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Engineering News Record California Best Projects 2013 Award – Sage Creek High School, Carlsbad

BergerABAM and Balfour Beatty Construction were honored this year for the Sage Creek High School project by ENR California magazine. Opened on 25 October 2013, the 57-acre hillside school campus for the Carlsbad Unified School District included an athletic stadium, ball fields, a gymnasium, 42 classrooms, 6 science labs, a library, food services, a fine arts building, parking, and administrative support structures.

The five multi-story buildings that were built into a hillside were in a challenging location, and environmental needs of the site required solid coordination between different city, state, and federal agencies. Strict stormwater compliance and environmental concerns added to the challenge, as the site was next to Calavera Creek, which is a habitat for the endangered Least Bell’s Viero bird.

BergerABAM civil engineering design included complete site civil infrastructure; i.e., grading, drainage, water, sewer, fire water, paving, hardscape, hydrology, hydraulics, low impact development features; preparation of stormwater pollution prevention plans as per the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System requirements, as well as additional coordination with the Regional Water Quality Control Board; and design of short site retaining walls, off-site encroachments, and easements. In addition, Cannon Road was extended along the school frontage, in addition to the extension of regional reclaimed water mains and potable water main extension along street frontage with a pressure-reducing station. A complete traffic signal was designed at the intersection of Cannon and College, and street lighting plans were created.

To meet these challenges, and with an eye toward eco-sustainability, the school design used natural lighting, natural-looking bioswales for storm runoff collection, native plants in its landscaping, and set aside 6.2 acres for a biological habitat. The overall design resulted in a school that is not only registered as a Collaborative for High Performance School—which recognizes green building design that increases water savings, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality—but exceeded the minimum standard needed by 25 percent.

The Sage Creek High School design not only received ENR’s recognition as the 2013 Best K-12 Education project in California, the project also received an award from the Associated General Contractors San Diego Chapter at the Build San Diego Awards banquet on 7 November 2013.