How to Go from BIM Manager to Autodesk Superhero in 3 Days


Fitness Center Expansion


Continues to Move Forward


Approves New Professional Development and Charter School Facility


One of 230 Shovel-Ready School Construction Projects funded by the State Allocation Board (SAB) in May 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hidden Valley Lake Golf & Country Club : Off to a Great Start!

There's nothing more satisfying than knowing we've done right by our client and, more importantly, they get real value in working with us. Our ongoing involvement with the Hidden Valley Lake Golf & Country Club is an excellent example of this fulfilling experience.
W+P was privileged to be mentioned in the Hidden Valley Lake Association's October 2013 Special Report. Here's an excerpt from the newsletter:
"Late last year, the Board realized that we could go no further with facilities planning and design without the assistance of professionals. Thus, we developed a Request for Qualifications and distributed it to six architectural firms with relevant experience. Five firms submitted proposals after visiting Hidden Valley Lake and viewing our facilities. After reviewing all the proposals in detail, the Board chose Williams + Paddon. [Williams + Paddon] has designed golf clubhouses all over the west, including many projects for Trilogy. Some of their work includes [Yocha Dehe Golf Club at] Cache Creek Casino, Whitney Oaks in Rocklin, Catta Verdera in Lincoln, and Trilogy projects in La Quinta, Nipomo, and Brentwood.
Another strength of this company is its extensive work on community centers and public facilities. A sampling of this work includes Lincoln Crossing Aquatic Center, Fairway Canyons in Beaumont, Avalon in Palm Springs Village, a community center in Citrus Heights, and Trilogy projects in Brentwood, Corona, La Quinta and Rio Vista.
Two talented and experienced architects, both graduates of Cal Poly, are leading the work on this project. Terry Green is a principal of the firm and serves as lead designer. He has been with Williams + Paddon for [29] years. Greg Tonello has been with the firm for [29] years. He is a principal of the firm and serves as its project manager.
One of the tasks the Association asked of Williams + Paddon was to verify the 2007 Gentry Engineering reports dealing with code-required building upgrades. Terry and Greg assembled an experienced team to complete this work and to advise them on technical issues as their design work evolves.
This team includes Bill Rader of Buehler & Buehler, Structural Engineers. Josh Pirkl, Mechanical Engineer, and Ryan Cartwright, Electrical Engineer, both with Glumac. Lastly, Robert Boucher of Ascent Builders is providing construction expertise."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dan Penick : The Latest Recruit of Team W+P

We didn’t forget about welcoming Dan…

...even if it’s taken three months since he joined our firm for this post to come out!

Dan Penick was added to W+P’s roster in September and thrown into the fire early, as we immediately inserted him into a few key projects with tight deadlines. He has not disappointed… this design savvy Autodesk Revit® Certified Professional has helped boost both our deliverables and office dynamic. Dan isn’t fazed by tight deadlines or challenging design ideas. A real trooper, he even put up with getting a can of Spam for his first ever W+P Holiday white elephant gift exchange!
Dan infuses his work with an interesting sense of style—sort of a mashup of the Bay Area and SoCal vibe. The former is where he grew up, and the latter is where he went to architecture school and worked prior to W+P. His creativity isn’t limited to his design and 3D modeling capabilities, either... W+P awarded him “Most Likely to Scare the Dog” for his Halloween costume—a full-on Frankenstein, complete with face paint, creepy stare and shuffling walk. We’ve also been hearing about some wondrous delights coming out of his kitchen… as you can imagine, we can’t wait till our next office potluck!

Dan spent some of his high school life in Sacramento, his fiancé was living in Midtown while he was working in Los Angeles, and both of their families are in the area… so in many ways, coming to W+P is like coming home. We’re glad to have helped make that happen for Dan!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Performance Chevrolet's New Look

Williams + Paddon led the recent efforts to upgrade the Performance Chevrolet car dealership in Sacramento, CA. 

The improvements were focused in the primary exterior façade facing Madison Avenue and Wall Street, areas surrounding the main showroom, the interior of the main showroom, reception, hallways, and Service Department customer lounge area. Accessibility upgrades for both site and interior were also included in this project.

Our team led coordination efforts with Gensler's Chicago office to ensure all upgrades were in line with corporate standards and national branding. The project's success was hinged on our flexibility and responsiveness in incorporating changes requested by the owner after construction had begun.

Photos are courtesy of Wells Construction.

DIY Diva : Building a Designer Style Headboard in No Time!

There's no better use of spare time than a good DIY project, in my book!

So when we moved into our new home in early Spring, the first thing I wanted to do was make our very own headboard. I looked online for inspiration, as well as instructions. The one that caught my eye was not a traditional upholstered headboard--its nail head design added a little bit of character. This particular designer headboard retails for $1250... I was up for quite a challenge!

Step 1: Buy materials--plywood cut to size, quilt backing, nail head trim, picture hooks, fabric of choice, staple gun.

Step 2: Wrap the quilt bating and fabric over the front and staple them both to the back of the plywood. Trim the excess.

Step 3: Replicate the nail head pattern. I used a nail head trim in place of individual nail heads, so instead of hammering each nail head in individually, I only had to nail every fifth one. This nail head trim was also great because it was easier to keep a straight line.

Step 4: Attach picture hooks to the back of the headboard, about six inches from either side, and hang on the wall behind the bed. 

Despite the fact that it’s a fairly large piece, it was surprisingly easy to put together and only took about an hour. I am thrilled with the results and it only cost me $90... saving over a thousand dollars! Not only am I happy about the savings, but I’m also proud to know I was able to create something beautiful and customized to my taste!

AIA Central Valley Appoints Brian Whitmore as Treasurer

On November 13, Brian Whitmore, AIA, LEED® AP, was elected to the position of Treasurer for the AIA Central Valley Chapter.

The AIA Central Valley is the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects that serves 17 Northern California counties, including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba. The Chapter has been in existence since 1942 and has grown from a group of 5 charter members to a current membership of 850, serving architects, associates working towards licensure, students and allied professionals.

Brian has already served as Director for the Chapter since 2011. As Treasurer, he now serves on the Executive Committee, with the opportunity to culminate as President of the Chapter in 2017.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

PCOE : A Study in 21st Century Educational Environments

The recently completed I-Learn and I-Care Charter School and Professional Development Facility for Placer County Office of Education is an excellent example of Williams + Paddon’s commitment to 21st Century Learning.

This adaptive re-use of an existing commercial office building for educational use houses two County dependent Charters and a professional development center: 

  • The I-Care Program - a school for “at-risk” middle and high school age students who are struggling in the public school environment
  • The I-Learn Program - focused on “home-school” program resources and learning
  • A 160-seat professional development and staff resource room, administrative office space and “itinerate” docking area for PCOE staff and administration.
The facility, a 22,000 sf existing building, was designed to allow for maximum use of the space, accommodation of natural daylight and the concept of a shared “hub” space that could be used for student interaction and break out. This tenant improvement demonstrates how commercial office space can be transformed into a 21st Century Learning facility through proper programming, infrastructure and safety/ security measures. The classrooms utilize SMART technology, tablet based audio-visual systems and lighting control, and are arranged around a shared “hub” area for social interaction and student presentation. The furniture is mobile and offers both lecture and soft seating options.
The need to specify “indestructible” materials was pronounced from the beginning of design development due to security/safety and vandalism concerns. This appeared to discourage investments in 21st Century Learning; however, by working closely with PCOE’s administration and staff, Williams + Paddon developed creative design solutions that addressed these needs while still promoting the principles of 21st Century Learning.

The design incorporated a combination of heightened visibility, durability of materials, ergonomic furniture, and warmth of color, resulting in spaces that students consciously value and choose not to vandalize. This strategic investment to develop spaces students would consider “their own” and take pride in reduces any inclination towards vandalism and increases the students’ involvement and desire to care for the environment. Above all else, Williams + Paddon believes a pleasing, comfortable, clean and well-maintained educational facility brings about more positive perspectives and is particularly conducive to learning.

This design direction led the District to commit both complex technology and high quality furniture for a richer interior environment. The investment has proven to be especially rewarding: the reaction of the students was one of amazement. It is evident that they appreciate the high level of care demonstrated by their new surroundings, and the sense that the community has truly invested in them encourages them to better value this opportunity to learn.

Williams + Paddon’s Commitment to 21st Century Learning

In today’s world, it’s become more evident that true learning happens everywhere—inside, outside, and in all the nooks and crannies in between.

Williams + Paddon supports this by developing 21st Century Learning Environments that are extremely adaptive—where a hallway may serve as a gallery or stage, and an outdoor plaza can be as a classroom.

These environments are collaborative—information is not just obtained and mastered, but also shared, reflected upon and added on to—utilizing the careful integration of technology, equipment and mobile furnishings that allow spaces to be both comfortable and flexible. We design a multitude of spaces for the various ways in which people learn—balancing traditional lecture halls with more private environments as well as a more spontaneous, collaborative environments.

In addition, we understand that educational facilities that closely mimic the real world (such as career technical education space) can be more compelling and relevant than static or standard spaces. We work hard to weave our knowledge of commercial, civic and hospitality design into the educational environment; thus creating real workplaces and dynamic environments that people seek out to be educated within.

In creating 21st Century Learning Environments, our incorporation of sustainable practices is vital. In addition to directly translating into cost savings for long-term facilities maintenance, sustainable design improves occupant comfort, indoor air quality, access to daylight and views, and the overall relationship between indoor and outdoor space. These elements have been shown to impact the long-term operational budget through the improvement of the health and well-being of employees, reductions in absenteeism and improvements in productivity. And just as this premise is logical when it comes to working adults, all the more it makes sense when it comes to children and young adults who need to be able to focus in order to learn—they can apply themselves most effectively to learning if their environment is appropriate, comfortable and not distracting.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

AOC's New Merced Los Banos Courthouse Continues to Move Forward

The Judicial Council of California has authorized the Los Banos Courthouse project to proceed with preliminary plans to 100% Design Development.

This development is of great community significance for the County of Merced, the City of Los Banos, and the public it will serve. The modern, secure, and functionally appropriate courthouse will expand court services in western Merced County by providing a jury capable courtroom, and a jury assembly room to allow jury selection and trials to be held in Los Banos.  It will also be adding a family law division to provide family law proceedings, including mediation and self-help services.

The 29,500 SF building is designed to embody the ideals of the California justice system and enhance the employees’ ability to efficiently serve the public. The courthouse conveys a lasting civic impression that is dignified and welcoming.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Serrano Country Club : Fitness Center Expansion

Williams + Paddon assisted Serrano Country Club with the expansion of its existing fitness center.
The addition includes a new 3,800 SF addition with a new enlarged fitness room, a group fitness room, 2 additional tennis courts with a viewing terrace, remodeled accessible shower & restroom facilities, remodeled and expanded dining room, and remodeled reception and multi-purpose rooms. The entire facility was upgraded with an automatic fire sprinkler system.

“We really enjoyed overcoming design challenges to ensure the addition had a unified vocabulary that tied into the existing clubhouse and fitness center,” said Mark Posnick, who was the project architect and manager. “It was a great collaborative effort with the client and RCP Construction.”


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Employee News : Trish Dawson

W+P's Trish Dawson : Appointed to the Citrus Heights Planning Commission
The Citrus Heights City Council recently appointed Trish Dawson to be one of seven Planning Commissioners for the City of Citrus Heights for a four-year term. The Planning Commission holds hearings in a public forum to review land use planning issues for the city. Planning commissioners are selected by the City Council for their interest, experience, and expertise.

Trish has resided in Citrus Heights for the past 27 years, and has tirelessly devoted her time to her community. She held the position of Chamber of Commerce President in 2010 and Vice President for Economic Development in 2009, and she was one of the founders of the Elevate Young Professionals Group. Trish graduated from Leadership Citrus Heights and received the President’s Award in 2007.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The "Most Historic Square Mile in California"

W+P's Jim Williams leads an American Leadership Forum Hike

Left to Right: Marty Tuttle (City Manager, West Sacramento); Tom Stallard (Woodland City Council); Jay Schenirer (Sacramento City Council); Allen Warren (Sacramento City Council); Jim Williams (W+P Founding Principal); Steve Cohn (Sacramento City Council)

On June 1, Jim Williams and Tom Stallard led a hike for some of the region’s leaders through “the most historic square mile” in California history. Allen Warren generously put in the winning bid for the hike, which was auctioned off at American Leadership Forum’s fall Exemplary Leaders Dinner. 

The hike starts near Donner Summit’s historic old Highway 40 and follows the historic Lincoln Highway--the first transcontinental road across the United States, which was built back in the early 1900’s. Portions of the route also follow the Emigrant Trail that saw the first wagon trains coming to California, and also parallels portions of the first transcontinental railroad built in the 1860’s.
Tom, a Woodland City Councilman, is known for leading hikes in his home county of Yolo, as well as tours of the monuments in Washington DC on Cap-to-Cap trips. Jim is a Placer County native who grew up hiking in the Sierra. 
American Leadership Forum (ALF) is a national network dedicated to building stronger communities by joining and strengthening leaders to serve the public good. The Mountain Valley chapter, headquartered in Sacramento, seeks to improve the social, economic, and political fabric of the Greater Sacramento region through shared commitment to collaborative action. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Recap : W+P's 6th Annual Trike Races!

Our Unique "May is Bike Month" Tradition Lives On...

Williams + Paddon is known for having many cycling enthusiasts... so much so that we created a unique way to celebrate the region's "May is Bike Month" campaign six years ago. In keeping with that tradition, last month, we dutifully created a racetrack in our parking lot with traffic cones and painter's tape; rolled out the grill to barbecue some hotdogs and sausages; and most importantly, gathered a motley crew of children's tricycles for adults of all sizes to try to fit into and race with! A couple of customized trikes somehow survived last year's festivities to be resurrected for this event.

True to the invitation we shared through our Facebook page, the extended lunch hour was a riot of "bikes, brews, and bites." W+P's Robi Kaseman earned first place with the token crash of the day, with Glumac's Michelle Mathewson coming in at a close second. W+P's Joey Baxter was honored for being the year's one-man pit-stop and working on our one new customized trike--a Harley Davidson trike, no less! In addition to Glumac, other friends who joined us for the festivities included Voit Real Estate ServicesKPFF and LP Consulting Engineers.

If you missed out on the fun this year, no worries... we're sure to celebrate Bike Month again next year, and we sure hope to see you then!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Roseville 2013 | Reimagine U

South Placer Region's Annual Signature Business Event is a Great Success

Photo courtesy of Lang Lew Photography.

Roseville 2013, themed Reimagine U, brought together more than 675 local and regional business leaders, elected officials, and community influencers for this sell-out event. Attendees walked away with fresh insight from the keynote speaker, former head of training at Disney University Doug Lipp, on “The Magic of Exceptional Customer Service.” He relayed amusing yet poignant anecdotes that emphasized key insights in business development and retention strategies, all the while entertaining the audience.

Interactive breakout sessions included:

·    "Trust: How Organizations Earn It, Lose It, and Can Keep It" provided a platform for attendees to learn how to build consumer trust. Introduced and moderated by Edelman Public Relations, the panel was composed of business, media and local leaders--including W+P's Jack Paddon, second from the left--who will share their own stories, tips, and insights about trust in their areas of expertise.

·   The State of the City address was given by Roseville Mayor Susan Rohan and Roseville City Council members. It provided an overview of the partnerships, projects, and strategies the City of Roseville is pursing to remain nimble and fiscally strong to take advantage of a recovering economy.

A presentation of the region's 2013 Business Awards by GALLINA LLP included the Young Professional of the Year, Entrepreneur, and Business Person of the Year awards. Following the program, attendees were able to unwind at a networking reception hosted by the Westfield Galleria at Roseville, which was situated in the midst of the business showcase that allowed them to interact and get to know the region's local businesses.

"The day provided many opportunities for attendees to forge new business connections and highlighted the economic strength that keeps the region thriving. We want to thank all of our sponsors and attendees that made the day such a success and one that everybody is sure to be talking about for a while," stated Wendy A. Gerig, Chief Executive Officer of the Roseville Chamber of Commerce, which led the planning and coordination of the affair.

Advantage Roseville

Williams + Paddon Partners with the City and other Local Businesses to Advance the Economic Development of Roseville

The Roseville Community Development Corporation, RCDC, helped create a partnership between 21 private businesses--including Williams + Paddon--and the City of Roseville. Through this partnership, the businesses and the City have committed time and resources to the success of the Advantage Roseville program, totaling more than $600,000 over a three year period.

What is unique about this partnership is the coming together of private business and a public agency to collaborate and work together on issues that are of shared importance. The primary objective of the Advantage Roseville program is to attract businesses to the City of Roseville, whether it is through expansion or relocation.

The biggest question the partnership started out with is, who should we target in our search? It was determined that efforts would be focused within the State of California. "These businesses want to be here and we know it's hard to attract businesses from other states," stated Mark A. Riffey, Business Development Manager for the City of Roseville, Economic Development. "We worked with a third party agency to identify target market sectors that align with our strengths and goals. Using these techniques, we have identified over 12,000 company names and contacts."

"To be successful we need everyone’s help--the founding members, every business in Roseville, and YOU," he emphasized. "We all represent the community when it comes to those considering relocating to Roseville. So, join the team. If you know of a business that you want to see here or you think would benefit from being here or is looking to relocate or expand, send them to me."

Mark Riffey can be reached at the City of Roseville by calling 916.660.6870 or emailing learn more, please visit the Advantage Roseville website.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

W+P at this Friday's Central Valley Charter School Symposium!

Free Event Covering Critical Issues for Charter School Developers and Operators

W+P’s Brian Whitmore will be presenting this Friday, June 21st, at the “Central Valley Charter School Symposium” held at the Fresno County Office of Education! This free, full-day event will cover critical fiscal and legal issues for charter school developers and operators. Don’t miss Brian’s 1-2:30 PM session on “Designing, Renovating, and Constructing Private Charter School Facilities.” The attached flyer provides more information and registration details.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ella Elementary School Improvements Move Forward

One of 230 Shovel-Ready School Construction Projects funded by the State Allocation Board (SAB) in May 2013 
Williams + Paddon is proceeding with work that began in 2009 for the Marysville Joint Unified School District. The District received $3.2 million from the State Allocation Board last month, which will be put towards continued improvements at Ella Elementary School. This phase will involve the construction of a new 19,900 sf 2-story classroom building, bus loop, staff parking lot, and off-site improvements; and removal of three portable classrooms.
This project is utilizing the Lease-Leaseback delivery method; Broward Builders is the general contractor. It will employ High Performance Incentive (HPI) program attributes:
  • Use design and materials that promote energy and water efficiency
  • Minimize and treat runoff after construction
  • Maximize the use of natural lighting
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Use recycled materials and materials that emit a minimum of toxic substances
  • Employ acoustics that aid in teaching and learning
The Williams + Paddon team is proud to continue helping shape the growth of Marysville Joint Unified School District’s campuses. In addition to this project, we have provided planning and design services for Ella Elementary’s campus master plan, Arboga Elementary’s new preschool, the relocation/placement of portable classrooms at multiple campuses, and the design of Cedar Lane Elementary’s new outdoor preschool play area.
Read more on the Ella Elementary project starting construction from the Appeal Democrat, Sutter and Yuba Counties’ local news source.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mark Your Calendars! Central Valley Region Architecture Festival in October

Join us in celebrating our region’s unique built environment and design community!

The AIA Central Valley is organizing the second annual Central Valley Region Architecture Festival, a 10-day celebration to be held on October 10 – 19. The goal of this event is to engage members of the public and design enthusiasts with architects and designers to promote awareness and a deeper appreciation for our rich architectural and design heritage, current achievements in our built environment, and the vision for our future.

Planning is underway! Please "like" the official festival page on FaceBook to receive updates as it evolves. Expected outreach:
  • 1,000+ AIA members / website subscribers. 
  • ~400 Crocker Art Museum Members attending the opening event at ArtMix
  • 90,000 circulation of Comstock’s Magazine
  • Additional outreach via local media blogs and articles, industry affiliates and the general public attending the events and activities
For more information on how to participate in and support the festival, please contact Tracy Librea-Asunto at 916.786.8178 or via email, or visit the AIA CV's festival sponsorship page

For general information about the festival, please contact the AIA CV office at 916.444.3658 or email Maria Ogrydziak. For general information about the Design Awards, please email Dustin Littrell. For more information on Comstock’s Advertising related to the festival (discount packages available), please email Clayton Blakley.

We look forward to seeing you at this many events lined up for this year’s Architecture Festival & Design Awards in October!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finished Photos : CSU Chico Normal Ave. Parking and University Police Department

It is always exhilarating to see the project vision become reality.

Some things inherently go together—Batman and Robin, for example, or peanut butter and jelly. But a parking structure and a university police station? There are many reasons why one would think they shouldn’t. With a demanding schedule, design-build delivery, and such inherent programmatic issues, this parking structure and police station project necessitated thoughtful design. An intriguing dynamic emerged—the occupied space gives scale and life to an otherwise vanilla structure, and the structure provides a strong backbone under which the occupied space coexists, resulting in a project that sets a new standard for parking technology and public safety functionality while enhancing the modern design vocabulary of the campus.
Through creativity in exterior skin and structural design, acoustic and security challenges were addressed without compromising quality and aesthetics. The concrete structure and lower level panels gave mass and sound deadening quality to the garage. Metal scrim panels were used as skin to give relief to the structure while preventing security threats to the police department from above. Trespa panels—an exterior grade plastic laminate material—provided a strong, maintenance free skin to the station; and full brick veneer was used for the vertical circulation towers for durability as well as to tie back to the vocabulary of the existing University campus.

The project achieved LEED® Gold Certification primarily through the use of high efficiency lighting, HVAC, and rooftop mounted PV panels and shade devices. A large portion of the upper deck is reserved for electric vehicles and includes recharge stations exclusively for this use. The structure is technologically sophisticated, utilizing complex camera systems and kiosks for vehicle counting and permitting.

Williams + Paddon is honored to have been involved in this critical project for the Chico State University campus. It was through exceptional collaboration with the University, Otto Construction, International Parking Design (IPD), and the entire design and construction team that this parking garage and police station came to life.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Arianna Smith : W+P's Not-So-New Hire!

In case you didn't know...
Technically, our newest Interior Designer, Arianna Smith, came aboard full-time in April… but it feels like forever ago, since she started out as an intern with us back in May of last year. We’re über excited to have her officially on our team—the lady’s got real skills and a healthy dose of creativity, both in design as well as in problem-solving. Thanks to her no-nonsense work ethic, she can whip out space plans, 3D models and construction documents like nobody’s business.

Arianna is great to work with, always ready to listen and learn, at the same time bring fresh ideas to the table. She may come across as soft-spoken, but don’t think you have her all figured out. When needed, she won’t hesitate to speak her mind or point out something everyone else may have missed. (We pretend we skipped it on purpose just to test her, of course!) The contradictions don’t stop there… born in Italy, Arianna does NOT speak Italian—the language OR the incessant hand movements! This one never fails to surprise us… all the more we love her for it!
Welcome aboard, Arianna!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Baseline Marketplace

New Commercial Plaza for West Roseville Residents

Williams + Paddon is pleased to be working with DF Properties on a 736,000 SF commercial center in the west side of the City of Roseville. It will be comprised of two distinct developments—Baseline Marketplace East and Baseline Marketplace West—brought together by one overall design intent. It will be anchored by several large plate retailers with supporting retails shops, businesses and restaurants.

The architectural theme is that of a village that has evolved through time and incorporates a variety of materials and styles. Materials may include integral colored concrete block, brick, stone, exposed steel, cementitious siding, plaster and wood. The use of both horizontal and vertical elements will create dynamic forms, including overhangs, covered walkways, colorful awnings, and a few tower elements that provide anchoring or focal points. The landscape, paving and accessory features will provide commonality to unify the buildings.

The Sacramento Business Journal published an article in April and another article in May reporting on the project.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Community Update

Next Economy : Implementation Phase

On March 7th, the Leadership Group of the Capital Region Prosperity Plan, known as Next Economy, celebrated the completion of its Strategic Plan. “We are looking forward to the Strategic Plan moving into implementation,” said Jim Williams, W+P’s Principal who is part of the group.

The initiative used basic research to uncover our region’s competitive strengths and mapped out a set of interlocking strategies based on that information that can accelerate job and wealth creation and boost new investment across the Capital Region. The plan recognizes our key competitive strengths in six sectors or “clusters” listed below. By growing and broadening these sectors, we can strengthen our economy through diversification and economies of scale.
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agriculture and Food
  • Clean Energy Technology
  • Education & Knowledge Creation
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Life Sciences & Health Services.
The goals of the plan are to:
  1. Foster a strong innovation environment
  2. Increase the region’s world trade
  3. Diversify the economy through growth and support of core business clusters
  4. Grow and maintain a world-class talent base
  5. Improve the regional business climate for economic growth
In the end, the success of the plan lies in ensuring that Next Economy strategies and actions are deeply integrated into organizations’ work plans, with accountability and champions across all segments of the Capital Region. Working together, we can build a more resilient and diversified economy for the 21st Century.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cultural Nuances : China Update

China's Take on Construction Framing:
Terry and I visited Shanghai just before the Lunar New Year in early February, eager to see the the status of one of  W+P's projects currently being constructed in China!
Even though traditional Chinese architecture features timber framework, it is difficult to find appropriate lumber locally  these days. As a result, all of the wood frames used for this project were imported from Canada.
Today, the Chinese use steel and concrete as primary framing materials, even for single-story structures. As seen in the pictures to the left, cast-in-place concrete is used to frame out windows, doors, and whole roof structures. Although this is no new practice to me, this construction method is being utilized on all of W+P’s ongoing work in the country, therefore Terry is getting used to seeing it!

Americans (and others) might question why the Chinese build everything out of concrete… and vice versa, the Chinese may also wonder why Americans still build homes using wood!

Such cultural nuances often lead to interesting discussions of the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the building industry...

Enough talk - time for dessert! Slushies are always our favorite after a long day on site!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Sworn Suburbanite Regains her Faith in the Urban Core

Never Say Never...

Growing up in the ‘burbs, I spent much of my youth romanticizing the urban lifestyle. But less than two years of living and working in Downtown Los Angeles pretty much ruined it for me. Sure, there were pro’s… authentic restaurants and hip bars and clubs within walking distance… gritty experiences, like befriending the scary guy who lived under the freeway since he stood guard over my car at night… easy access to the Staples Center (‘nuff said!). My favorite was, from the eleventh floor of an apartment in the financial district, I could leave the curtains open and fall asleep to a gorgeous view of city lights outlining the skyline.
Still, the reality of everyday wore down on me. It started with little things… costly rent for miniscule apartment space, even costlier parking, and parking tickets on top of it! I moved to more reasonably priced Hollywood—along Sunset Blvd, blocks away from Hollywood and Highland—and had to go through a vomit-in-the-elevator-and-a-property-manager-who-didn’t-notice-it-for-days incident. There’s the well-known LA traffic and horrible drivers… rude drunks spilling out of bars at 2 AM… and one of my bigger pet peeves: not being able to do more than a couple days’ worth of groceries at a time, because I only have two hands and a jug of milk or juice was all I could carry with one. The last straw was having wheels stolen from a gated underground parking garage. (The next morning, the car was balancing on two jacks, not even concrete blocks or anything… I kid you not!)
Since then, I’ve lived back in the suburbs, first in San Diego and now here. But then, on February 21st, I attended the Urban Land Institute’s program at the Crocker Art Museum titled “Unlocking Sacramento's Urban Core:  Identifying, Connecting and Enhancing the Assets.” Feature presentations by the Honorable Doris Matsui and Tim Youmans, and a thought-provoking, moderated panel discussion (that included John Shirey, City Manager of Sacramento; Martin Tuttle, City Manager of West Sacramento; David Taylor of David S. Taylor Interests; and Stephen Jaycox of Fulcrum Property) highlighted efforts to truly move the City forward via planned civic amenities, infrastructure, and private development. My attention was thoroughly captured. Those two hours flew by and made living downtown sound really enticing—not just for empty-nesting baby boomers or hipster/yuppie types, but even for someone like me who has three boys (well, okay, a husband and two boys!) in tow.
Imagine public access to and walkable neighborhoods along the riverfront; bike paths connecting Land Park to Old Sac and beyond; more bridges to alleviate transportation issues; street cars and pedestrian bridges; centers for education and the arts; thoughtfully designed recreation spaces within the concrete jungle... Amidst all the great establishments in Midtown that I already long for, what more could I need? (A downtown arena, maybe? But that will have to be an entirely different blog post!)

Of particular note is how public figures and private developers are collaborating to plan for Sacramento as a region, not separate parcels of land with different stakeholders that just happen to be next to each other. Perhaps the economic downturn has had a profound, positive effect of impressing upon us a simple truth: it is through working together that we can make great things happen.
The ideas of Stephen Jaycox particularly resonated with me, when he spoke of how what we plan and achieve in the coming years will have a lasting impact on the City. Right now is the City’s chance to define its identity for the future, and our industry in particular can help tie in the City’s roots in agriculture and maximize its greatest assets, the Sacramento and American Rivers. It is visionary ideas like that which make me proud to be part of this industry!

Daydreams aside, in all honesty, I may never leave the ‘burbs again. But I’m excited to watch as Sacramento’s Urban Core grows and thrives. Who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll at least get to visit my sons living their hip urban lifestyles downtown.

Did you miss out on the event but want more information? Check out Tim Youmans' PowerPoint presentation here!

Powered by Blogger.