First Building in OC Master Plan Opens

The six-story County Administration South building in Santa Ana, California, formally opened in September, the first step in a 20-year master plan that will transform the County of Orange’s civic center.

The $180 million, 250,000-square-foot building includes a one-stop counter for County residents to engage with all 13 county departments, reorganizes County offices and a free-standing conference center. The building is designed to reduce fossil fuel use by more than 70 percent, surpassing the goals of the of the AIA 2030 Commitment, primarily through a variety of passive design systems, such as proper building orientations, solar shading, daylight harvesting and energy-efficient HVAC systems.

The project—developed in a public-partnership with Griffin Structures as lead developer, LPA as the design partner and Swinerton Builders as the general contractor—opened five months ahead of schedule and returned $5 million in savings to the County.

“It is awesome. The downstairs area especially is so accessible to the public,” Mary Beth Anderson, assistant to the Orange County Community Resources director, told the OC Register after touring the new building. “I’m really looking forward to being able to serve people here.”