City of San Diego - Mission Hills Hillcrest Public Library
Mission Hills, Calif.
Award of Merit 

Owner: City of San Diego
Lead Design Firm: Manuel Oncina Architects Inc.
General Contractor: C.W. Driver

San Diego’s newest library is not only four times larger than its predecessor, but also significantly more sustainable. Designed to achieve LEED Gold status, the 15,000-sq-ft facility employs elements such as recycled and locally sourced materials, onsite renewable energy sources, rooftop photovoltaic cells, electric vehicle charging and low-VOC-emitting materials. Architectural highlights include a children’s area that resembles a Hobbit house from “Lord of the Rings” and a 25-ft-high ceiling that includes a series of trusses, trellises and a skylight.

A tight site challenged crews performing excavation work. From property line to property line, they had to excavate 35 ft down to construct two levels of subterranean parking. With such a small site, the dirt ramp providing access in and out of the excavation area had to be relocated several times to allow for downward progress. That, in turn, complicated deliveries and material staging, which required weekly coordination meetings to keep the project on schedule.

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