will international and domestic tourism return? Given this new and different world, there are no guarantees. As a result, hotel values today are likely diminished by a factor of 25% to 50%. In this unique environment there may be opportunities for conversion to residential use, which demand appears to remain strong. There are several factors that need to align for this conversion to take place including: w Public Policy: This conversion process will involve a formal application for a change of use with the local government. Hotels have been popular with cities because they provide an attractive “Transient Occupancy Tax” directly to the local government. How will the cities react to the requests? Will they want to fill the needs for workforce housing? How will property tax assessments be affected? Will powerful labor unions in some major cities resist job losses among hospitality workers? w Feasibility: Generalities will not be enough. Specific hotels, with specific characteristics will need to be studied. Each will have conversion costs that may involve combining typical guest rooms into a residential suite. w Transactional Issues: Will the existing hotel ownership and their lenders allow the developer to undertake the process, which will likely take more time than a typical sale? How will brand, management and franchise relationships be handled? Will the property need to be sub-divided for sale or will it be a multi-family apartment? What will happen to advance bookings? This process is already beginning in many locations across the country. The conversions are happening in a wide variety of building configurations and are driven by local market conditions. Many of the conversions have been undertaken by municipal and state governments with federal grant money for homeless housing. In Dan Lessor’s LW Hospitality Advisors “Select Major U.S. Hotel Sales Survey for 2020,” it was reported that in the 4th Quarter of 2020, there were 10 major transactions involving hotel conversions to some residential use. These sales represented approximately $350M in total investment and about 1,500 hotel rooms. The majority were in California and most were purchased for homeless services by county governments.

Three of the sales were to residential developers outside California. Residential developers are increasingly active in pursuit of hotel inventory on the market. There appears to be trend emerging with public agencies acquiring hotels for homeless housing but also private developers converting hotels to a residential use. It will be interesting to watch in 2021 to see if this continues. Retail, many observe, is much less likely to experience a return than office and hotel sectors. Online shopping has steadily eroded in-store shopping and malls have become virtual ghost towns. Stores do not easily lend themselves to home conversions, but the real estate locations of strip centers and malls are ideal for land re-use, if local approvals are possible. In summary, the prospects look good for conversions when hotels are less valuable, and cities may find it a worthwhile trade off on the economic side to expand affordable housing. This is truer particularly in high barrier markets and their corresponding need for affordable work-force housing. Office retrofits are less likely, but retail centers are quite feasible, though they would usually requite wholesale reconstruction.

Eaton is a West Coast hotel and commercial real estate broker and can be reached at

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22 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

Association News

California: #1 in LEED Professionals Six Other States Better in Certifications in Per Capita SF California is #1 in the nation for LEED green building representing offices, education and healthcare facilities. professionals, according to a new ranking released today “If we are to rebuild an economy that supports our from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The state health and our planet, we must lead with changing the way is home to nearly 27,000 workers, a notable workforce that we design and build,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president will be critical in supporting the state and companies workand CEO of USGBC. “Last year was a stark reminder that ing toward ESG and climate commitments. the quality of our buildings impacts the quality of our life. Buildings are responsible to roughly 25% of the Looking ahead, people want to trust that the spaces they state’s emissions. According to USGBC, occupy are good for them and their “In order for the state to meet 2030 communities, and LEED has always and 2050 climate targets, greener been a tool to support those goals. “If we are to rebuild an economy that buildings must be a priority and Now is the time to ensure that supports our health and our planet, the state has a workforce with the every building is LEED certiknowledge and skills needed to fied as that is the only way we we must lead with changing the way get there.” are accomplishing our goals of we design and build. Last year was a LEED is the world’s most access to healthy, green buildings, stark reminder that the quality of our widely used green building prohomes and spaces.” buildings impacts the quality of our gram and was created by USGBC The ranking is based on gross to set standards and define best square feet of certified space per life." — Mahesh Ramanujam, USGBC. practices for high-performing, person using 2010 U.S. Census healthy, green buildings. The top data and includes commercial states in 2020 certified a remarkable and institutional projects certified 1,171 projects with more than 60% in 2020. The top seven rankings for 2020 are as follows: Massachusetts, Washington, Illinois, Colorado, New York, Maryland and California. Your commercial Buildings account for an estimated 39% of total U.S. IPM/Green/LEED specialists energy consumption and transitioning these spaces to be more sustainable is key to climate action. The global green building community is continually improving LEED to ensure it helps buildings, communities and cities to be more sustainable, healthy, resilient and equitable. LEED provides a framework for designing, constructing and operating Serving commercial property buildings that are cost-effective, reduce carbon, use fewer managers throughout the resources and support human health. In 2020, LEED green building was not limited to a single Greater Bay Area...since 1930 part of the country and reflects progress across east, west, NPMA GreenPro Certified south and midwest regions. Of note is that nearly 50% of projects in the top 10 states achieved LEED Gold, one of the highest levels of certification, indicating a commitment to high performance. While offices, education and healthcare accounted for a majority of certifications in the top 10 states, warehouses, distribution centers, multifamily housing and retail projects represented almost 20%. LEED can be used by virtually any building type and has been adopted across industries to sup415-922-1666 • 510-536-1222 port corporate sustainability and ESG commitments, as well 408-295-3333 • 800-592-7777 as by the public sector. President Biden recently signed an executive order around greening the federal government’s own footprint, which includes its buildings.

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23 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

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California Facility Managers Win Major IFMA Award The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation announced the winners of the 2020 Awards of Excellence at the IFMA World Workplace Conference and Expo Virtual Experience. “Each year, the IFMA Foundation recognizes individuals, teams, corporate partners and community programs that answer the call to make a difference,” said Joe Archie, IFMA Foundation Chair. “We all have the power to light the way for future Facility Management (FM) leaders. These individuals and groups are passionate about sustaining the FM profession and making FM a career of choice. They are shining examples of innovation and collaboration in support of the aims of the Foundation.” A number of Californians were recognized. Global Workforce Initiative (GWI) Industry Partner Team Collaboration Awards went to Lynn Baez, Google; Belinda Leung, Cushman & Wakefield; Elise Goetzl, Cushman & Wakefield; Kristyn Kerr, Cushman &

Wakefield; Jonathan Bissell, San Mateo County Community College District Corporate Training Solutions. Also, Los Angeles area’s Diane Coles Levine was named an IFMA Fellow. As chair of the IFMA Foundation, she and her team created the GWI. Together with industry partners, the IFMA Foundation’s GWI is providing jobs for new entrees and incumbent workers. Working with Google, Cushman and Wakefield and the IFMA Foundation, the San Mateo County Community College District Corporate Training Solutions (CCCE) created a customized education program that resulted in staff promotions and increased productivity in the facility department. A win-win for all involved, the Facility Management Contract Education program at Google and Cushman & Wakefield is an example of how a leading company can support FM skills development internally to provide career pathways for employees.

24 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

Association News

BOMA International Adds Its Weight to California Issues California was a major topic at the Winter Business Meeting of the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) in January, as the organization celebrated its $100,000 PAC help in defeating the onerous $11 billion Proposition 15 tax hike proposal on last fall’s ballot. Passage would have put a further drag on the world’s fifth largest economy. It was a big win for the state’s eight energetic local BOMA organizations and the overall commercial real estate sector. With only a 52% “no” vote, the tax hike came uncomfortably close to passage. BOMA has also pooled resources of its global membership and, with Washington staff's help, produced many documents and tools to help managers and owners better secure their facilities against the numerous challenges they face as the result of the pandemic. These can be accessed at Yet even as the industry struggles to cope and reopen, many issues remain at the federal, state and local levels, chief among them a proposal for a national-level legal liability shield to protect the industry against law-

suits arising from the pandemic for buildings that follow strict protective protocols. BOMA is also asking Congress to develop more reasonable business interruption laws stemming from building restrictions designed to limit infections. There are also many tax, ADA and OSHA issues at the federal and state level that BOMA is monitoring and providing industry input to lawmakers and regulators. A survey of concerns expressed by 47 local BOMAs showed that many issues are very troubling, the biggest being crime and safety within buildings, which rose from 29% a year before the pandemic to a whopping 77% in the latest canvas. Other top concerns are homelessness, service and so-called “comfort” animals, dockless bikes, drones, parking and people who bring firearms into buildings. A number of those who spoke at the virtual conference expressed concerns about the inadequate vaccine roll-out that is stalling reentry into commercial and public buildings—and hence the economy. For details on specific BOMA activities, visit

Synthesizing ideas and industries for a new world of work The workplace is changing dramatically. In the future-offacilities conversation, FM is the central character; but in a post-COVID world, every built environment industry has a part to play. Let’s talk about each performer’s role and how FM can lead this important cast in reimagining work and the workplace.

26 California Buildings News • Q1 2021


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We’ll see more home improvement, restorations and expansions as well and refurnishing and redecorating. All of these trends will drive more business for many of our tenants increasing the need for more modern logistics space. Let’s not forget that it was stay-at-home mandates and travel restrictions that led to the e-commerce industry’s unprecedented growth sparking increased demand for warehouse and logistics space. Our investments in the top-performing markets and infill last-mile facilities helped accommodate customer needs and fueled our outstanding operating results for the year.

Q: As the economy morphs due to COVID-19 and the long-range changes it will produce, how do you see commercial real estate spaces changing? A: While we all hope that the pandemic will come to an end in 2021, we do not see the demand for well-located high-quality logistics space waning anytime soon. Customer and market share gained by e-commerce companies will not be lost. In addition to the ever-expanding e-commerce industry, other drivers continue to positively impact the industrial real estate industry. Safety stock is the need for expanded inventory for major U.S. retailers and consumer products companies and is anticipated to drive in excess of 500 million square feet of growth in the next few years. Reverse logistics is the business of effectively and efficiently handling e-commerce returns. As long as the e-commerce industry continues to grow, the need for reverse logistics space will also grow. Additionally, reshoring or near-shoring of U.S. manufacturing operations will create more new distribution channels throughout the U.S. markets. Finally, all retailers and consumer products companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade their logistics facilities and supply chain network across the country. The need to get more products to consumers in a 24- to 48-hour window is driving the need for larger, state-of-the-art facilities. Q: Do you foresee repurposing facility types that are less needed after COVID (such as office towers, malls, hotels) for use as warehouses or last-mile distribution centers? A: Duke Realty has razed or repurposed all types of facilities for the development of logistics facilities. Redevelopment has been and will continue to be a major portion of our development business. Over the last few years, we have razed or repurposed, office buildings, retail centers, self-storage facilities and countless functionally-obsolete industrial facilities and environmentally-contaminated sites. Q: Some futurists imagine that vertical agriculture will occur in tall buildings in city centers? Is that realistic and does Duke Realty see that in your future?

A: One thing we learned in 2020 is that anything is possible. While vertical agriculture could be a possibility, our primary focus is on logistics space within the industrial sector. The industrial sector growth we expect to see in the U.S. markets will generally follow the population. Our space is there to serve the consumers in the U.S. and, as such, any markets where you see growth will create opportunities for Duke Realty.

Q: Are state and local governments working to accommodate — or impede — development in your sector? How can they be a better partner? A: Duke Realty has highly-qualified leasing and development representatives that maintain strong, trusting relationships with local government officials. We work closely with state and local government officials to ensure our projects provide economic development opportunities and comply with regulatory requirements. Also, at Duke Realty we realize the impact we have on the communities we serve and the world in which we live. Duke Realty is committed to thoughtful, sustainable practices — something the government officials we work with appreciate. Q: In what ways can the new Biden administration and the Democratic Congress facilitate necessary changes in facility alignment? A: There are many things on the new administration’s agenda that could be helpful to our industry as a whole. We’ve been discussing a new infrastructure bill for several years now. Improvements to and investments in our nation’s roads, highways, bridges, ports and airports would be very helpful to our industry. This seems to be a priority for President Biden’s administration. Q: Are you experiencing materials and labor shortages that limit your growth? If so, what can be done? A: We are seeing steel pricing and deliveries impact our projects. Extended deliveries, in some instances as much as eight weeks, negatively impact our construction schedules more than price increases. The lack or shortage of skilled labor has been an issue for the last several years. Most markets that are seeing growth are also seeing a shortage of skilled tradesmen needed to build our projects. Our clients are also seeing labor shortages in many areas of the country. A large e-commerce facility could employ several thousand workers. Q: What new markets does Duke foresee? A: We operate in the top 20 U.S. markets. While some markets are growing faster than others, we are experiencing success with these markets and are not anticipating expanding into any new markets in 2021. We are always monitoring new and expanding markets across the nation and will continue to do so. n

Association News

27 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

For our members, for our industry, for our communities. The Carpenters Union works with signatory construction, mill-cabinet and installation contractors to keep our jobs safe and to keep our industry moving forward. Joaquin Galindo and Eriberto Bolanos, Carpenters Mill-Cabinet Local 2236, complete a custom-built cabinet at US Millwork Mission Bell in Morgan Hill.

California Projects Get Concrete Recognition Several California projects were recognized internationally by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. “Once again, the precast concrete industry has put its best foot forward and has delivered many inspiring and impressive projects,” said PCI President and CEO Bob Risser. “Each year, the PCI Design Awards program demonstrates that precast concrete is not only a practical solution to many construction challenges, but also a head-turning aesthetic solution.”

The PCI Design Awards have showcased and recognized the creative and innovative use of precast concrete for the past 58 years. A panel of industry experts that includes engineers, architects, and precast concrete producers judges all nominees. The buildings and transportation categories are judged on aesthetic, structural, and use versatility; site, energy and operational efficiency, and risk reduction; and resiliency, such as structure durability, multi-hazard protection, and life safety and health.

California Award Winners Sustainable Design Award County Administration South – Building 16, Santa Ana, CA Willis Construction Inc. All-Precast Concrete Solution Award Escondido Village Graduate Residences, Palo Alto, CA. Clark Pacific Theater Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles, CA Willis Construction Inc.

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New Projects Los Angeles New Tiny House Village Is Model for Homeless Design Pre-Fab Sourcing and Pleasant Features The Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village, designed by Lehrer Architects and the Bureau of Engineering (Engineering) for the City of Los Angeles, opened to its first residents in February in North Hollywood. This innovative community project offers an aggressive, appropriately experimental and timely template for improving Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis by transforming a forgotten, oddly shaped infill lot into a 39 one-or-two-person/unit facility for unhoused Angelenos using prefabricated “pallet shelters.” Lehrer Architects was tasked to take Engineering’s design blueprint begun and create a humane and welcoming environment for the home’s residents. In projects like these design matters, both to uplift residents and to respectfully complete and enhance the neighborhood serving to inspire pride for these projects in a local community. Working in conjunction with multiple city agencies led directly by Engineering and Ford Construction, Lehrer Architects LA designed a plan of spatial character, colorful details, and logistical efficiency to create a model community space with a level of design sensibility and beauty not often seen in these types of projects. Gary Lee Moore, City Engineer and General Manager of the Bureau of Engineering says, “As the lead department in the planning, design and construction of temporary homeless housing for the City of Los Angeles, the Bureau of Engineering was able to use our extensive experience to make the new, tiny home concept a reality. We were able to overcome numerous challenges in this first-of-its-kind facility, coordinate with numerous other departments and deliver the facility in record time. We are extremely proud of our work on the Chandler Tiny Home Village, which not only gives shelter to those in need, but provides a sense of community and dignity for the residents.” Designed and built in record time, just 13 weeks, this project is one of the centerpieces of the City’s emergency response to getting people into safe and healthy “bridge” shelter en route to permanent housing. This is a beta project for Los Angeles, meaning it is new to the City and its unique requirements. It has already taught many lessons to expedite and reduce the costs of subsequent projects, as it embodies the City’s commitment to restoring houseless people’s lives by providing them with housing. Tiny homes up close and aerial view. Photos courtesy of Lehrer Architects. Aerial photo by Steven Katz, SkyLadder.

The Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home was constructed on an awkwardly shaped, leftover infill site that could have been easily looked over, if it weren’t for hawkeyed City officials looking to find land to create bridge homes. (See aerial view above.) This particular solution, using pallet shelters instead of large trailers, opens up a flurry of sites across the city previously deemed unviable for development as their size allows for them to be configured into a variety of different shapes. These 8x8’ Pallet Homes are swift to assemble, provide private, autonomous conditioned space for the people who live in them, and, like pixels fitting an odd shape, they add real value to a heretofore underused property. The team had to implement essential infrastructure to prepare the lot for use. “The biggest cost contributors were the new 550’ long sewer line extension, protective barriers for pedestrians, leveling the street for ADA due to lack of sidewalks, and adding a fire lane throughout the entire site, but this upfront investment means that the site is now developed in perpetuity, so will continue to serve the city after it has completed serving the houseless residents,” says Nerin Kadribegovic, partner at Lehrer Architects. The architects brought the functional space to life with low-cost design details like modernist paint highlights to create ample visual variety, delight and sense of community. Color is used on the ground areas to enhance the individuality of the trailers while creating a coherent sense of a village and the visually stimulating and uplifting effect of a threedimensional painting.

29 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

New MarinHealth Facility Achieves Biophilic, Patient-Centric Goals The new state-of-the-art MarinHealth Medical Center Oak Pavilion was designed by Perkins Eastman and assisted by IA Interior Architects. The replacement building, designed to conjoin with the existing West Wing building, deinstitutionalizes design within the medical environment, celebrates biophilic design, significantly reduces energy use, and captures a sense of place in the Greenbrae town of Marin County. A team led by Perkins Eastman Principal Jason Haim designed a replacement facility for what was formerly known as Marin General Hospital, which dated from 1952. The new $315 million, 265,000 square foot facility includes 115 private patient rooms, six operating rooms/interventional suites, new radiology and imaging services, a larger emergency department, and a larger trauma center than the original facility. Energy-efficient MarinHealth, also known as the Oak Pavilion, now meets the highest level of California’s seismic safety standards as well. “Working with Perkins Eastman to bring the dream of MarinHealth to reality has been an exceptional partnership. Jason Haim and his team understood our needs and desires from the beginning and have worked tirelessly to bring them to life,” says David Klein, MD, chief executive officer of MarinHealth. Haim adds, “I appreciate the openness of the District Board and Medical Center Leadership, with the Marin Community in mind, to pursue a hospital that focused not only on patients and their families, but also staff. We spent substantial time working to soften details so that hospital operations wouldn’t drive your senses. Instead, we provide the ability to connect with the exterior and the beauty Marin has to offer that can assist with everyone’s wellness within the building. This project is a highlight for me personally, and the culmination of 25 years of work in this industry. My hope is that its concepts help shape future hospitals going forward.” Haim and his team consciously strived to create calm and comfortable environments, rather than the cold and sterile institutional spaces that dominate typical hospitals. They rigorously examined every component that might contribute to a clinical feel, including technical equipment, monitors, and safety devices. While maintaining the essentials for a hospital, Perkins Eastman found ways to relocate vents, lights, and antennae. The team minimized features such as medical gas alarms and various emergency and safety panels, while ensuring that all the elements required by code to be visible were thoughtfully placed. Perkins Eastman even modified the structural system to minimize columns, thus creating clean, open sight lines. Understanding how design directly relates to a patient's wellness and healing was critical to creating a seamless patient experience. Recognizing the restorative benefits of biophilic design and the exceptional site of the facility—which includes views of Mount Tamalpais, the highest peak in Marin County, overlooks the lush wetlands of Corte Madera Creek, and borders an adjacent 27-acre park—the team went to work. Top photo: MarinHealth Entrance. Lower photo: nurses' station. Photography by Tim Griffin. Courtesy of Perkins Eastman.

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HVAC Solutions

Des Champs Air-Trap Eliminates Air Leakage from AC Units During the Entire Year The Des Champs Air-Trap™ essentially eliminates air leakage from AC units during the entire year as opposed to P-traps that pass air most of the year. The Air-Trap is predesigned and comes in five styles to fit blow-through and draw-through equipment and pipe sizes from ¾ to 1½ inches. In most cases the height required is less than ½ that of a P-trap and requires no water seal because the Air-Trap uses pressure from the fan to seal against air leakage. Learn more at: and

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The Reliable Controls® MACHProViewTM LCD is a powerful BACnet Building Controller (B-BC) and BACnet Operator Display (B-OD) which provides a fully customizable, high-resolution graphical user interface called EQUIPMENTview. This freely programmable, touch-screen controller also features six universal inputs and outputs and communicates on industry standard topologies such as Ethernet, Power over Ethernet, Wi-Fi and EIA-485, using BACnet and Modbus protocols. In addition to temperature, the MACH-ProView LCD supports occupancy, humidity, CO2 and VOC sensing. Visit

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Expand Your Indoor Air Quality Investigations with TSI's Q-Trak XP Indoor Air Quality Monitor Having a multiparameter IAQ instrument that can be configured, customized and expanded to monitor and maintain optimal indoor air quality is important. With the new Q-Trak™ XP Indoor Air Quality Monitor, you can measure up to 20 IAQ measurements simultaneously, up to six gases, and more. To learn more, visit

Dynamic V8 Air Cleaning System: Improve Air Quality AND Reduce Operating Costs The Dynamic V8 Air Cleaning System offers MERV15 performance using 2/3 less fan energy than conventional MERV14 filters. The system removes airborne pathogens, odors, VOCs, and ultrafine particles from recirc indoor air and/or outdoor ventilation air without Ozone. The Dynamic V8 also offers maintenance intervals measured in YEARS instead of months. Low static pressure makes it ideal for retrofits. Find a rep near you at and ask for a free Life Cycle Cost Analysis.

EffectiV HVAC's UV Diffusers Act as a Shield, Removing Pathogens and Allergens from Ventilation System's Air UV Diffusers act as a shield removing pathogens and allergens from the ventilation system’s air, right before it enters the room. This is done to prevent the spread of airborne diseases between rooms because of recycled air. UV Diffusers combine UV-C air disinfection, filtration and improved air mixing, to provide safe and clean air everywhere in the room. They disinfect the recirculated air from microbes with an efficiency up to 100%, which makes it unnecessary

Above left: UV diffusers in ceiling. Right: UVC lights in UV diffuser.

to increase the percentage of outdoor air—saving building owners a lot of energy. UV Diffusers add very little resistance to the system, making them compatible with existing buildings. They can be installed in the whole building, or by tenants in their own space. The subtle blue glow is reassuring for employees and customers, who can see that the air they are breathing is purified, and that the system is functioning. To learn more, visit

32 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

AHR Winners


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Green Building Winner: Advanced Cooling Technologies Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger Innovation: Advanced Cooling Technologies’ Pump Assisted AAHX recovers energy from either the exhaust or supply air stream during all seasons, allowing AHUs to consume less energy. It works by combining traditional air-to-air heat pipe technology with pumped two-phase systems that take advantage of both operational modes. In passive mode, which activates when the warmer air stream is physically below the cooler air stream, the heat exchanger operates as a heat pipe with no electrical input required. When the seasons change and the relative temperature of the two air streams is reversed, a small pump is utilized to maintain the transfer of energy. Since the method of heat transfer inside of the heat exchanger utilizes the latent heat of the working fluid, the amount of flow rate required to transfer larger amounts of energy is a fraction of an equivalent glycol loop. n

Ventilation in Existing Buildings

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ture scanning, upgrading HVAC units, and strictly implementing local and state government protocol updates every day.

Getting Used to It It hasn’t always been easy. Workers at Mission Bell report early difficulty “getting used to it — the masks, safety glasses fogging up, the distancing,” says Shop Foreman James Ganez, “but now, it’s just part of doing the job. We know how to adapt.” The hardest thing, though, is that the members here are experiencing the same things as everyone else — not being seeing family members, watching friends and neighbors getting sick or losing their jobs, being isolated, not being able to help parents, or even visit them. Having kids stuck at home is particularly hard. “My kids are learning to stay away from people,” said Michael Mercado, a union member at Mission Bell. With all the difficulty though, carpenters throughout Northern California keep on keeping on. “We adapt,” said Nick Ivashkevich, a foreman for Arntz Construction at a San Francisco high school remodeling job. “We know how to work with moving goal posts.” Dan Foley, one of Mission Bell’s finish carpenters, summed it up: “I want to congratulate everyone here for caring about the person working next to them. It’s made us more united as a group, better workers, better union members, better human beings.” n

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they want and, in this case, it is far from that simple. However you can snap your fingers and get people to: wash their hands, use sanitizer, wear a mask, practice distancing and stay home if you are sick. Certainly, the latter is easier and more effective in the short term.

How Existing Systems Can Be Improved

Things we can do in existing systems and buildings are: use more outside air if available by system design, clean and maintain the system components in the air stream, use high MERV filtration (MERV 13+) and replace filters more frequently, consider alternate air treatments like UVC and Bi-polar ions in the air stream, design space with upper level UV systems or bi-polar systems to treat air locally. All of these measures contribute to a reduction of viral or bacterial contaminates. Another strategy tenants are considering as they reoccupy is the use of localized HEPA fans (with or without the addition of UVC or Bi-polar) within their premises to enhance the filtering of air up close and

personal to the employees to have a greater affirmative impact within the space. Arguably the better approach right now, is as discussed in the above paragraph, wash hands, use sanitizer, wear a mask, practice distancing and stay home if you are sick. Certainly, the latter is easier and more effective in the short term. When vaccines come and herd immunity is achieved, these practices will still make better sense for a healthier public, if for no other reason than getting through the cold and flu season each year. More frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the space is also a good daily practice that can be done now. Also working remotely when you are sick is a good business solution for both employer and employee. We are learning a lot during COVID times and using these lessons going forward are the better way to assure a safer workspace for the space users. Murtagh is vice president of engineering of Boston Properties at Four Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.


33 California Buildings News • Q1 2021

Help Stop the Spread: Anti-Microbial Elevator Interiors Dallas/Fort Worth-based custom elevator cab manufacturer, Eklund’s, Inc., has launched a new product offering, CabShield™, to mitigate disease transmission inside elevators. CabShield helps keep passengers safe from pathogens by continuously disinfecting the space. CabShield targets airborne and surface-dwelling pathogens inside elevators via UV light and advanced air filtration. Available exclusively as an upgrade option for cab interior projects, the anti-microbial components are seamlessly integrated into design plans during engineering. For more info about CabShield, visit cabshield or contact us at

Kings III's Emergency Monitoring Reduces Risk and Mitigates Liability Exposure Elevator malfunctions are inevitable. Entrapments coupled with health emergencies and a wide spectrum of passenger reactions can quickly become an ongoing headache. Kings III helps you reduce risk and mitigate liability exposure via its class leading emergency monitoring for help phones in elevators, stairwells, parking structures and more. Its concierge level service helps you manage tenant experience, while also reducing your risk and liability with value-added benefits not common in the monitoring space. For more information, visit

Skyfold Electric Operable Walls Are a Premium Space Management Solution Skyfold® is your premium space management solution. These fully electric operable walls divide or expand spaces within minutes and store in the ceiling to maximize floor space. With a simple keypad operation, a room can be quickly and quietly reconfigured to provide the user with tremendous space flexibility. When in place, the Skyfold wall is both an acoustic barrier with the highest STC ratings in the industry and a customizable design piece. Learn more at

Starline’s Track Busway a Flexible Solution Starline’s revolutionary overhead Track Busway system combines the flexibility of track lighting with the ability to power other equipment— all from one power supply. Available from 40 to 1200 amps, Starline Track Busway systems provide unlimited access points for an entire spectrum of lighting fixtures. A versatile selection of plug-in units can be employed in any configuration and allow for quick relocation of electrical access points to support changes to your facility layout. Learn more at

34 California Buildings News • Q1 2021


PAC-CLAD | Petersen NEW Precision Series Box Rib Panels Mobile Storage Solutions Every project has its own unique challenges, and keeping tools and equipment organized is just one of the many important aspects of a well-managed job site. National Construction Rentals offers mobile storage containers in many sizes, so additional room is never an issue. Whether it’s 10, 20 or 40 feet in length, every unit offers the maximum in usable space. For additional information, call 800-352-5675 or visit today.

Clean Air GOLD Certified Membrane Abates Sound

PAC-CLAD Precision Series architectural wall panel systems are available in four NEW box rib profiles. These panels offer design flexibility, bold visual effects and easy, costeffective installation. They can be installed horizontally or vertically and intermixed with other Precision Series panels. Box Rib panels come in 46 standard colors with a 30-year finish warranty (most meet LEED®, ENERGY STAR® and Cool Roof certification). For Petersen’s full product line, visit

Krieger Specialty Products' Door & Window Products Since 1936, Krieger Specialty Products has been a leading manufacturer of specialized door and window products for acoustical, blast resistant, bullet resistant, radio frequency shielding, thermal shielding, tornado, and hurricane applications. Built to your precise specifications, Krieger doors and windows have been the choice for premier buildings in California and throughout the world. Learn more at or call 562-695-0645.

Super SAM® 125 has been certified Clean Air GOLD, conforming to the CDPH Standard Method v1.2 for private office and classroom, verifying no VOCs. The peel and stick sound abatement membrane is specifically designed to reduce airborne (STC) and impact (IIC) sound transmission under tile, stone, marble and other hard surface flooring. Super SAM, which already complies with Prop 65, can be installed over concrete or wood substrates. Super SAM is the perfect solution for apartments, condominiums, multi-level hotels, high-rise office buildings, schools and other areas needing sound reduction. Visit for more information.

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