County Administration North Building Tops Off

The latest installment of a 20-year plan to redevelop the County of Orange’s real estate assets passed another important milestone.

The County officially topped off the County Administration North Building in Santa Ana, California, a twin to the County Administration South building opened in 2019. The event marked the completion of the steel superstructure and the setting of the last beam for the six-story building, which also includes two stories of below grade parking. The chosen beam, which was signed by all project partners, is part of the project’s iconic cantilevered canopy overhanging Ross Street.

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The project is part of a public-private partnership with Griffin Structures as lead developer, LPA as the design partner and Swinerton Builders as the general contractor.

“The County Administration North Building is a prime example of the unique public-private partnership (P3) delivery process – a streamlined, highly collaborative approach to delivering projects that draws on the combined strengths of the public and private sectors,” LPA project architect Melody Tang says. “Early collaboration and close coordination between the design, construction and developer teams helps identify potential issues early on and results in faster construction scheduling as well as cost savings for the owner.”

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Tang, along with Bryan Seamer, Director of Structural Engineering, represented LPA at the topping off ceremony.

The facility is the second phase of the Civic Center Facilities Strategic Plan, which aims to improve operational efficiencies and reposition the County’s real estate assets, covering 10 County-owned buildings, 4,600 employees and more than 1.6 million square feet of space, including a wide array of public areas. LPA completed the first phase, County Administration South, in December of 2019. The facilities are the first new buildings at Santa Ana’s Civic Center in 40 years.

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Located at 645 N. Ross Street, the 365,621-square-foot building will feature mix of private offices, conference rooms, open-plan work areas and a new 300-seat board hearing room for the public to engage with the Board of Supervisors and County staff.

The project is seeking LEED Silver certification, and features an efficient envelope design, a variety of energy management strategies and daylight harvesting to maximize building performance. County Administration South met the AIA 2030 Commitment target of reducing energy use by more than 70 percent, largely through passive strategies.

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The County Administration North Building, which will accommodate approximately 650 County staff, is expected to complete in the summer of 2022.