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APWA San Diego and Imperial Counties Public Works Project of the Year: Sage Creek High School

Sage Creek High School is considered one of California’s most environmentally advanced and energy-efficient high school campuses.

On 14 March 2014, the Sage Creek High School project was awarded the American Public Works Association (APWA) San Diego’s and Imperial Counties’ Public Works Project of the Year award in three categories: Structures, Sustainable/Green, and More than $75 Million. The Public Works Project of the Year Award promotes excellence in public works projects by recognizing the partnership between the managing agency; the consultant, architect, and engineer team; and the contractor, who work together to successfully complete public works projects.

The 139,000-square-foot, $104 million Sage Creek High School sits on a 56-acre site adjacent to a 6.2-acre biological habitat. Composed of five multistory buildings built into a hillside, the project faced environmental constraints, strict stormwater compliance requirements, and significant project elevations. The latest low impact development techniques in stormwater management were employed to reduce effects to the construction site’s adjacent Calaveras Creek, an environmentally sensitive creek bed that serves as the nesting habitat for the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo bird. In addition, the design went beyond the low impact development guidelines outlined in the City of Carlsbad and State Water Resource Control Board regulations with the project’s innovative use of green technology that exceeded the minimum standard needed to meet Title 24 of the California building code by 25 percent. Because of this achievement, the project was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Certification. The facility is also registered as a Collaborative for High Performance School, a designation recognizing green building design that facilitates water savings, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality.

Sage Creek High School is considered one of California’s most environmentally advanced and energy-efficient high school campuses. The project has gained national and regional recognition from ENR California “2013 Best Project Award” in the K-12 Education category; Associated General Contractor San Diego Chapter “Build San Diego Merit Award” in the Sustainable Project category; and Associated Builders and Contractors San Diego Chapter “Award of Excellence.”