Materials & Resources

The building was designed for optimized material use, with materials chosen for their durability and low maintenance requirements. The plywood roof diaphragm is supported by exposed tongue-and-groove decking over rolled Douglas fir glue-laminated beams on a rigid five-foot module, and the wall structure was reduced by 30% by placing wood studs at 24″ on center.

Redwood was an ideal choice for the coastal site, not only as a material reflection of the local agrarian architectural vernacular, but for its resistance to decay and mildew. The redwood used for the building’s exterior rain-screen cladding was harvested eight miles from the project site. Originally slated to be used for mulch, the wood was milled locally and allowed to acclimate naturally without the typical kiln-drying process to meet its proper moisture content. Because of this unique source, the design team was able to specify optimal dimensions to support durability, installation, and finish. Finished with a low-VOC stain, the exterior wood siding is designed to weather and patina naturally. The inherent design of the rain-screen wall allows the siding to “breathe,” reducing the opportunity for water penetration that can lead to mold and poor indoor air quality.
Water Resources Center Room

Design for Adaptability to Future Uses

Support spaces are configured to allow for future growth, and all supporting systems (data, wireless devices, occupancy sensors) have been integrated for future responses to changing needs and ways of working. Large open areas are supported by adjustable shelving, file storage, and pin-up areas, allowing space that would otherwise would be pure circulation to extend the usable floor area of open office spaces by 35%. Additionally, all building systems were selected to allow for addition of controls and adjustment of setpoints.

The design of the redwood rain screen, as opposed to a standard exterior system, allows for easier maintenance and repair; exterior members can be easily disassembled for future modifications. The client has plans for a community outreach and educational program in the near future that will require post-occupancy installation of intensive and active graphics and displays both inside and outside of the building. To accommodate these installations on the exterior of the building, the team installed Trespa composite resin rainscreen panels that can be removed easily to allow for the installation of these displays. No additional waterproofing or structural supports were required in their application, and the panels can be disassembled, re-cut, and reused in the actual displays themselves.

Green Strategies

  • Design for Materials Use Reduction
    • Use advanced framing (optimum value engineering) to optimize material use
    • Minimize space devoted exclusively to circulation
  • Plan for Materials Longevity
    • Use landscaping and grading to divert water from the building
    • Provide a rain screen in exterior walls to prevent bulk water (rain) penetration
  • Transportation of Materials
    • Prefer materials that are sourced and manufactured within the local area