ing a more sustainable future. Adapting old structures for current needs, leaning into efficiency gains from modular components and streamlined schedules, and recycling are important steps in the right direction that our industry can continue to embrace and expand. Be - ing mindful of circularity and building for the long-term is our big opportunity to be forward looking and lead as an industry toward a more sustainable future.
NANCY NOVAK brings extensive expertise in oversight and responsibility for Profit and Loss. In her current role as Chief Innovation Officer for Compass Data - centers, her focus is cutting edge technology, lean practices, and innovative culture through diversity of thought to add value, improve return on investment, and disrupt the construction industry. She is heavily involved in organizations that lead the way for technological advancement in the construction industry, and she is an advocate for women’s leadership. Nancy currently serves as the Board of Director Vice Chair on the National Institute of Building Sciences BIM Council, as well as Executive Sponsor for the Digital Divide on the iMasons Advisory Board. She is also the host of the “Breaking Glass” podcast, which features Nancy’s dynamic conversations with prominent women in the technol - ogy industry – a forum where these accomplished women offer insights, advice and inspiration that listeners can apply to their own professional lives.
Innovation in Support of Education By Luke Carothers
Students at Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI) are reaping the benefits of the new Discovery Building that was recently completed on the Southern California campus. The Discovery Building houses 43 classrooms–including science and computer labs–as well as indoor and outdoor dining facilities, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a suite for medically fragile students, a rooftop garden classroom, and a parking garage for nearly 300 cars. With as many features, the total building space is 280,000 feet with two levels below grade that house parking for the structure as well as a loading dock and distribution center. This below grade section also houses the Olympic-sized swimming pool, which, in addition to hosting the school’s athletic teams, also serves a community function. The SAMOHI Discovery Building also houses three floors of classrooms with half of one of the floors being used as a kitchen and dining facility that doubles as the food preparation site for the district. The building’s rooftop space is also being fully utilized, featuring not only a rooftop classroom, but also an PV solar system and a solar heating system for the pool. The SAMOHI Discovery Building was built through a collaboration between McCarthy Building Companies, HED and Moore Ruble Yudell. Funding for this innovative project was secured through bond money from the school district. Nathan Huntley, who served as the Senior Project Manager for McCarthy on the project, believes the building’s uniqueness is a product of both its open construction and the classrooms being built on access flooring. The combination of the structure’s flexible, open-column grid design, and access flooring means that the building’s interior is open and can change based on need. Huntley notes that the building's columns and lack of shear walls means that they were free to use different types of walls that can be moved and changed to alter the space such as partitions and NanaWalls.
Many of the biggest challenges on this project came from provid - ing access flooring. To overcome these challenges, Huntley and his team had to rely on a high level of coordination. The deci- sion to include access flooring meant that the typical construction process was inverted. During a standard construction project, MEP work is done after the flooring and walls are constructed. However, because most of the MEP is located below the flooring, it had to be moved up in the schedule. This “reverse construction process”, as Huntley puts it, had a significant impact on the rest of the project. This flexible design is helpful in both the short and long term. This level of flexibility is unique in an educational setting, and, although the building was designed before Covid-19 became a concern, its ability to expand spaces and utilize outdoor learning is well suited for the current paradigm. In this sense, the SAMOHI Discovery Build - ing is designed to fully utilize the local climate. Not only does the school feature several outdoor classroom spaces that take advantage of the warm Southern California environment, but the cafeteria is also outfitted with a special set of glass doors that can be fully opened. According to Huntley, this serves two purposes in both letting fresh
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