In The Know
Withee Malcolm Architects along with developers Standard Pacific, and investors Behringer Harvard, took honors for their San Sebastian project at the 16th Annual SAGE Awards program sponsored by the BIA of Southern California's 50-Plus Housing Council.
The Project of the Year category recognizes innovative residential developments targeted to the 50-plus market that can serve as a model for other housing developments.
"This is an especially meaningful award for us," said Dan Withee, founding partner of Withee Malcolm Architects. "We understand that there is a new 50-plus generation, and we re-imagined an active-adult community where the residents are younger retirees. It was a niche product that we didn’t see in the market at that time."
Located in Laguna Woods, the San Sebastian project was designed to appeal to the active, social residents who travel and like the idea of a 'lock and leave' residence.
"Building on a resort concept strongly influenced by a California interpretation of Spanish colonial architecture, we focused attention on the big kitchens and dining spaces in the individual units, and on entertainment areas in the public spaces," said project designer Dirk Thelen.
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Cal Poly University has opened a new hands-on learning facility for construction management students.
The Simpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Lab opened in October as part of the university’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. The 7,000-square-foot lab is designed so students can build and test full-scale models and building components.
“The lab is intended to show students how architectural design, engineering and construction work closely together,” said Al Hauck, construction management department head.
"The lab will be a great platform for interactive learning," said Barclay Simpson, chairman and founder of Simpson Strong-Tie. "But it’s Cal Poly’s talented faculty and students who will bring it to life and influence the future of building technology. Continued innovation and discovery are so important to architecture and construction, and this laboratory is a key addition to the Construction Innovations Center.”
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The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has extended the submission deadline for the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study Program to Dec. 15. This national recognition program honors roofing contractors, consultants and architects for their work.
By completing an online form, roofing professionals can submit examples of projects that celebrate the advantages of asphaltic roofing and earn the opportunity to have their story broadly promoted by ARMA as well as win a cash prize.
The QARC program can be entered by completing the online application at the QARC homepage at www.asphaltroofing.org. A description of the project’s special challenges and the logic behind the selection of asphaltic roofing materials is required within the application’s summary section. Residential or commercial projects, including new construction or renovation, are open for submission.
ARMA will select three finalists to receive top honors and prizes — $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.
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The BIA of Orange County raised $42,000 through its recent wine and food event Wine on the Wings to support the Building Industry Technology Academy (BITA).
Guests sampled wine, culinary delights and micro-brew tasting of specialty beers under the backdrop of William Lyon’s World War II airplanes at the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana.
BITA is a BIA/OC developed four-year high school program, which exposes young people to diverse career paths within the building industry. The California budget crisis has resulted in decreased education funds for woodshop, construction technology, and many other vocational classes on high school campuses. The opportunities offered through BITA also benefit Special Education and at-risk/under-achieving students through the program’s high level of applied hands-on learning.
The BITA program is currently in place at Katella, Western, Anaheim, Valencia, Magnolia, Trident, Los Alamitos and Brea-Olinda High Schools in Southern California.
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California Water -- Can We Find a Balance? is the theme of the 2011 California Irrigation Institute's 49th Annual Fall Conference, which will take place Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Sacramento.
CII is the oldest independent forum on water and irrigation in California and typically features water experts, government agency heads, water district managers, innovative farmers and those featuring new water saving technology. The primary purpose of the institute is host an annual conference on water issues.
Some of the topics of this year's conference include agricultural water policies, water budgeting, the Delta, the Colorado River and more.
For more information or registration information, visit the CII website at www.caii.org.
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San Jose-based Rosendin Electric has been honored with numerous awards by California Construction magazine.
Rosendin was honored for Best Overall Project, Best Government/Public Building Project, Best Transportation Project, and two Healthcare awards for Best Project and an Award of Merit.
More than 135 projects were nominated for the awards, which were chosen by an independent jury of industry experts.
The Mineta San Jose International Airport Terminal Area Improvement Program was singled out as both the winner in the Transportation category and the Best Overall Project. The $1.3 billion project included more than $100 million in electrical work. Rosendin Electric was responsible for installing new power systems for Terminals A and B, a new security system, a new baggage handling system, telecommunications, a security camera system, lighting controls, as well as all the power systems, lighting, and traffic controls systems for the airport roadway.
“All successful construction projects are a team effort, and we were delighted to have made our contribution to some of the most successful public projects completed in California this year,” said Rosendin President and COO Larry Beltramo.
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Southern California homebuilder TRI Pointe Homes, LLC, has entered into a strategic partnership with an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group Global, LP, a global private-equity firm focused on real estate.
The partnership infuses TRI Pointe Homes with $150 million in new strategic growth equity capital to drive the expansion of its homebuilding operations in California and the Western Region.
TRI Pointe Homes is building single-family home communities in Irvine, Chula Vista, Riverside and Oceanside.
“We have a very clear strategic vision to expand and fortify our position in the housing market. Building upon our presence in Southern California, we plan to establish a Northern California Division in early 2011,” said TRI Pointe CEO Douglas Bauer. “Our alliance with Starwood Capital Group provides us with a capital structure and transaction pipeline to take advantage of local and regional market opportunities.”
TRI Pointe Homes was established in 2009 by Doug Bauer, Thomas Mitchell and Michael Grubbs. Their combined real estate industry experience includes entitlement, land development, master-planned communities, multi-use infill and single-family home construction.
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Architectural Testing has opened a new laboratory in Lake Forest for performance testing of fenestration products and systems.
The 10,000-square-foot installation is fully equipped to conduct testing for the basic window and door performance attributes of resistance to wind loading, water leakage, air infiltration and forced entry. A positive test report enables certification and compliance labeling of products per the International Building and Residential codes.
Additional tests can be conducted for resistance to impact from wind-borne debris, negative pressures and for the performance of mulled assemblies. Various other methods for testing are also available.
“This laboratory was opened to better service new and existing customers in Southern California and the whole southwest,” said senior project manager Dave Kranz.
The lab is ATI's 10th regional laboratory.
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Virginia-based architectural firm CAX has merged with California-based KTGY Group.
“This merger greatly strengthens KTGY’s national presence,” said KTGY CEO Tricia Esser. “The combined firms will provide coast-to-coast services to clients in single-family, multi-family, senior communities, student housing, military housing and mixed-use markets."
“With our colleagues on the West Coast, we can now share vital insights on design and planning trends,” said CAX principal Rohit Anand. “Our aim always is to help local and national clients position products and communities ahead of their competition.”
KTGY said the new arrangement significantly enhances its capabilities to serve established clientele.
“With offices on both coasts, we become a one-shop local solution for our clients,” said Stan Braden, chairman of the KTGY Group Board of Directors.
KTGY, established in 1991, is headquartered in Irvine. It has offices in Oakland, Santa Monica and Denver, as well as the new Viriginia office.
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Under construction since 2007, the first residents have begun moving into the Oakwood Apartments in Gardena.
The 240-unit community is designed to help meet the need for quality housing choices for working families earning from 30 percent to 60 percent of Riverside County's median income.
The floor plans range from 832 to 1,282 square feet, and include two-, three- and four-bedroom units. Monthly rents at Oakwood start at only $390 per month and top out at $1,068, depending on household income.
“Communities like Oakwood are intended to serve the needs of households in Moreno Valley that haven’t been able to keep up with the high cost of housing,” said Michael Costa, president of Highridge Costa Housing Partners, which co-developed the project along with the Sacramento-based nonprofit Housing Alternatives, Inc.
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H.G. Fenton Co. has implemented a number of retrofits at its San Diego headquarters that will bring the facility to zero-net energry status.
The company installed a new solar photovoltaic system, and implemented other equipment and operations updates as part of a pilot program to test the new technologies.
“We are starting to work with our tenants to help them understand the benefits of energy efficiency and the installation of PV systems,” said president and CEO Mike Neal. “Now that we’ve seen firsthand how these projects can significantly reduce energy costs, we are excited to help our tenants do the same.”
H.G. Fenton will soon begin installing PV systems at Portofino and Club River Run apartments in Mission Valley, and at Evening Creek and Creek View condominiums in Sabre Springs.
These projects follow the company’s new Aquatera community, which had PV systems installed during construction in 2009.
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Santa Rosa-based KriStar Enterprises, Inc. has joined in a strategic alliance with Americast, Inc. to manufacture, sell and service stormwater management products on both coasts of the U.S.
“This alliance combines the expertise and innovative products of two major forces in the industry,” said KriStar president Craig Beatty. “It enables both companies to offer enhanced service by utilizing the strengths of each other’s regional production, marketing and sales capabilities. It also allows each company to provide a more complete product offering, so we can service the complete needs of a project.”
Americast, based in the mid-Atlantic region, will manufacture, market, sell and service KriStar’s filter product line from its locations. KriStar will be the exclusive distributor in California of Americast's Filterra Bioretention Systems products.
The two companies will provide additional regional manufacturing services for each other, as well.
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Carmanah Technologies Corporation, a Canadian manufacturer of self-contained solar LED Lighting systems for marine, aviation, traffic and off-grid lighting applications, has joined in a strategic partnership with Santa Fe Springs-based Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries.
Under the agreement, Carmanah will use Trojan’s deep-cycle batteries to provide energy storage for its EverGENTM portfolio of outdoor solar LED lights.
"As strategic partners, we can work collectively to promote best practices for the design and application of off-grid solar lighting utilizing deep-cycle batteries, and help to promote standards for this type of technology in this rapidly expanding industry,” said Carmanah CEO Ted Lattimore.
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Ground has been broken on Horizons at Morgan Hill, a 49-unit affordable housing senior community developed by KTGY Group, Santa Ana-based developer Urban Housing Communities LLC and the City of Morgan Hill.
Set to open next August, this new $21.2 million community will offer healthy, supportive and eco-friendly apartment homes to seniors 55 years and older earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of the Santa Clara County median income.
“Over the next decade, many seniors nearing retirement age may be forced to relocate due to fixed incomes and increasing housing costs,” said Garrett Toy, director of Morgan Hill’s Business Assistance and Housing Services Department. “Horizons at Morgan Hill will enable seniors to afford to remain in Morgan Hill after retirement. This beautiful, new project will provide affordable senior rental housing to a growing population, eliminate a blighted property, install McLaughlin Avenue and much-needed public improvements."
UHC began collaborating with Morgan Hill’s Redevelopment Agency in 2005 to develop housing opportunities for low-income seniors who were long-time residents.
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The largest installation of solar panels at an affordable apartment community in the Sacramento region has been completed.
This one project at the 241-unit Vintage Oaks senior housing community in Citrus Heights is responsible for an 86 percent reduction of electricity from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District grid due to the offset of solar power. This means the amount of electricity required by the Vintage Oaks community from the SMUD grid has dropped to 14 percent due to the on-site production of clean and renewable electricity from the nearly half-megawatt solar photovoltaic system installed by Beutler Corporation.
“We are very pleased with the performance, benefits and savings being generated through solar power, and we are considering converting other communities we build and manage,” said Geoff Brown, president and CEO of USA Properties Fund, which built the Vintage Oaks community 15 years ago and still manages the property. “We are excited by the prospects and hope solar power becomes a key part of our future.”
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San Francisco-based LoopNet, Inc., which operates the largest online commercial real estate marketplace and one of the largest commercial property research databases, has acquired Texas-based LandsofAmerica, operator of the largest and most heavily trafficked online marketplace specializing in land for sale.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to incorporate the LandsofAmerica team and service offerings into the LoopNet suite of marketplace solutions," said LoopNet president and COO Thomas Byrne. "With this acquisition, LoopNet is significantly expanding its leadership position within the land sector, which includes commercial land, agricultural and farm land, ranch land, hunting land and rural land.”
LandsofAmerica.com generated almost 600,000 unique visitors to its websites in August 2010, according to Google Analytics.
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A program run by the California Air Resources Board and CALSTART was among those honored by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
ACEEE honored 18 programs from 14 states in its first-ever awards initiative for exceptional state-led energy efficiency programs.
The California Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project was among three programs cited for emerging programs honors.
“This review of state-led energy efficiency programs offers further evidence that cost-effective investments in energy-saving technologies and services improve economic competitiveness," said ACEEE executive director Steve Nadel. "Simply put, energy efficiency works. These state programs benefit customers in numerous ways, generating significant energy savings, training thousands of professionals, lowering energy costs and reducing the negative environmental impacts of energy use.”
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In the Know is compiled by California Builder editor Greg Robertson. News, awards and honors about California companies in the homebuilding industry can be sent to email@example.com.