Analyzing & Designing With a Higher PurposeApr 29 2014 · 0 comments · Educational, Institutional, Nishkian Chamberlain ·0
The most important asset in the community and for our future is our children. Every parent has a natural apprehension when sending their children off to school each morning. Worrying about their safety in the classroom should not be one those concerns.
The 1933 Long Beach Earthquake was the turning point for seismic design and construction oversight for California public schools. The early evening earthquake in which 120 lives were lost and many school buildings suffered significant damage clearly demonstrated the need for more to be done for our children’s safety in their school buildings. Had the earthquake occurred during school hours it’s thought the fatalities would have been significantly higher! Out of the earthquake though, the California State Legislature passed the Field Act to prevent such scenarios from happening in our schools and provide a framework for designing and constructing better school buildings.
That’s where Nishkian Chamberlain and the Division of the State Architect, Structural Safety Section (DSA/SS) work hand in hand. DSA provides design and construction oversight to California public education buildings. Nishkian Chamberlain plays a significant role in the design of many of these buildings by providing the structural design to keep these buildings safe for our children at all times especially during earthquakes.
DSA and public education building design is required to follow a higher standard of engineering requirements over all aspects of building construction including:
- Public and Secondary School (K-12)
- Community Colleges
- All State-Owned & Leased State of California Properties
- Public Funded Charter Schools
- Essential Service Buildings such as fire stations, police stations, emergency operations centers
Our experience with DSA allows us to rise to the higher standard of engineering requirements necessary to protect our children, fireman, policemen and those in our community that are in California state owned and operated buildings. We understand the greater expertise needed when designing and analyzing school specific structures. We also use our expertise in seismic design and retrofitting to make sure these buildings are safer than the average public structure designed to the minimum standards of the Building Code. Structural safety and protection is our number one priority.
A few of the recent examples of DSA projects by Nishkian Chamberlain are the Vaughn G3 Charter Academy in Pacoima, California and Olive Vista Middle School in Sylmar, California. Both of these projects were designed by CSDA Architects. Please also see the Educational section of our Portfolio for additional examples.
Vaughn G3 Charter Academy in Pacoima, CA
Consists of a new elementary school campus in just over 60,000 sq.ft. with three seismically separated buildings. The steel framed buildings utilize special concentric braced frames for their lateral force resisting systems. Construction was completed in 2012.
The middle school campus had several buildings rank high on the 2003 Building Vulnerability Chart due to their concrete tilt-up wall designs from the 1950’s. As part of a current upgrade to the campus, Nishkian Chamberlain is working with CSDA Architects and LAUSD to design two new buildings to replace these vulnerable structures. A new gymnasium and a new multi-purpose building will be constructed to provide safer buildings for the children at the school. Construction is slated to start in 2015.
Should you have any questions regarding public school construction or need the assistance of a Structural Engineer for your next public school building project, do not hesitate to contact any of our offices.