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2020 MBI Award: 1st Place & Judge’s Choice

June 15, 2020 BY: Silver Creek

Project: San Marcos Veterans Center

Permanent Modular Education Under 10,000 sq. ft.

Architectural Excellence:

The project consists of a permanent modular structure on the CSUSM campus which houses the Veterans support Center.  The building houses a lobby, meeting space, four private offices, and support spaces.  The building exterior utilizes a mixture of smooth fiber cement siding, metal panels, and horizonal wood siding and accents.  A stepped roof design creates a visual connection with the adjacent structure while screening the mechanical equipment and providing the supporting structure for a future solar panel system.  Large glazed openings are used to provide natural lighting and to take advantage of the views onto college campus.  The unique project site required an installation which extended the building approximately 40’ over the hillside.   An exterior glazed operable wall system allows the building to open onto the raised deck patio for large events.

Technical Innovation + Sustainability:

The project requirements and site constraints required a custom designed modular solution.  A pair of 12’x53’ modules were designed to accommodate the client’s functional requirements while also resolving the structural considerations required for a hillside installation.  A single brace was used to support the structure and allow a projection of approximately 40’ beyond the hillside.  A prefabricated supplemental structure was designed and fabricated to create the stepped roof element.  High recycled content building materials were selected where possible and low-VOC materials were used throughout.  The abundant glazing allows for an automatic daylighting system to significantly reduce the electrical lighting use during normal business hours.  High performance glazing and cool roof systems allowed the mechanical system sizes to be reduced while maintaining comfort.

Cost Effectiveness:

The difficult project site and tight construction schedule made this project a perfect candidate for modular construction.  The ability to perform the work in a factory environment provided the opportunity for significant construction cost reductions while simultaneously reducing the development impact, and duration, on the project site.  The building systems were carefully designed to maximize the factory construction scope.  The stepped roof extension utilized a factory built supplemental roof structure that allowed the modular structure to meet the shipping height limitations while also significantly reducing the associated labor in the field.