The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works awarded the San Fernando Valley Family Support Center project to the design-build team of Charles Pankow Builders Ltd. (Pankow) and HKS Architects, Inc. (HKS). The 212,000 sq ft, five-storey facility will be located in Van Nuys, and will consolidate seven county programs into one location for the San Fernando Valley community. It is scheduled for completion in August 2015.
The new centre will house various social service and civic departments including Public Social Services, Child and Family Services, Child Support Services, Health Services, Probation, Mental Health and Public Health. The county’s project goals are to showcase a sleek, modern design, provide a welcoming and inviting environment for facility users, and to promote interdepartmental relationships and connectivity among employees.
The 6.8-acre site features a large, landscaped interior campus core with children’s play area, walking paths, bike racks and numerous gathering spaces. The Pankow/HKS Team was able to achieve this desired attribute because of the narrow, yet efficient, parking garage designed by parking structure architect, HNA/Pacific.
A green buffer of trees and landscaping, designed by AHBE Landscape Architects, will separate the parking structure from Van Nuys Boulevard frontage - one of many expressions that will sensitively blend the new centre with the existing neighbourhood. The interior workspace will be modern and open, with a mix of collaborative, social and focused work spaces for different working modes.
“Embracing the collaborative virtues of the design-build delivery model, the team worked together for more than 4 months to deliver both design excellence and best value to Los Angeles County,” said Peter Loeb, Pankow’s Senior Project Manager. “Pankow partnered with the best in the industry, leaving ego out of the equation and consistently placing the project’s best interests first.”
The design solution provides an elegant and stylish façade, which is detailed to be factory assembled, enabling rapid installation in the field. Despite the county’s strict overall building height requirements, the design team was able to fit an under-floor air distribution system on the upper floors. Nabih Youssef Associates, the structural engineer, accomplished this by delivering a light and efficient structural steel frame design. These efficient solutions, among others, set the project on track to earn LEED Gold certification, a level above the project requirement of LEED Silver.