The project team behind the Pasadena Convention Center expansion had a unique challenge – to renovate and expand a historic building and make it fit into the city’s historic district.

Pasadena Convention Center Expansion

They succeeded – and managed to do it ahead of schedule, as well.

The 194,500-sq-ft expansion of the Pasadena Convention Center nearly tripled the building’s original meeting and event space. The project team built a 163,000-sq-ft building that provides 100,000 sq ft of meeting space, including a 25,000-sq-ft grand ballroom. A civic plaza was added that will allow a grand entrance for red carpet and outdoor events.

One of the challenges facing the project team was performing the work while operations at the convention center were ongoing. To overcome those obstacles, the project team built a 27,000-sq-ft temporary structure to serve as an exhibit hall to allow the convention center to continue operating.

The project team was also asked to accelerate the construction schedule in March 2008 and complete the project by March 2009 in order to accommodate a high-profile conference. The project team and its subcontractors managed to complete the project 44 days ahead of schedule.

The renovation also achieved a high quality level of craftsmanship while accommodating an accelerated schedule. The team completed its work with very few punchlist items. Mock-ups of exterior finish items such as plaster, cornice and window openings were constructed in order to ensure a high-quality finished product.

The project team also surpassed local hiring goals. For example, the renovation was going to use 50 local hires, but ended up using 75.

The renovation is also expected to make the facility one of the greenest convention centers in the nation.

Seeking to earn LEED silver certification, the project team used such energy-saving strategies as high-efficiency lighting, daylighting, occupancy sensors, high-efficiency glazing and demand-controlled ventilation.

The renovation also includes waterless urinals, low-flow fixtures and low-water landscaping.

The project team also diverted more than 80% of the total construction waste and used low-VOC products in the interior of the renovation. More than 90% – by cost – of the building materials consist of recycled materials.

Project Team

Owner: City of Pasadena, Pasadena Center Operating Co.
General Contractor: Clark Construction Group- California, LP, Costa Mesa
Architect: Fentress Architects, Denver
Construction Manager: AECOM, Los Angeles
Associate Architect: Miralles Associates, Inc., Altadena
Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers, Los Angeles
Structural Engineer: The Crosby Group, Redwood City
MEP Engineer: M-E Engineers, Wheat Ridge, CO