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Improving Mental Health Care in Sonoma County

A small but important TLCD Architecture project was featured in an article, ‘County Overhauling Mental Health Services for Those in Crisis’ in today’s Press Democrat. The Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit is a new facility that will replace the existing, outdated facility currently housed in the old Sonoma County (recently Sutter) Community Hospital complex on Chanate Road.

The Crisis Stabilization Unit will expand and improve the County’s emergency mental health services which treat 4500 clients each year. This new, larger facility located at The Lakes business park in west Santa Rosa will be more accessible to the clients they serve and visible to the community. In addition to providing services to adults, it will also provide much needed services to adolescents who are currently among the most underserved in the North Bay mental health care community. Project Manager Jason Brabo, Project Architect Carl Servais, Project Captain Julie Wycoff and Interior Designer Domenica Sheets are the project team.

The 15,000 sf unit is a Tenant Improvement in an existing business park and has been designed to meet the specific needs of the clients and staff. It will serve those who come in on a voluntary basis as well as those who arrive involuntarily or by law enforcement and will provide a calm, clean and welcoming place for them to access treatment.

Inside the Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital. TLCD Architecture recently completed renovations at this mental health hospital in Santa Rosa, CA. The finishes selected create a warm, welcoming atmosphere conducive to healing. The same design approach is being used in the Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit.

Inside the Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital. TLCD Architecture recently completed renovations at this mental health hospital in Santa Rosa, CA. The finishes selected create a warm, welcoming atmosphere conducive to healing. The same design approach is being used in the Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit.

The Crisis Stabilization Unit is the second mental health services project TLCD has worked on – the first being the recently completed 95-bed Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital, mentioned in the article.

Mental health facilities present a wide range of design challenges and requirements. Clients need a safe and secure place in which to be treated where they cannot harm themselves or others, and the built environment should support that. Staff also need to be able to observe and monitor clients at all times. The finishes play a large role in creating a warm and welcoming environment while also being durable. The right finishes and color palette can help create a hospitality feel rather than an “institutional” feel. Natural lighting is used as much as possible because evidence has shown that natural light helps balance moods and aids the healing and recovery process. As Stephen Parsons, client case manager at the facility noted in the article, “It will be the kind of place where people who walk in will feel welcome.”

TLCD’s design team has worked closely with the Crisis Stabilization Unit care providers to create a space that will greatly improve emergency mental health care for Sonoma County residents. The work is interesting, complex and challenging. It is also very satisfying to know that the work we do will help improve care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Revit Virtual Reality…What?!

TLCD Virtual Reality

Get ready World….you’re about to change.

By Nick Diggins, Associate AIA

Recently, Carl, Phil and I watched a webinar about cloud rendering in Revit. I had seen this process emerge some months back and Carl and I briefly took a look at it. However, we quickly discovered a major drawback of not being able to use custom textures in the cloud. Out of the box texture mapping usually results in less than adequate representation of your design. Well guess what… you now can incorporate as many custom textures and material assets as you’d like!

Revit has been one of the slowest rendering engines out there, but I’ve always been impressed with its capabilities when it came to doing interior rendering for a native program. Time is a major factor in our business, and slow is a “no go”. A 12-20 hour rendering is not an uncommon thing with geometry heavy models, even with a render farm. Now with cloud rendering, we can send multiple views and let the magic and speed of the cloud to do its thing, while we keep working. An important thing to note is that renderings are vital for developing and sharing designs. Architects want to get their clients “into” the design, and a rendering can be great at starting to describe the space. Here’s the cool part, with Autodesk’s Cloud Rendering we are able to literally put the viewer in the space. It’s called stereo panorama (more about it here) and it’s transforming the way we use Revit with new levels of workflow for developing and sharing designs on the fly, not only with clients, but with each other.

I decided to give it a go and developed several views of 3d panoramas of a current office interior design. I had less than 6 hours for developing the scene materials, lighting and final render time, and little room for production time. I was able to fire off multiple draft renders during the process and keep working the scene similar to our backburner setup for 3dsmax. This was during normal work hours though so backburner was unavailable. Normally this type of work would have been rendered over a weekend but that was not the goal of the exercise. Once I had the developed views uploaded in the cloud, I had Autodesk sprinkle some magic over the top of them. Here’s where we take it up a few more notches, by pairing Cloud Rendering with a couple of iphones and pieces of cardboard, suddenly we were immersing the whole office into the design. You can stand and look all the way around you, with total freedom – and with your body rather than a computer mouse. Amazing!

Google Cardboard“Holy %&$#” was the phrase we heard from most of the office as first time viewers stood up to put on the goggles. It’s an amazing experience to witness the effect of going from sharing a 2D floor plan to actually putting people in the space. We are very excited  for this new design horizon and you can bet TLCD Architecture is going to keep pushing it’s abilities and usability. We look forward to what Autodesk might throw our way in the near future…3D walkthroughs maybe? Who knows, but TLCD is ready and excited for what might be brewing.

TLCD’s first LEED Certified project!

Solano College Board Room

The construction of Solano College Building 600 was completed last December and we recently received news that the project has been awarded enough points to achieve the level of Certified under LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC), making it the first TLCD project to officially achieve LEED certification!

TLCD Architecture was hired as a consultant to Architect-of-Record, Henley Architects + Associates (now A2R Architects) to work throughout the design and construction process of Building 600, a 13,837sf addition and remodel project at Solano College in Fairfield, CA.  The project includes bright new office space for the Solano College Administration and a wonderful new Board Room addition with high ceilings and a curved transom window that provides daylight across the beautifully crafted Cherry wood dais.

SCC_BLDG600_view1straight

Some of the green features of this LEED Certified project include:

  • High-efficiency HVAC system, designed and built by Peterson Mechanical out of Sonoma, CA.
  • High-efficiency LED lighting, designed and built by Sac Valley Electric out of Sacramento, CA.
  • A new high-reflectivity, Energy Star certified TPO roof over new rigid insulation.
  • New insulation at all existing concrete exterior walls that, combined with other energy efficiency measures, pushed the design to perform almost 10% better than California’s already strict Title 24 Energy Code.
  • Tubular Skylights from Solatube that provide natural daylight into open office spaces and corridors in the building that would otherwise have very little access to daylight due to the small amount of windows in the existing exterior. Even during construction, the contractor could work in the sky lit spaces without any electric lights turned on.

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As the Project Architect for Building 600, I have to give special thanks to Green Build Energy Group, the LEED consultant who helped guide the team across the finish line, and DPR Construction, the general contractor who built the project with an extraordinary level of care and quality.  This project had a lot of budget and schedule constraints, which made LEED Certification an immensely difficult task that could only have been achieved by the wonderfully collaborative effort of everyone involved.

LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification program created by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998 to recognize buildings that take extraordinary measures towards sustainability in the areas of energy and water efficiency, material and resource efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and site design.  Sustainable design is an important part of all the work we do, and we have several projects that are currently pursuing LEED certification, so we know that Building 600 will be the first of many LEED certified projects at TLCD.

 

Look Who’s Talking: Congress Visits the New American AgCredit Headquarters!

american agcredit headquarters building, tlcd architecture, construction update, airport business parkThe new 120,000 sf American AgCredit Headquarters project by TLCD Architecture is attracting a lot of attention! Last week Congressmen Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman toured the project along with about 20 folks from the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, led by its Executive Director Ken Fischang. American AgCredit will offer approximately 40,000 sf of lease space, and the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau will move their offices to this new space.

tlcd architecture, american agcredit headquarters building, sonoma county airport, architecture, designamerican agcredit headquarters building, tlcd architecture, construction update, airport business park

On the heels of the visit by our local Congressmen, TLCD staff took a tour of this amazing project this week. We walked up the temporary stairs to the 3rd floor to explore the Board Room and adjacent outdoor deck. We then checked out the 3rd floor “skybridge”, and saw where the roof walk is being installed. The roof walk will connect the two 3-story portions of the building, and will provide seating with views into the courtyard. It was a beautiful day, and we were able to admire the 360-degree views to nearby hills including Mt. St. Helena.

We also examined the mockup of the building’s perforated zinc cladding. This custom designed cladding system will be installed about 3 feet beyond the building exterior to provide shading, which in turn will greatly reduce the cost to cool what is already a highly energy efficient building. TLCD designed the cladding system with built-in pockets that will hide randomly spaced vertical LED lights around the perimeter of the building. At night these lights will be connected to a computer controller that will provide a randomly changing pattern of lights that will slowly fade on and off, creating ever-changing patterns.

 

 

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for March

RevitTipOfTheWeek

Easy Peasy Sheet Duplication by Leslie Smith (03/05/15)

Take a peek at the blog post below from the Revit Kid.

Very easy and quick to add new sheets to a project.
Just click on the sheet you wish to copy so that it is highlighted in the browser and Ctrl C
Then Ctrl V as many times as you need sheets for…
You will get sheets added in sequential order and will need to rename/renumber
If your sheets have legends or drafting view they will also be duplicated.

I copied a floor plan sheet (Ctrl C) and pasted (Ctrl V) four times

Voila!

RevitTipMarch01

http://therevitkid.blogspot.com/2015/03/revit-tip-copy-paste-for-quicker-sheet.html#more

 

EBRUG 5 Ways to Promote BIM Office Education by Leslie Smith (03/12/15)

In an effort to connect with the larger Revit community, we attended a recent East Bay Revit Users Group (EBRUG) where the topic was 5 Ways to Promote BIM Office Education, presented by Laura Smith, a Senior BIM Specialist from Kasian. Kasian is a large Architectural Firm in Canada with about 200 Revit users in 4 locations. Laura presented a few challenges and then 5 ways she overcomes those.

So what was the takeaway for TLCD?

A huge factor in our successful BIM implementation has been our very supportive principals. BIM is not just the future but is the NOW, and we feel fortunate that we have already overcome the hurdle of convincing staff and owners to buy into using Revit and implementing BIM practices.

As for office education, we have put into practice a number of methods, including a weekly Revit tip, periodic lunch & learns, and individual support for those pesky Revit issues. Recently we have begun writing a regular blog post about our Revit tips, making improvements to our family library, and hosting more lunch-time learning sessions.

We strive to be approachable and endeavor to foster two-way communication with our users— feedback is valuable and suggestions/comments always welcome. Although we feel our office standards, training and support already set us apart from our competition, we continue to push ourselves to raise our level of competency and maintain our edge.

 

West Valley College Entry Project: More Than Just Signs

West Valley College, Entry Project, TLCD Architecture, Oak Nursery, Historic Palm, Signage, Drought Tolerant Replacing entry signage and more than an acre of gopher infested turf at West Valley College in Saratoga seems most appropriate given Governor Brown’s recent statewide mandate for a 25% cut in water use. This project was conceived to highlight the identity of West Valley College on the main approach to campus. It also aimed to replace the turf with drought resistant plantings. The project, led by TLCD Architecture ultimately added a few more unexpected and interesting elements.

The signs themselves are bold new statements of West Valley College’s identity and take a fresh approach to the campus’ existing trademark logo. Designer Dickson Keyser of the GNU Group created sculptural leaf elements that stand out from the body of the three new signs and add animation to the ensemble. The 60 foot long main sign and the two electronic reader boards are made of self-healing Cor-Ten steel and merge seamlessly with the drought tolerant landscaping and the storm water recharge basin at the base of the site.

West Valley College, Entry Project, TLCD Architecture, Oak Nursery, Historic Palm, Signage, Drought TolerantThe West Valley Campus is centered on a meandering creek lined with stunning, mature oak trees. Many of these trees have reached the end of their life cycle and are dying off. At the top of the Entry Project, Quadriga Landscape Architecture established an “Oak Nursery”. Over time this nursery will provide stock to replant the deceased trees, keeping the oak lined central spaces of campus vibrant and alive.

Two historic palms were relocated from the location of the original farmhouse that preceded the college, when the site was orchard lands. They have been moved from an unnoticed location in the middle of a parking lot to create a fresh reminder of the history of the land.

The two reader boards are intended to announce campus events. WVC Director of Communications and Technology, Scott Ludwig, has programmed them with inspiring words that rotate on ten-minute cycles. Scott told me yesterday that students now walk up to him a spontaneously exclaim “Collaborate!” or other words of the moment, taking their cues from the reader boards.

The campus and nearby community has taken notice of the change and is appreciative of the dynamism of the statement. Over time, as they discover the other elements, it will become an even richer experience.

West Valley College Entry

“Before” view of West Valley College Entry

West Valley College, Entry Project, TLCD Architecture, Oak Nursery, Historic Palm, Signage, Drought Tolerant

“After” view of West Valley College Entry

Modern, Energetic and Flexible Work Places are Emerging in the North Bay

KI.com, furniture solutions, movable partitions, office design, tlcd architecture, american accredit, architecture

An example of the movable sound insulated glass walls that are going to be used in the American AgCredit building.

TLCD Architecture’s approach to a project fully integrates architecture and interior design to create modern and energetic work places. One project, which has been getting a lot of attention, is the 120,000 SF American AgCredit Headquarters building at the Airport Business Center in Santa Rosa.

The North Bay Business Journal recently did a piece on “Designing the New Workplace” which looks at how the design of modern work environments are focusing on flexibility and encouraging collaboration.

Suzanne Nagorka, TLCD’s Director of Interior Design, was interviewed for the piece and describes how American AgCredit’s new headquarters was designed specifically for the financial institutions’ changing needs – including movable sound-insulated partition walls that can be reconfigured.

Over our 50-year history, TCLD has worked closely with a variety of clients on office planning solutions for private sector, public sector, healthcare and financial markets and we are always looking for ways to innovate and best meet our clients’ needs.

Read the full NBBJ article here.

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