LPA Engineers Earn Top Honors from ASCE Orange County

LPA’s design of Edwards Lifesciences’ Starr Atrium earned the Structural Project of the Year from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Orange County Branch in last week’s virtual awards ceremony.

LPA designer Guillermo Medina, E.I.T. was also recognized with the Outstanding Civil Engineer in Community Service award for his impact on the local K-12 community. Medina is one of ASCE Orange County’s Community Chairs and as a volunteer, he offers his time to inspire and teach K-12 students about civil engineering through hands-on projects and activities. Medina has participated in more than 50 outreach events for Orange County schools in the past four years.

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“Congratulations to Guillermo on this well-deserved recognition,” said LPA Director of Civil Engineering Kathereen Shinkai. “His passion to enhance students’ lives with civil engineering knowledge and awareness of STEM-related fields will have lasting effects on the community.”

The Edwards Lifesciences Starr Atrium is a 25,000-square-foot gathering space that provides a dramatic new entry to the industry-leading medical device manufacturer’s corporate headquarters in Irvine, California. The ASCE OC jurors noted the atrium’s seismic resilience and ability to allow light and heat into the space without any visible HVAC or lighting systems on the atrium’s roof. Jurors specifically cited the “truss net” roof framing system, which supports the weight of the building and reduces any impact to adjacent buildings during future earthquakes. The crisscrossing diagonal steel framing also enhances the experience of the space, acting as a defining feature in the architecture, interior design and lighting design.

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The LEED Platinum Starr Atrium is a model for sustainability. Operating at net zero, the atrium is powered by photovoltaic panels that provide more energy than the space uses. The atrium includes a variety of conservation measures, such as a displacement ventilation system and LED lighting with controls designed to minimize the project’s energy use.

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“We are thankful to Edwards Lifesciences for giving us an opportunity to design this special structure that serves as a distinct focal point of the extended campus,” said LPA Director of Structural Engineering Daniel Wang. “This honor reflects the value of an integrated design process, with engineers working as core members of the design team.”