The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Station is proof that you can still go green and deliver a satisfying civic structure.

Susi Q Community and Senior Center
Susi Q Community and Senior Center

The project encompasses two structures – an 8,200-sq-ft senior center and an 8,000-sq-ft community center – and a parking garage.

The $15-million project includes several amenities for both adults and children, including a library room, art studio, computer lab, game room and dance and fitness studios.

The project team – Swinerton Builders and LPA, Inc. – also included a number of sustainable features that they believe would earn the project LEED silver level had it sought certification.

Numerous skylights were installed to bring in direct sunlight and are operable to allow the venting of summer heat. All the interior finishes use low-VOC materials and interior plumbing fixtures are low flow or waterless. The extensive use of light and motion sensors also reduce the electrical usage for the building while multiple solar tube skylights bring daylight into the interior rooms. The project team also recycled 75% of the construction waste.

One of the challenges the project team faced when constructing the building was site constraints. The project is located in a dense, urban site in the city’s downtown. Material delivery and handling was a challenge; the project team worked with the city to use an open lot three blocks away for the logistics of using the materials.

Another challenge overcome was during the constructability review, the project team realized that the flooring materials planned for the building were different heights and would lead to uneven floors. The project team then proposed and implemented a plan to pour the structural slab up to two inches below the actual floor level, then placed the flooring materials down. Once all the various materials were down, the project team added a topping slab to even out the uneven heights so the flooring throughout the building was at one elevation.

The center was also designed to blend into the downtown community of Laguna Beach. The designers infused residential aspects and the beachfront atmosphere into the building. At the same time, artwork featured throughout the center was provided by local artists.

Project Team

Owner: City of Laguna Beach
Program Manager: Griffin Structures, Inc., Laguna Beach
General Contractor: Swinerton Builders, Irvine
Architect: LPA Inc., Irvine
Electrical Engineer: Konsortium 1, Santa Ana
Mechanical Engineer: Tsuchyama, Kaino, Sun & Carter, Irvine
Structural Engineer: Culp & Tanner, Lake Forest