Lend Lease Completes the Largest California Community College to Go Through the Division of the State Architect

CCSF Chinatown North Beach from Portsmouth Square - small

April 2, 2013 (San Francisco, California)  Lend Lease, leading U.S. urban builder, recently completed construction on the 194,000 square foot City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Chinatown North Beach campus. The new campus, which began construction in 2008, is the tallest structure to be approved by the rigorous plan checking process required by the California Division of the State Architect (DSA), which provides design and construction oversight for all publically-funded K-14 educational projects in the state.

The new 14-story “vertical campus” consolidates the College’s previous eight buildings spread across four different San Francisco neighborhoods into a comprehensive two building campus at the intersection of San Francisco’s historic Chinatown and North Beach districts. It features a dense academic program of faculty offices, a library, traditional classrooms, chemistry/biology laboratories, apparel design space, an open lobby and double-height student lounges on the tower floors—all within the tight constraints of a 100′x120′ site. Located on an adjacent property, the 4-story features culinary teaching kitchens, a café and a 200-seat auditorium.

“The diverse programming and complexity of the new Chinatown North Beach Campus required a high degree of teamwork. It is a fantastic example of successful team collaboration,” says Bruce Berardi, LEED® AP, General Manager of Lend Lease California.

Also key to the success of this project was minimizing negative impacts of construction on the surrounding community. During the 18 months of preconstruction, Lend Lease led meetings with local community leaders to discuss the project’s importance to review upcoming actions, address public agency restrictions, and keep the community apprised of the project’s status.  Additional outreach efforts included translation of the jobsite signage into Chinese and informative advertisements in the local Chinese newspapers.

“Working with local community leaders and interest groups like the Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), we were able to employ multiple strategies to build and foster alliances within the Chinatown community,” said Lend Lease’s Project Executive, Peter Read, LEED® AP, who oversaw the construction project. “As a result of the teams’ continuous outreach, 32% of the workforce were local hires.”

Designed by EHDD / Barcelon & Jang – Joint Venture Architects to achieve LEED-NC Gold certification, the project includes highly-efficient mechanical and electrical systems in conjunction with extensive monitoring of electrical and HVAC loads. Additional sustainable design elements include extensive use of daylight and digital controls.

Both the design and construction teams faced challenges during each phase of this project. The small site size led to developing the vertical campus structure which addressed the college’s many usage needs within a small footprint. Site size and proximity to neighboring structures required special precautions and careful planning. Complex shoring was required to allow excavation of foundation without causing damage to adjacent structures.  An additional construction project nearby required logistical and schedule coordination between the two construction teams to minimize impact on traffic and nearby businesses. The proximity of the historically-significant Columbo Building required special care to limit the impact on the landmark structure.  Historic artifacts were uncovered during excavation necessitating complicated utility relocation.

In order to meet DSA’s stringent structural guidelines, the project included a very dense, intricate weave of large diameter rebar, requiring detailed planning and implementation during installation and subsequent concrete placement. The main building’s height limit was imposed by the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), but by using concrete rather than steel for the superstructure, the floor-to-floor height of each floor was reduced by about three to four feet.  This “found” space allowed the additional floor levels necessary to meet overall program requirements without increasing the building height.

EHDD architect Jennifer K. Devlin-Herbert, FAIA LEED® AP, Principal-in-Charge of the Chinatown North Beach campus project adds, “The real success story is that it took more than 30 years of grass-roots community activism to get this project built for a traditionally underserved neighborhood,” reflecting the ten years that Ms. Devlin-Herbert and her team spent gathering stakeholder buy-in from a wide range of community interests.

About Lend Lease
Lend Lease is a leading international property and infrastructure group. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and with circa 18,000 employees worldwide, the firm’s capabilities span the property and infrastructure spectrum.

The Americas region, headquartered in New York, offers project management & construction, public partnerships, development, asset and property management. Our expertise covers multiple sectors including arts & culture, commercial office, education, government, healthcare, hotels & resorts, industrial, military housing communities, mixed-use, multi-site, pharmaceutical, senior living, solar, transportation and aviation.

We are committed to operating property solutions while forging partnerships and delivering maximum benefits to clients, investors and communities.

About EHDD
EHDD is an architecture, interiors, planning, and urban design firm founded in 1946 in San Francisco; a city known for embracing ideas about the future. This ethos has informed EHDD’s work since the beginning, resulting in forward thinking designs that last for generations. The firm’s portfolio includes Sea Ranch, Monterey Bay Aquarium, City College of San Francisco Chinatown/North Beach Campus, and net-zero projects— including The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The Exploratorium at Pier 15. EHDD has received over 100 design awards and honors including the Firm of the Year and Gold Medal Awards from the National American Institute of Architects. www.ehdd.com

About Barcelon + Jang
Barcelon + Jang established their San Francisco firm in 1976 developing specialization in academic/community facilities, supportive housing, and museum /gallery architecture. The firm’s folio of work reflects the partners’ commitment to designing responsible architecture as places for people. The completed commissions are often projects on physically challenging sites and limited funding resources. Barcelon and Jang are adept in consensus building by the interfacing the design process with their clients, the community and building users groups in an open dialogue. The firm is engaged in all aspects of the design process including master planning, project feasibility, historic building renovations, construction administration, new construction and building rehabilitation. The partners have designed such acclaimed and award-winning projects as the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, the San Francisco Tenderloin Community School and Child Development Center and the Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA.

Photos courtesy of Lend Lease

CCSF Chinatown North Beach exterior - small

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News