LPA’s Kathereen Shinkai Named ASCE Orange County ‘Land Development Engineer of Year’

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Orange County Branch named LPA Design Studios Director of Engineering Kathereen Shinkai the Outstanding Land Development Engineer of the Year in ceremonies on Feb. 27 at the City National Grove of Anaheim, recognizing her contributions to local design.

LPA was also honored with the Outstanding Sustainable Engineering Project Award for the Environmental Nature Center Preschool, a hands-on, nature-based learning center designed to meet LEED Platinum standards and operate at net zero, and the Outstanding Structural Engineering Project Award for Orange County’s County Administration South (Building 16), a six-story office and public service complex.

“The honors we received from the ASCE OCB are a reflection of our integrated design team’s ability to collaborate on projects and design site and buildings that are sustainable and timeless,” Shinkai said.

Shinkai has led LPA’s civil engineering design on a wide array of award-winning projects, including institutional, retail/commercial centers, master planned residential communities, religious facilities, public works, and industrial facilities. Working within LPA’s integrated design process, her work focuses on efficiency, new ideas and sustainability. Her recent work includes the six-story County Administration South Building for the County of Orange; the West Hollywood automated parking garage, which earned a COTE Award from AIA-LA; and the Environmental Nature Center Preschool in Newport Beach, which is designed to meet LEED Platinum standards.

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County Administration South (Building 16) replaced a vacant, three-story, 1950s-era building with a $180 million, 250,000-square-foot, six-story office complex with below-grade parking. The new building, with tall windows and exposed girders, combines the offices of 13 County departments into one facility, including a one-stop County Service Center for the public. Using primarily passive techniques, the building reduced fossil fuel use by more than 70 percent, surpassing the AIA 2030 Commitment target. LPA was one of only 16 firms in the country last year to meet the 2030 Commitment goal to cut fuel use in new buildings by an average of at least 70 percent.

The 8,000-square-foot Environmental Nature Center Preschool is part of the 4.7-acre Environmental Nature Center (ENC), which is designed as a living laboratory for green design and sustainability. Most of the learning happens outside, supporting the ENC’s mission to deliver quality, nature-based education focused on ecological responsibility and environmental stewardship. One hundred percent of storm water runoff is treated on site. Single- sloped roofs capture rainwater and channel it via rain chains into rock basins. From the rock basins, water is channeled into bioswales where the water is naturally treated and clarified by plant materials.