Turner Construction Company Building One of the Nation’s First Green Youth Juvenile Justice Facilities

In December 2003, Turner broke ground on the new $148 million San Mateo County, CA (pop. 697,456) Youth Services Center (the Center). When completed in July 2006, the environmentally sensitive 16-building, 23-acre complex will include a 180-bed juvenile hall, 30-bed girls’ camp and 24-bed group home, a central dining hall, and a school. There will also be a health clinic, juvenile courtrooms, and probation offices and related services.

 

ARTICLE | Aug 29, 2005

In December 2003, Turner broke ground on the new $148 million San Mateo County, CA (pop. 697,456) Youth Services Center (the Center). When completed in July 2006, the environmentally sensitive 16-building, 23-acre complex will include a 180-bed juvenile hall, 30-bed girls’ camp and 24-bed group home, a central dining hall, and a school. There will also be a health clinic, juvenile courtrooms, and probation offices and related services.

The Project:

After completing two needs assessments, it was determined that San Mateo County needed a new juvenile justice facility. The existing 55-year old buildings were overcrowded, structurally outdated, and unable to adequately handle the current number of youth housed there. 

Until recently, juvenile justice facilities in the U.S. were typically institutional-like buildings focusing on cutting costs and locking up youth. Today, the attention is on reducing crime and providing youth with a place where they can learn skills to be successful. San Mateo County wanted to follow this new generation design. 

The county set its sights on an up-to-date facility that would provide necessary services to rehabilitate youth and programming for their families while also promoting the board of supervisors’ commitment to green building standards. The county’s goal was to be the first detention facility in the nation to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) rating. 

Turner Construction and its design/build partner San Francisco-based Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz (KMD) Architects were chosen to design and build the Center because of their extensive experience and expertise in building innovative juvenile detention facilities. 

Turner and KMD Architects are creating a campus with buildings that have a residential character, but will also be able to adequately house and facilitate programs for at-risk youth. The open-campus design encourages programming and treatment, and allows staff to interact with individual youth as well as groups. 

Project Challenges and Solutions:

·         The Center has to be designed and built using technology and materials to meet guidelines and regulations for the security and care of children in detention, while also meeting the county’s vision of a facility designed to improve the lives of troubled families and children.

·         To meet the county’s commitment to green building, Turner and KMD Architects had to determine cost-effective ways to design and construct the facility using sustainable materials and components. 

·         The construction of the various structures requires a wide variety of construction techniques, a multitude of materials and an extensive amount of coordination, design review and supervision.

·         Surrounded by suburban residential neighborhoods, the design and construction of the Center has to blend into the site’s environment. The county met with neighbors to ease their concerns, and as a result, local residents helped to design the landscape.

·         The design of the project has to meet the current and projected future needs of the juvenile justice system in San Mateo County. 

·         Turner had to ensure that during site preparation two endangered plants would be preserved-the crystal springs lessingia, and the fragrant fritillary, which are protected under NEPA and CEQA.  A plant specialist was hired to harvest seeds and then plant them along the site’s perimeter. 

·         Protection from natural hazards during site work was a concern because the site features serpentine rock containing natural asbestos. When the rock was exposed, the site was kept wet and the air was monitored. 

Unique Features and Benefits:

The Center’s open design encourages self-discipline and self-governing skills. The use of green building elements is intended to provide youth with a positive environment while they receive treatment. Green building elements include:

Energy Conservation:

·         A pre-fabricated co-generation power plant on site uses natural gas to generate approximately 50 percent of the facility’s electrical needs.

·         Heat generated from the co-generation facility will be used to heat water.

·         “Cool” colors chosen to reduce heat absorption decrease the heat load on the buildings.

·         Natural light is used to augment electrical lights. 

Water Conservation:

·         Landscaping uses indigenous plants requiring minimal or no watering.

·         No-water urinals help reduce sewage wastewater.

Use of Natural Materials:

·         Carpeting is manufactured without off-gassing components.

Pollution Control

·         Products used are fabricated within 500 miles of the project site, reducing the amount of air pollution from delivery trucks.

·         Shielded site lighting reduces light pollution.

·         Provisions for hybrid cars

 

Project Specifics:

Name:                                     San Mateo County Youth Services Center

Location:                                 San Mateo, California

Number of Buildings:                 16        

Area:                                       276,000 square feet

Cost:                                        $148 million

Date of Completion:                   July 2006

Owner:                                    County of San Mateo

General Contractor:                   Turner Construction Company

Contact:                                    Ken Schroeder, Project Manager

Division:                                    San Jose, CA

Delivery Method:                        Construction Manager at Risk

Architect:                                  Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz Architects

                                                San Francisco, CA

For media information, contact:  Miriam Schaffer, e-agency, 510.496.2354 or email mschaffer@e-agency.com.

          

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