Design & Operation of Office, Multifamily, Hospitality, Medical and Government Facilities
Q1 2022 • $5
CRE Developers Plan California Renaissance Major Comeback as the Pandemic Wanes
Special Features... t HVAC Innovations and Building Health t Future-Proofing for Renewable Grid t Office Amenities: A Tool for Wellbeing
Diversity Improves Teams' Success
t Multifamily Design in Pandemic Era
Leveraging Tech Empowers Seniors
California's CRE Renaissance
Back to the Office!
... or the Hotel or BBQ Pit
AHR Winners: HVAC Innovations
The Wall Street Journal’s new regular feature “The Future of Everything” has been reporting various aspects of the pandemic’s impact on work. The prominent business paper is especially concerned with workplace issues and reports practices all over the U.S. and other advanced nations. Naturally the editors care about how COVID affects the vitally important commercial real estate sector. Most of its reports cite the many flexible workplace strategies that we are seeing in trendsetting California. A recent report focused on “off-site” meetings and suggested that they are becoming much more frequent than annual meetups in the past and are now a regular feature of businesses across the spectrum. Many firms that have reduced their previous office footprint are using hotels, resorts or even backyard barbecues for off-site meetings. Importantly, these are designed to promote human interaction both formal and informal and to establish corporate brands and to deal with the loneliness of those who work mostly from home. With the impact of the virus easing somewhat, workers can more safely begin returning to the office workplace at least some days of the week or month, while also adjusting to appropriate numbers of workfrom-home days. Call it the “new normal” or whatever, but hybrid work (including work at off-site venues on occasion) is here to stay for some time. So, let’s figure out how to make every type of workplace safer, more accessible and more productively enjoyable. Knock Down Some Walls, Add Couches Do useful communications between people flow more smoothly across from each other in a conference room or in a living room-style setting with sofas and easy chairs next to a few plants, maybe sipping coffee, a juice or sometimes a glass of wine? Office redesign is surely in the future at most locations, and since real estate is a very minor cost for most organizations, many companies will need to lease about the same amount of square feet in order to provide the space needed for healthier distancing and more casual settings. The result will likely be more profitable for the company, assuming that happy and engaged workers are more effective. A pleasant environment is also likelier to draw in work-from-home people a few times a week or month. So contact a local architectural firm with relevant experience and get some ideas that would work for your space. It might even turn out to be fun to come to work on occasion. — Henry Eason Photo: Adobe Stock
Future-Proofing & Renewable Grid
Pandemic Era Multifamily Design
New California Projects
Association News: AIA, BOMA, CAA, USGBC-LA
Office Amenities and Wellbeing
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California Buildings Team Henry Eason, Editor email@example.com Ellen Eason, Publisher & Associate Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Editors Ken Cleaveland, Public Affairs Advocate Bob Eaton, Roberts Hospitality 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
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www.cabuildingsnews.com Copyright © 2022 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 image credits – Main image: Binyan. Courtesy of the Port of San Francisco. Office lounge: SmithGroup, Copyright Connie Zhou. Firepit: Photo: Sarah Mechling, Copyright Perkins Eastman.
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4 California Buildings • Q1 2022
Leveraging Technology to Empower Elders in Senior Housing Communities By Tammy Ng
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges for senior living communities, but has signaled the widespread adoption of technology to assist with resident communication and engagement. During the initial phases of the pandemic, the use of technology to promote the health of residents in senior housing was at the forefront. While this is still heavily prevalent amongst architects and developers, senior living providers are now leveraging technology to empower its residents. Contrary to the belief that technology is counterintuitive to providing resident-centered care, an increasingly high-tech senior living environment encourages residents to regain a sense of control of their lives. A technology-forward senior living design concept can ultimately lead to an increase in the following ways.
Connectivity Social isolation has been one of the conditions seniors face as they age, which studies have shown have led to a significant decrease in their overall health. This lack of social and community interaction has only intensified with the Shelter-In-Place orders enforced during the pandemic. Technology is allowing seniors to maintain a connection with
their community. Working in tandem with the increased accessibility to tablets and computers, largely due to their video calling capabilities, allows seniors to stay connected with friends and family, particularly, amidst visiting restrictions imposed by COVID-19 restrictions. This has impacted interior design, where there is a focus on providing meeting spaces and semi-enclosed booths in common areas for guests to make these virtual calls. Furniture has been selected to create a sense of privacy and it also includes the capability of charging the electronic devices.
Autonomy Seniors today are becoming more technology-savvy. In this new pandemic era, seniors are learning to use new technology to interface with everyday errands, whether it is using a tablet to hold a telehealth appointment with the doctor or a smartphone to request groceries to be home-delivered. Further, part of what seniors are seeking in assisted living facilities or senior housing communities is a program of activities to help structure their days. Announcing the program schedule to residents has become widely accessible through the integration of app-based services and smart flat screens located in lobby areas. Now, guests can gather all (Continued on page 30)
Vivalon community includes common areas for socializing and activities, contributing to a sense of connectivity. Images courtesy of MBH Architects.
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6 California Buildings • Q1 2022
California’s CRE Renaissance Shaking Off COVID’s Effects, Developers Surge Toward Bright Future Like Mark Twain (who loved the Golden State) once said about himself, the rumors of California’s demise are greatly exaggerated. In fact, even during the pandemic, developers and urban planners have been busy designing an even more spectacular future, often transforming under-utilized tracts of land. In the Bay Area, for instance, fascinating multi-use developments are moving from the drawing board toward reality along the waterfronts. And in once forsaken regions of downtown Los Angeles, planners are reimagining glittering new projects equal to the image of Tinseltown. Throughout California’s heartland numerous localities are accommodating the flow of people from densely populated vertical cities to more spacious neighborhoods where people can work more easily from home and visit outlying offices and shared workspaces.
SF’s Mission Rock Mission Rock is a mixed-use project designed to realize a shared dream of a new waterfront neighborhood developed by the San Francisco Giants, real estate company Tishman Speyer and the Port of San Francisco. It will be an inclusive community that combines an imaginative, eclectic array of shops, cafes and festivals; a launchpad for local producers, makers and creators; and innovative workplaces, affordable and market-rate homes, and social amenities. Plans include 2.7 million square feet of office, residential facilities (including 40% affordable housing) and retail, with eight acres of open space.
SF’s Treasure Island Treasure Island sits in the heart of San Francisco Bay with the new Bay Bridge Top left: The Mission Rock mixed-use development will feature office and residential towers. Image credit: Studio Gang. Lower left; Marketplace with shops and cafés. Image credit: Steelblue.
7 California Buildings • Q1 2022
serving as a dramatic backdrop — an extraordinary location that will soon be home to one of the most transitoriented sustainable developments in the country. Rising on the site of this former naval station will be a new San Francisco community comprised of two distinct and vibrant neighborhoods with up to 8,000 homes (single family townhomes to mid-rise and high-rise towers, including 25% designated as affordable housing), three hotels, mixed-use space for retail and commercial ventures and vast stretches of public parks and open spaces laced with walking and bike trails. Plans for a new ferry quay and terminal will provide direct access to and from San Francisco. While much of the island is a blank canvas, several buildings are listed in the National Registry of Historic Places and will be rejuvenated with great care. It will include: w Residential: 8,000 units w Retail: 235,000 square feet w Office: 100,000 square feet w Hotel: 500 rooms w Historic Adaptive Re-Use: 350,000 square feet w Structured Parking: 450,000 square feet w Public Parks and Open Space: 300+ acres Treasure Island is a man-made landform built in 1936-37 to host the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition. It became a U.S. Naval Station in 1942. Throughout World War II it housed helicopters, sea planes and airships in its hangars, and served as a processing center for 12,000 men a day deployed to the Pacific arena. The U.S. Department of Defense closed the base as part of its downsizing efforts in the 1990s. Since then it has served as a spectacular setting for filmmakers and festival-goers. In 2011 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the 20-year development of the site.
LA’s Bunker Hill There is no place quite like Bunker Hill in Downtown LA (DTLA). Like most neighborhoods, Bunker Hill has a rich, complex, and multi-faceted history. Since the 1800s, the area evolved through many different eras, each reflective of its own unique times: from Victorian mansions
a broad range of housing, hospitality, and amenities, along with increased accessibility, connectivity, and a sense of community to residents, workers, and visitors alike. With its world-class collection of cultural institutions and skyscrapers complemented by new residential, hotel, retail, and public spaces, Bunker Hill is transforming
Designed by Frank Gehry, the Grand in the Bunker Hill area of LA is under construction. Image courtesy of The Grand LA.
to working-class boarding houses, through decades of urban redevelopment to the Bunker Hill we know now. Today it is home not only to sweeping Class A office towers and public plazas but also celebrated museums, galleries, and performing arts institutions in a renowned arts and culture corridor that showcases the pulse of DTLA. And, like so much of today’s Downtown, Bunker Hill has a growing residential community as well. This expansion and revitalization will feature some of the most anticipated developments in Downtown history — projects that will provide
itself into an urban center on par with the great cities of the world. Projects include: The Grand: Designed by worldrenowned architect Frank Gehry, The Grand is the crowning Bunker Hill development that most vividly reflects the present and future aspirations of both DTLA and Greater Los Angeles in its connection to culture, community and commerce. This transformative development by The Related Company is a mixeduse project at the core of DTLA's landmark cultural scene that brings (Continued on page 26)
8 California Buildings • Q1 2022
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9 California Buildings • Q1 2022
Future-Proofing California Buildings For the Renewable Grid By John Powers, CEO of Extensible Energy If you own or manage a commercial building in California, it’s likely that your building is unprepared for interacting with the smart grid of the near future —and you’re not alone. According to a recent Nexus Lab white paper, even though small and medium buildings make up 94% of commercial buildings in the United States and 44% of U.S. electricity use, only 13% of such buildings have any kind of building automation system (BAS) with energy efficiency applications. Even programmable thermostats, the lowest hanging fruit of BAS components, are estimated to be installed in just 5% of commercial buildings. With commercial buildings being such a major part of ongoing climate emissions, California state regulators and utilities are increasingly looking to deployable technology and software that can convert any existing building into a grid-interactive efficient building (GEB). Spearheading this effort is The California Load Flexibility Research and Development Hub (CalFlexHub), a research project that brings together industry, utilities, academia, manufacturers, and nonprofits to identify, evaluate, develop, fund, and demonstrate the software and technologies that will enable all California buildings, large and small, to be flexible, interoperable, and grid-interactive.
What’s a Grid-Interactive Efficient Building (GEB) and Why Should Building Owners Care? GEBs are buildings that combine energy efficiency and load flexibility with smart software, on-site controls, and two-way grid communications. The goal of converting to a GEB is to inexpensively reduce energy costs while enhancing comfort, productivity, and performance. Without getting too technical, load flexibility or “demand flexibility” software shifts the time of use of flexible loads or reduces the use of flexible loads. Smart energy shifting benefits the building owner with reduced energy costs and benefits utilities that want to avoid ramping up expensive “peak” generators to meet demand. Examples of flexible loads are HVAC systems, electric vehicle chargers, electric water heaters, energy storage systems, and lighting. Without load flexibility software, Photo: Adobe Stock.
these devices are turned on manually or on a set schedule, ignoring real-time energy usage and building data. With load flexibility software installed, a GEB will analyze building energy usage, utility rates, grid conditions, and temperature data, and then adjust flexible usage to avoid high demand charges and time-of-use charges, saving thousands in utility costs. GEBs are also now part of the California Building Standards Code (Title 24). New buildings will be required to install smart thermostats with HVAC systems, and networked lighting controllers. BASs will also be required to communicate with the grid and be demand responsive. Utilities also benefit from GEBs. A 2021 report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) reveals that the broad use GEBs could save $100 to $200 billion in U.S. electric power system costs by simply reducing and shifting the timing of flexible loads. In addition to the grid cost savings, the researchers say that GEBs could decrease grid carbon emissions by 80 million tons per year by 2030 — the equivalent of offsetting annual emissions of 50 medium-sized coal plants, or 17 million cars. GEBs can also be time savers. Because the building’s energy decisions are made by artificial intelligence, facility managers can focus on their core maintenance and IT tasks rather than fielding temperature complaints. All systems can also monitor energy usage, and some can alert facility managers that a device is failing and needs maintenance.
GEBs Are Already in California The challenge for the broad implementing GEBs has traditionally been cost and complexity. Owners and facility managers of small to medium buildings may not even have a smart thermostat, let alone load flexibility software. CalFlexHub is helping test and demonstrate that GEB software and technologies can be cost-effectively installed in all types of California buildings. As part of the project, Extensible Energy is testing its load flexibility software for small to medium commercial buildings, ensuring that these types of buildings can effectively flex loads and communicate with the grid. Sophisticated GEB technology and hardware are already deployed in some modern, large buildings. As for the long tail of smaller buildings, new AI energy management and (Continued on page 22)
10 California Buildings • Q1 2022
AHR Winners Help Pave Way Back Into Buildings Ventilation, Automation, Software & IAQ More Important Than Ever AHR Expo 2022 Innovation Awards Winners this year have collectively produced products that are essential to improving the health, safety and quality of indoor experiences at a time when COVID-19 concerns guide our future. “This past year was a challenge for everyone, and in unique ways, the HVACR industry,” said AHR Show Manager, Mark Stevens. “Our industry was called to the front lines to put our very best products and technologies to the test.” Contest entrants were evaluated based on overall innovative design, the creativity of the product or service offered, application, as well as potential market impact. “Now more than ever we have the chance to show the world just how important HVACR is,” Stevens said.
AHR Expo 2022 Innovation Award Winners: Building Automation Winner: iSMA CONTROLLI S.p.A., iSMA-B-MAC36NL Hybrid IoT Controller powered by Niagara Framework Innovation: The iSMA-B-MAC36NL master application controller family provides an all-in-one solution for miniBMS. Created visualization can be displayed and controlled via HDMI output and 2 USB ports that enable connection of a mouse/keyboard or dedicated touch for the HMI panel.
Cooling Winner: Danfoss, Danfoss Turbocor® VTCA400 Compressor Innovation: The new VTCA400 from Danfoss offers improvements on traditional centrifugal compressor designs that are large in physical size and footprint, which ultimately lead to higher cost and space constraints for the end user.
Heating Winner: Carrier, Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence Innovation: The Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence is Carrier’s highest-efficiency and most advanced heat pump with up to 24 SEER and 13 HSPF for premium energy savings, extremely quiet performance and premium comfort features.
Photo credit: AHR Expo.
Indoor Air Quality Winner: Antrum, AntrumX™ IAQ Facilities Monitoring System Innovation: AntrumX is a patented centralized sensing technology. AntrumX monitors IAQ for 32 spaces from a single location, using one sensor for every 16 rooms. Consolidating one centralized sensor for multiple spaces increases sensor accessibility while ensuring better overall control. Centralized sensing ensures better overall control because the data from 16 spaces comes from a single source, allowing building managers to optimize their ventilation strategy, and save energy without sacrificing IAQ. Plumbing Winner: Franklin Electric / Little Giant, Inline SpecPAK, Multi-Pump Pressure Boosting System Innovation: With only 14.5 inches deep, its unique smaller footprint makes the Franklin Electric Inline 1100 SpecPAK Pressure Boosting System small enough to be hung in a small utility closet or wall hung to preserve critical floor space. (Continued on next page)
11 California Buildings • Q1 2022
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Refrigeration Winner: ebm-papst Inc., AxiEco 630-910 Axial Fan Innovation: The AxiEco 630-910 incorporates new impeller geometry with a rotating diffuser and optimized blade design in order to reach a low noise level and high-efficiency.
Software Winner: Bluon, Inc., Bluon Support Platform Innovation: The Bluon Support Platform is a mobile application that becomes a centralized hub for HVAC technicians. Bluon was built for technicians, by technicians, and provides detailed system information, just-in-time training, best practices and 24/7 live tech support.
Sustainable Solutions (formerly Green Building) Winner: Enginuity Power Systems Inc, E/ONE Home Power System Innovation: Enginuity's E/ONE Home Power System is a modern rethinking of a classic combined heat and power system. Using clean and plentiful natural gas, the E/ONE produces both electricity and heat for homes or businesses.
Tools & Instruments Winner: Fluke Corporation, Fluke 378 FC Non-Contact Voltage True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex
Innovation: The Fluke 378 FC true-rms clamp meter uses FieldSense technology to make testing faster and safer, all without contacting a live conductor. The meter measures accurate voltage and current measurements through the clamp jaw.
Ventilation Winner: Aldes, InspirAIR® Fresh Innovation: The InspirAIR® Fresh contains new innovative design features. A newly developed counterflow enthalpic core and unique fan scrolls ensure 75% sensible recovery efficiency at 32F as tested to the new CSA 439 standard required as of October 2020. Occupants can also expect to get ample fresh filtered air due to variable speed EC motors that adjust speed to changes in pressure due to stack effect and filter loading.
The AHR Expo is the world’s premier HVACR event, attracting the most comprehensive gathering of industry professionals from around the globe each year. The show provides a unique forum where manufacturers of all sizes and specialties, whether a major industry brand or innovative start-up, can come together to share ideas and showcase the future of HVACR technology under one roof. n
12 California Buildings
How the Elevator Video Communication Update for IBC 2021 and California Building Standards Code Impact You At Kings III we are singularly focused on emergency These updates include: communications. That allows us the luxury of honing in w Two-way message display in the elevator cab. on the specific sections of code that apply specifically w A means for authorized emergency personnel to view to what we do. We pride ourselves on being at the video footage of passengers anywhere in the cab. forefront of code and technological changes. Today w A means activated by authorized emergency personnel to we’re talking specifically about change the cab message to elevator communications code. indicate help is on-site if We know it's complicated, over 60 feet of travel. Type to communicate to passenger for Yes and now with updates from After seeing how ASME and No responses: International Building Code adopted their version of the (IBC) and American Society of two-way communications Mechanical Engineers (ASME), code, IBC updated their Can you hear me? emergency communications recommendation, deferring inside your elevator require to ASME for the elevator even more. communications requirement. Call Center Note: Send So what’s changed? We’ve all However with the When help is dispatched send message been there when the 2021 release, IBC language stating "Help is on the Way." elevator help phone button is was updated to the followpushed accidentally, and the ing: An emergency two-way Emergency two-way communication systems must provide visible text & audible modes. passengers pretend it didn’t communication system shall happen or, maybe just walk out of the elevator. What be provided. The system shall provide visible text and audidoes a monitoring station do if it doesn’t get an answer? ble modes that meet all of the following requirements: Monitoring stations receive up to 1,000 false calls every day, w When operating in each mode, include a live interactive but what if a rider needs help but can’t hear or be heard? system that allows back and forth conversation between With its 2018 release, IBC outlined additional the elevator occupants and emergency personnel. requirements for the emergency elevator communication w Is operational when the elevator is operational. systems. Emergency elevator communication now had to w Allows elevator occupants to select the text-based or provide a two-way video and messaging system. The idea audible mode depending on their communication needs to was to not only allow an operator to see if there was interact with emergency personnel. someone entrapped in the elevator but also provide a How does this impact you? The year following its means for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech issue, the state of California auto adopts IBC code as the impaired a way to communicate. This was accomplished by California Building Standards Code. Summarily California outlining a requirement for two-way video and providing currently falls under the IBC 2021 requirements. American Sign Language (ASL) translation. Therefore, any new construction or elevator moderniIn 2019, ASME A17.1/CSA B44 issued their own updates zation would now be under the purview of the video which addressed and clarified the points identified in monitoring requirements. IBC 2018 3001.2.
Elevator codes have always been complicated, but seconds count. We know because we’ve been making them count when it matters most for more than 30 years. Learn more about elevator communication code and video monitoring at https://www.kingsiii.com/elevator-code/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org z Call: 855.760.4900
Simple. Flexible. Sustainable. After more than 30 years in the building automation industry, the hallmarks of Reliable Controls remain unchanged. Why? Because products that are simple to use and flexible to apply offer a more satisfying user experience, an excellent return on investment, and a reduced impact on the environment. It is a win-win-win for you and your building. Find out how the RC-FLEXair honors these hallmarks:
14 California Buildings • Q1 2022
New Focus On Pandemic Era Multifamily Design
One of the most exciting and beneficial changes resulting from the pandemic is a refocus on multifamily design, and it comes at a time when apartment and condo living is becoming more popular than ever, especially among the young and seniors. There is a new focus on creating more outdoor spaces like balconies or other areas where residents can gather safely and enjoy a biophilic experience. We are realizing the benefits of healthier ventilation and keeping elevators and common areas safer from airborne infections with new technology. Technology is also being used more to provide better access and communication and used also to improve 24/7 delivery and mail access. And the massive work-from-home trend will result in designs that permit multifamily residents to work without encroaching on living spaces. Architects are devoting considerable attention to new multifamily requirements. Michael C. Lin, a design director of Gensler’s San Francisco office, says, “The role of home has evolved over the course of the pandemic. Now that people are spending more time at home, spaces need to accommodate different modes of living and working. For multifamily design, residents’ priorities have shifted to in-unit experience, well-designed spaces, and affordability. Shared amenities can help attract residents to the building, but they are currently not a primary driver for resident satisfaction. There is a new importance placed on designing versatile work zones, reliable internet connectivity, storage solutions, and lobby delivery systems. The pandemic has also
emphasized the importance of health and wellness, particularly through outdoor spaces, natural light, and ways to bring the outside in like operable windows and balconies. “It is critical to understand who spaces are designed for and their priorities. Units designed with a user-centric approach will consider diverse lifestyles, interests, expectations and the overall satisfaction of residents. According to our recent residential experience survey, respondents ranked affordability as the top driver for choosing a home, regardless of location, housing type, and income and they are willing to trade building amenities for affordable (Continued on page 16)
Above: Residents relax by the firepit at Atria Senior Living Foster Square. Credit: Photograph Sarah Mechling/Copyright Perkins Eastman.
15 California Buildings • Q1 2022
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16 California Buildings • Q1 2022
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JUNE 22-24 | SAN DIEGO Multifamily Design (Continued from page 14) options. Multifamily residences also have an opportunity to design resiliently by switching from gas to electric stoves and making recycling and waste disposal more efficient for users. Small steps and intentional design choices can make a significant impact.” Building Designs Must Address Psychological Needs
“COVID-19 was a wake-up call about how important the environment is in nurturing our wellbeing,” says Leslie G. Moldow, FAIA, principal of Perkins Eastman, who is based in San Francisco. “Considering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, as architects we recognize that at a minimum our buildings need to address our primal physiological needs, and then help keep us safe from the dangers of a pandemic. What became increasingly evident as this pandemic dragged on from months to years is how important it is as designers to reinforce that our designs must support our need as people to be loved and feel a sense of belonging.” Moldow recommends: w Utilizing systems to purge air of harmful viruses; and w Installing touchless hardware for faucets, door openers, etc. to eliminate transmissions. w Improve sleep and our body’s natural ability to heal by installing circadian rhythm lighting.
To keep people feeling safe, Moldow says we should: w Eliminate internal corridors, where possible, if you can provide direct access to the outdoors; w Creating transition zones for staff or visitors to verify they are safe to enter; and w Considering new dining options through grab-and-go pick-up stations, larger dining areas for smaller groups of people, and spaces for food drop-off at designated resident entry spaces. To promote a sense of love and belonging, she suggests: w Clustering residents into neighborhoods and households with a subset of associated services; w Connecting people to outdoor life-enhancing spaces for activities and reflection; w Accommodating family visits; and w Creating ways for dedicated staff to care more personally and effectively with a specific group of residents. “Each of these ideas and more can utilize new technology and link with better operations. Many ideas are simple and enable our residents to live in environments that consider all aspect of their wellness, contributing to their longevity and sense of belonging,” Moldow explains. n
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New Projects AMLI Marina Del Rey Honored at NAHB Pillar Awards AMLI Residential and TCA Architects won top honors at this year’s NAHB Pillars of the Industry Awards; presented by the National Association of Home Builders. AMLI Marina Del Rey, a 585-unit mixed-use luxury apartment community won for Best Low Rise Apartment Community (non-garden, 5 stories or less) and Multifamily Community of the Year, the top honor in the multifamily category. Designed for AMLI Residential by TCA Architects, the community was developed on a 10.4-acre site in Marina del Rey and features scenic views, high-end interior finishes and incomparable amenities. The apartments range from 643-square-foot studio to a 2,240-square-foot three-bedroom. AMLI Marina Del Rey is certified at LEED Silver®, which enables residents to lower their environmental impact while also lowering their utility bills. The property is located within the walkable Silicon Beach neighborhood, near a host of local restaurants and shops, as well as close proximity to LAX, freeways, Santa Monica, Venice and more. The apartment community’s marina setting served as the primary design inspiration, according to TCA Architects. “The view of the bay and luxury apartments along the coastline are two important characteristics of this location. The architectural task at hand brought two important challenges. First, it was necessary to design and create a high-quality living environment for residents; and second, to redefine the look of the marina and, through architecture, enhance the surrounding context. This created a strong link between the buildings and the community. The architectural character of the project re-interprets the rustic nature of the boathouse to invoke an aesthetic that feels very much a part of the marina,” said Tim Mustard, Principal at TCA Architects. Photo courtesy of TCA Architects.
Unique Mixed-Use Facility in National City A newly completed mixed-use project in San Diego’s National City, designed by The Miller Hull Partnership — Parco, just opened. The 130,00 square foot, 8-story building offering 127 residential units and ground-floor commercial space was co-developed by Malick Infill Development and Protea Properties. Inspired by the opportunity to bring a new mixed-use approach to the San Diego region, Parco challenges typical unit scale and operational models to provide housing at an affordable price. The building begins as an 8-story tower along the primary boulevard consisting of small-scale residential units, communal lounges and kitchens, and usable outdoor space. The tower transitions to a 4-story mixed-use building along a commercial avenue and culminates into a series of 3-story townhomes along the residential end of the property. The transition of mass coincides with the residential scale and character of the neighborhood. Designed as a true mixed-use project, Parco Image credit: Chipper Hatter. includes retail, office, and residential uses. Each space is carefully and intentionally designed at a reduced scale to keep lease and use costs down without minimizing the comfort or opportunity afforded the user. At ground level, retail spaces are designed to engage the sidewalk and the alley, providing an active and blurred boundary to the city core. At upper levels, common areas are designed as premium gathering spaces, developing a community-focused neighborhood atmosphere with a density needed to support our region’s housing needs. The community feeling and mixed-use approach are further enhanced by a diversity of unit typologies ranging from studios to 4 bedroom row homes, each with a visual connection to local views and direct physical connections to the outdoors.
19 California Buildings • Q1 2022
New San Francisco Performing Arts Center The new Ute and William K. Bowes, Jr. Center for Performing Arts dramatically amplifies the scale of opportunity San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) provides for students and deepens its engagement with the community of San Francisco’s Civic Center. A “vertical campus” designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates (MCA), the Bowes Center incorporates affordable student housing, dining, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, performances spaces, faculty and partner offices, a recording studio, and a radio station under one roof. The building enables students to create, learn, and share music in an integrated, collaborative environment located within walking distance of SFCM's Ann Getty Center. It also acts as a laboratory for projects to be developed between SFCM and its newly acquired management company, Opus 3 Artists. The building features apartments for over 400 student-artists, including housing for students at the San Francisco Ballet School and short-term housing for visiting faculty and guest performers, as well as apartments for tenants of the building previously on the site of the Bowes Center. Residential amenities for students include a student center with social and study spaces, dining from Chef Loretta Keller, and acoustically isolated apartments that allow for practicing. The Bowes Center also includes three distinct new performance halls: the jewel-box Cha Chi Ming Recital Hall on the ground floor, visible to passersby through floor-to-ceiling windows; the 200-seat Barbro Osher Recital Hall on the 11th floor overlooking Civic Center landmarks; and the black box Technology Hall. It contains state-of-the-art music education facilities, including acoustically controlled classrooms and practice rooms with self-service recording capabilities, a keyboard lab, full recording studio, and the Center for New Media featuring critical listening rooms for Technology and Applied Composition and Roots, Jazz, and American Music students. There is also an flexible event space and terrace on the top two floors of the building and offices for faculty, staff of Opus 3 Artists, and broadcasting facilities for KDFC Classical Radio. MCA is a socially- and environmentally conscious architecture firm known for civic and institutional projects in San Francisco. The white and transparent glass design welcomes the city in to witness and participate in the craft of music, and the building’s 170,000 square feet effectively doubles the size of SFCM’s campus. The $200 million project was completed in 2021 and is named in honor and recognition of a $46.4 million gift on behalf of the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation. In total, SFCM raised more than $130 million to fund the project. Top photo: SFCM exterior. Lower photo: Barbro Osher Recital Hall. Photos courtesy of the Bowes Center.
Encinitas Assisted Living Center Opens The recently opened Westmont of Encinitas is an 91,334 square foot assisted living center for seniors, located in Encinitas and designed by Ware Malcomb. It is a two-story garden-style structure built on 3.2 acres. It incorporates 101 beds and 93 units: 35 studios, 50 one-bedroom units, and 8 two-bedroom units. Designed in the Craftsman style with coastal influences, the structure is built on a wood and steel frame. A clean and modern aesthetic was created through careful choice of building materials, including board and batten, stucco, a standing seam metal roof and rough sawn wood bracing. A light and inviting earth tone palette is complemented by crisp white and red cedar. Inside, amenities for residents include an indoor therapy pool, library, theater, beauty salon, activity rooms, full fitness center, full-service kitchen and a commercial laundry center. “Our San Diego team was proud to work closely with Westmont to bring their vision to fruition, and we believe the residents will find it a beautiful place to call home,” said Brian M. Koshley, Regional Director of Ware Malcomb’s San Diego offices. Construction on Westmont of Encinitas was led by general contractor Westmont Construction. Westmont of Encinitas prides itself on providing the right amount of support for seniors seeking active, maintenance-free lifestyles with added help for daily living activities. Photo: Haley Hill Photography.
20 California Buildings • Q1 2022
USGBC-LA Starts Green Affordable Housing Program The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) has launched the Green Affordable Housing Program (GAHP), which expects to fill a current gap in market support and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in multi-family properties located in low-income communities. The program will provide tenant education, property owner and manager project and rebate support, and the installation of heat pump space and water heating technology, community EV charging, indoor air quality monitoring, and innovative technology pilots. This program is primarily supported by a grant from LA Department of Water and Power, as well as grants from TECH Clean California and the CalEPA state programs. The program is focused on low-income communities in L.A. Council Districts 2, 6 and 7 in the Eastern San Fernando Valley (e.g. Pacoima, Panorama City, Van Nuys, and North Hollywood), and will focus on two cohorts of ten buildings
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in 2022 and ten buildings in 2023, expected to positively impact at least 1,500 residents in that area. Buildings may apply to be part of the program by visiting the GAHP program page. The GAHP’s support by the Quick Start grant from TECH Clean California will fund the installation of heat pumps (HPWHs and ASHPs) in selected properties. CalEPA’s funding will support installation of indoor/outdoor air quality sensors and onsite water testing, where there is a critical need for more building level data from low-income housing. USGBC-LA’s Healthy Building Alliance program and focus on decarbonization helped create the framework for this program, ensuring the inclusion of air and water quality testing, education and workshops, EV charging, and replacing gas fire equipment with heat pumps to lower tenants’ utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve both indoor and neighborhood air quality. This program is directed to the East San Fernando Valley because it exemplifies an area disproportionately affected, one that experiences a lot of the issues talked about in climate change—high heat days, poor air quality (exasperated by many of the wildfires), a great deal of industrial activity through manufacturing, and a lot of driving impact through streets and nearby freeways. “From an equity standpoint it is critically important we address decarbonization and occupant health for our multifamily housing in low-income communities, otherwise we will only continue to exacerbate the inequalities heightened by the impacts of climate change,” states USGBC-LA Executive Director Ben Stapleton. “This program targets head-on our biggest challenge in decarbonizing our buildings in LA, which are those apartment buildings built in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, accounting for the majority of our residential energy use and in desperate need of modernization, as well as the support to get there.” The two technologies selected as pilot projects from USGBC-LA’s Net Zero Accelerator will help the property managers and the occupants easily understand their current status and how they can personally activate change in their homes. The first, YellowTin, is a user-friendly, AI-powered consumer education and engagement platform that lets a homeowner, property manager or renter calculate their own personal GHG emissions footprint and look at how to reduce energy use in their home or apartment through choices they make. The other is Dynamhex, which provides calculations for building portfolios — how many emissions they are creating and then offers which strategies will reduce submissions and by how much for each of those buildings.
21 California Buildings • Q1 2022
Apartment Group Backs Bill Limiting Price Controls Under a bill sponsored by the California Apartment Association, the state’s anti-pricegouging law would only apply to rental housing if an emergency declaration specifies that the declared emergency would have an impact on the price of housing. This clarification would ensure that emergency orders declared after oil spills, droughts, heat waves and other emergency declarations that have no impact on the price of housing do not lead to price controls on rental homes. Sen. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, has introduced SB 1133, legislation that would clarify the scope of the anti-price-gouging law and make it easier for landlords and other businesses to follow the law.
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BOMA Advocates for Federal Issues Important to California's Commercial Real Estate Sector This will be a very challenging year on Capitol Hill, and BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) International Advocacy is currently managing over a dozen issues. Individual fact sheets on all of the current issues can be found at this link https://www.boma.org/ BOMA/Advocacy/Priority_Issues.aspx. Due to limited time with legislators during a recent national issues conference, the association targeted the following issues. Carbon Reduction – BOMA
International is asking Congress to avoid blanket, unachievable carbon reduction mandates and instead to
work with the commercial real estate (CRE) industry to support meaningful carbon reduction strategies that are balanced, logical and produce actual results. Workforce Development – BOMA is
asking Congress to move forward in recognizing CRE job classifications for workforce development funding at the Department of Labor and Department of Education and to address larger fundamental issues on training and labor shortages. Energy Efficiency Loan Expansion
Legislation – BOMA International is asking members of Congress to co-sponsor and support the Green Energy Loan Enhancement Act authored by Rep. James Crow (D-CO-6). The bill would provide funding for energy efficiency improvements for commercial real estate.
22 California Buildings • Q1 2022
AIA Predicts Building Sector Rebound
Commercial construction is predicted to increase. Photo: Adobe Stock.
Future-Proofing Buildings (Continued from page 9) control software companies are now installing simpler and more affordable platforms for offices, schools, warehouses, retail stores, and other small to medium commercial structures. Typically, these systems use cloud-based analytic software to limit on-site installations to a few simple components — smart thermostats, energy monitoring, and a communication gateway. With California’s energy and climate policies evolving to meet net zero targets, utilities are now focused on designing new rates and incentive programs that will accelerate GEB adoption. When considering an investment in modern GEB systems, make sure your selection will be able to: u Accurately adapt to your specific utility rates and future rate changes u Earn demand flexibility incentives and participate in upcoming load flexibility markets u Work with all of the flexible loads in your building. The work at CalFlexHub will ensure that every building can be a GEB. Think of this technology as the smartphone for buildings. It will be compact, powerful, intuitive, predictive and affordable enough to fit in every small and medium commercial building in California. n Powers is the co-founder and CEO of Extensible Energy, based in Oakland.
According to a new report from the American Institute of Architects, the nonresidential building sector is expected to see a healthy rebound through next year after failing to recover with the broader economy last year. The AIA’s Consensus Construction Forecast panel— comprising leading economic forecasters—expects spending on nonresidential building construction to increase by 5.4 percent in 2022, and accelerate to an additional 6.1 percent increase in 2023. With a five percent decline in construction spending on buildings last year, only retail and other commercial, industrial, and health care facilities managed spending increases. This year, only the hotel, religious, and public safety sectors are expected to continue to decline. By 2023, all the major commercial, industrial, and institutional categories are projected to see at least reasonably healthy gains. (See chart below.) “The pandemic, supply chain disruptions, growing inflation, labor shortages, and the potential passage of all or part of the Build Back Better legislation could have a dramatic impact on the construction sector this year,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Challenges to the economy and the construction industry notwithstanding, the outlook for the nonresidential building market looks promising for this year and next.”
Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts (2022) Overall nonresidential building
Office space 0.8% Retail and other commercial
Hotels -0.4% Industrial total 9.4% Institutional total
Healthcare facilities 6.2% Education 3.5% Religious -1.1% Public safety -1.3% Amusement/recreation 7.7%
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24 California Buildings • Q1 2022
Peace of Mind: Office Amenities as a Tool for Wellbeing By Megan Skaalen and Amy Clark Isolation and loneliness have been on the rise even pre-pandemic. Cigna’s Loneliness and the Workplace 2020 Report classified 61-percent of Americans as lonely, a 7% increase from the organization’s 2018 study. Since humans are social creatures, feelings of isolation can contribute to poor physical and mental health. According to Mental Health America, depression and anxiety are strongly
22.8-percent in January 2022. These results represent an increase of about 3.5 times the number of American adults experiencing anxiety and depression over a two-year period. Although we can’t make a direct correlation between the pandemic and the increase in mental health issues, it certainly seems to have accelerated the growing mental health crisis in the United States.
who shared their goals were about 10-percent less lonely on average. Employees that feel less lonely could have better overall health and mental wellness, as well as be more engaged and productive at work. As the Great Resignation marches on, companies that seek to improve their employees’ work experience to retain top talent will outlast the others. One area of focus to consider: How can leadership and the spaces in which we occupy help forge strong relationships among employees?
Identifying the Right Amenities
Residential-inspired living rooms, libraries and lounge areas promote co-worker connection.
related to loneliness, and brain scans show that feeling isolated can activate the same areas of the brain that respond to physical pain. During the pandemic, anxiety and depression rates continued to increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that adult anxiety increased from an average of 8.1-percent in 2019 to 27.9-percent reported January 2022. These same studies noted that adult depression increased from an average of 6.5-percent in 2019 up to
Effects on the Workplace Employers must understand these trends and the implications loneliness can have on the organization and company culture. Cigna’s Loneliness Index revealed that workers who identified as lonely are less engaged, less productive and report lower retention rates; more likely to be in the Gen Z cohort. Luckily, the study also found that employees with strong co-worker relationships were almost 13-percent less lonely on average and colleagues
Organizations that hope to positively affect change in a real way should focus on spaces and amenities that foster meaningful, in-person connections. Residential-inspired living rooms, libraries and lounge areas that encourage employees to linger and socialize promote co-worker connections and collaboration. Providing coffeeshop-like break rooms and cafés to serve as a gathering hub could do the same. Organizations should encourage employees to take a lunch break away from their workstation and eat together. Walking trails that allow easy access to outdoor space can also boost wellbeing—especially if employees utilize them with others. Certain types of meetings, like mentoring or coaching meetings, could even benefit from occurring during an outdoor walk. All of these scenarios work best when also modeled by leadership—it isn’t enough to just provide the amenity, the culture also has to celebrate the meaningful connections made. (Continued on next page)
25 California Buildings • Q1 2022
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Amenities for Wellbeing
(Continued from previous page)
Final Thoughts It is critical for companies to acknowledge the negative impact mental health issues like depression and anxiety can have on employee engagement and performance and, in turn, the organization. Creating spaces and program-activated amenities that encourage meaningful human connections can be a powerful antidote for these mental health challenges. As the future of work discussion continues to evolve, SmithGroup’s workplace design experts encourage companies not to ask, “What amenities will drive employees back to the office?” but rather, “What amenities can we offer that drive human connection and nurture bonds between co-workers?” The latter will move the needle on employee engagement and wellbeing must faster than the former. n
Amenities such as lounge areas encourage collaboration. Images above and on adjacent page are courtesy of SmithGroup, Copyright Connie Zhou.
At SmithGroup Skaalen is studio leader in San Diego and Clark is workplace strategist in Denver.
26 California Buildings • Q1 2022
May 20-21, 2022
My Green Building Conference & Expo The longest-running and largest gathering of leading sustainability and green building advocates within both the public and private sectors in Southern California.
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California CRE Renaissance (Continued from page 7)
new residential, retail, and hospitality to Bunker Hill. The project comprises 436 luxury residences (20% will be at an affordable rate) in a 45-story residential tower, 164,000 square feet of retail, dining, and entertainment space, as well as the 28-story, 305 room Conrad Los Angeles Hotel. The project signifies the urban revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles and its reemergence as a leading destination to shop, dine, and live in the city. Halo: To enhance dining and hospitality offerings in a campus-style environment on Bunker Hill, a $60-million-dollar makeover of the former atrium area at Wells Fargo Center is nearly complete. The three-story, 65,000-square-foot dining collective by Brookfield Office Properties sits between the Wells Fargo Center’s Bunker Hill towers. It will bring restaurants and shops
offering innovative menus, leisurely cocktails, and sophisticated services in a more community-oriented, indoor-outdoor space called Halo. Halo will feature a unique collection of establishments and experiences for Bunker Hill locals, professionals, and DTLA visitors including quick service eateries, a full-service indoor-outdoor bar, and sit-down restaurants including Bunker Hill favorite Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse and newcomers Trejo’s Tacos by actor Danny Trejo, Danny Boy’s Famous Original Pizza, and international fast casual chain Shake Shack. The property will also feature a private club and hospitality lounge reserved for Brookfield’s Bunker Hill office tenants, called The Peak at Halo. It will provide meeting venues, outdoor dining, a wellness studio, and a private bar operated by the flexible office space company Convene.
LA’s Metropolis Metropolis is an ambitious new, mixed-use megaproject on a 6.33acre site in Downtown Los Angeles. Metropolis is one of the biggest mixed-used developments on the West Coast, and will greatly enhance Downtown LA. It will put approximately 1.8 million sf of vertical, high-density community living in the heart of the city built by connecting expansive suburbs. Syska Hennessy Group was retained to design the essential mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems of this twophase, multi-structure, fast-track project encompassing a luxury hotel, and retail and residential components, with plenty of subterranean parking located within walking distance of L.A. LIVE, Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center.
27 California Buildings • Q1 2022
One of the project’s biggest challenges was that some MEP/FP infrastructure included extending medium-voltage power to the site and upgrading natural gas, storm and water systems to handle the development requirements. Syska determined the MEP/FP loads through collaboration with the design team, building officials and utility companies. Phase one will feature a 21-story, four-star hotel tower and a 33-story residential high-rise tower with restaurants and retail spaces at street level. It will also feature a podium integrated into the hotel tower with a lush courtyard, meeting rooms, additional restaurants and bars, a spa, a fitness center and a pool. Phase two will consist of two residential highrise complexes: a 47-story building and a 67-story building, featuring a podium-level park and a plaza. Syska produced design-development bridging documents using Revit and following CALGreen Code and California's Title 24 design requirements to ensure optimum energy efficiency.
OC’s Rancho Mission Viejo The continuing expansion of this planned community includes 14,000 dwelling units and 5.2 million square
Now under construction, Ranch Camp at the Village of Rienda is part of the Rancho Mission Viejo planned community. Ranch Camp at Rienda is a destination for ranch fun and festivities with recreational amenities and experiences inspired by life on the ranch. Photo credit: Rancho Mission Viejo.
feet of non-residential use with 12,203 acres of permanent open space and habitat preservation area to be dedicated by phases of development (75% of 22,683 Rancho Mission Viejo area). Two Villages have been completed thus far: Sendero and Esencia with more than 4,000 homes already occupied, with approximately 10,000 residents and 500,000+ square feet of non-residential uses occupied.
SF’s Mission Bay Project The Mission Bay Project is a public/private partnership with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, involves the continuous transformation of a 303-acre former rail yard into a vibrant, high-density, transit-oriented community. It is a brownfield infill site adjacent to the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium is fully entitled for, and under construction with: w 6,400 units of housing, including 4,500 market-rate and 1,900+ affordable homes. w 3.4 million sf of commercial office and biotech lab space w 3.15 million sf UCSF Research Campus w 550–bed UCSF Medical Center on 14.5 acres
w 285,000 sf of retail w 250 room hotel w A new school, police and fire station
and library w 49+ acres of public parks and open space, providing vastly improved access to the waterfront.
Oakland’s Howard Terminal Proposed Development This proposed new site for the Oakland A’s new ballpark, according to the City of Oakland, will be an approximately 35,000-person capacity park, up to 1.77 million square feet of commercial development, 3,000 residential dwelling units, a new hotel with approximately 400 rooms and a new performance venue with a capacity of approximately 3,500 individuals. The project site consists of approximately 55 acres that comprise the Charles P. Howard Terminal and adjacent parcels, located at the Port of Oakland along the Inner Harbor of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary. The site is bound generally by the Oakland Estuary Middle Harbor on the south; Jack London Square on the east; Union Pacific railroad tracks and Embarcadero West on the north; and the heavy metal recycling center, Schnitzer Steel, on the west. n
28 California Buildings • Q1 2022
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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 www.kingsiii.com.
29 California Buildings • Q1 2022
Sonic Timber The warmth and character of natural wood Sonic Timber products can be suspended from ceilings or affixed to interior walls to create one-of-a-kind, beautiful spaces. Their lengths, cores, and finishes can be interchanged to suit décor, personal style preferences, and needs of the space in which they will be installed. Designers can choose from 40 woodgrain finishes across three color collections: Timberline, Heritage, and FeatherGrain. Timberline offers a very traditional wood-like appearance; Heritage has more pronounced wood veining, whereas FeatherGrain, as the name implies, features fainter striations.
PAC-CLAD | Petersen Precision Series Box Rib Panels PAC-CLAD Precision Series architectural wall panel systems are available in four box rib profiles. These panels offer design flexibility, bold visual effects and easy, cost-effective 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 30year finish warranty (most meet LEED® and Cool Roof certification). Custom colors and finishes are also available. For Petersen’s full product line, visit PAC-CLAD.com.
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Mitsubishi Electric's PureRideTM Touchless Control System Even in the most uncertain times, vertical transportation remains essential for multi-story buildings, and Mitsubishi Electric has developed PureRide™ to help people feel more comfortable with elevators. The PureRide™ Touchless Control System is a simple, no-touch display that allows users to call an elevator from the lobby and designate a destination floor in the car by simply placing their hand or finger over a sensor. The panels feature an LED “halo” that centralizes the sensor’s target and provides users feedback regarding their hand position. Learn more at www.mitsubishielevator.com.
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 www.rentnational.com today.
California Buildings • Q1 2022
KastleSafeSpaces: Bring Workers Back Safely Kastle Systems is the leader in “Managed Security,” an end-to-end approach for servicing clients’ security needs, taking long-term responsibility of their security package and operations. The company created KastleSafeSpaces to get workers back to work safely in the COVID-19 era by integrating its access control system of touchless technologies for doors, turnstiles, elevators and more, with employee health screening protocols, social distancing and contact tracing to reassure workers they are returning to their offices safely. To learn more, visit www.kastle.com or call 415-962-1300.
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Senior Housing Communities
(Continued from page 4)
the necessary details about upcoming events and decide for themselves which activities to take part in. At each event, attendees can easily and independently check in via tablet or smartphone.
Learning At Vivalon Healthy Aging Campus in Marin County, California, one of the amenities we worked to develop was a computer lab. Upon completion, residents will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in classes of their choosing—encouraging technology empowerment and learning at any age. In addition to providing a place where seniors can become proficient in email or other modes of online communication, the computer lab also provides ways for seniors to discover programs that foster creativity. As a social hub, the computer lab supports social interactions amongst residents by enabling them to bond over technology as they become adept at the skills needed to use the devices.
This computer lab also serves as a space to learn about the latest smart building technology within the facility. Vivalon has implemented some of the latest UVC technology to help filter and clean the air within the facility. The lab teaches the building occupants and staff how this technology operates and how it impacts them. These sessions help ensure staff and operating and checking on the equipment per manufacturer’s requirements and gives occupants a better understanding of how the UVC systems help to eliminate any potential dust and pathogens circulating in the air. Fortunately, technological advancements have opened several doors for seniors. Not only has technology allowed them to stay connected with loved ones during the pandemic, but it has also given them a sense of freedom and autonomy that is not otherwise possible without technology’s help. Through these implementations, we’ve been able to create future-forward spaces that are modern in design while also increasing seniors’ connectivity, learning, and health. n Ng is a project manager at MBH Architects in Alameda.
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