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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

W+P Takes Home Multiple Awards

Sac Business Journal -
Annual Best Real Estate Project Awards:
Williams + Paddon was a big winner on September 21st, receiving two Best Real Estate Projects awards from the Sacramento Business Journal. The awards breakfast was held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento, and on the same day, the publication’s special supplement honoring the region's best real estate projects was published.

Here's the skinny on the projects awarded...

San Juan High School Modernization
Award Category: Renovation
San Juan Unified School District made a monumental decision in 2007 to invest more than $30 million in remodeling the flagship campus despite declining enrollment and increasing maintenance costs. As San Juan High School approaches its centennial celebration in 2013, this transformation aims to provide a world-class 21st Century Learning environment in five distinct pathways for technical education: hospitality and culinary arts; transportation technology; construction technology; engineering and design; and media arts, TV and theater production.

The project has completed seven phases: general streetscape including a new marquee and bus unloading area; new administration wing; new culinary arts wing; remodeled technology wing; new broadcast center remodeled from the old music wing; new performing arts center and an update to the auditorium; and the renovation of all underground utilities. If the Measure N bond issue in November passes, future phases of work would include renovating the athletic fields and gymnasium, and possibly a new student union.

“What an incredible transformation,” said awards judge Amy Lerseth. “What was an assortment of old, flat-roofed boxes [some of which were not up to code or safe] is now a beautiful tribute to the California Mission architectural style.”

See full write-up and additional photos here.

Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin
Award Category: Tenant Improvement
W+P designed the renovation of the offices of Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin, the city’s second-largest law firm, on the 10th and 11th floors of the Wells Fargo Center. After over 20 years at this location, the remodel created better efficiencies in space, modernized and opened up the work environment, and aligned the interior with the firm’s branding—all within the project’s cost parameters. W+P led the team—including Weintraub, Hines, and MarketOne Builders—in collaborating to achieve high impact improvements, reusing existing elements when possible while still attaining the new look and feel.

New lighting and modular workstations, moveable partitions, and spacious, energetic break rooms create a fresh, open atmosphere. Glass walls, light colors, and rich woods allow for enhanced lighting and an airy space despite the deep floor plates in this high-rise. Tasteful accents of Weintraub’s signature red serve as subtle reminders of the firm’s identity.

 “I don’t know what the difference in lumens is, but it is bright, cheerful, sunny, and just a better place to work,” said managing shareholder Michael Kvarme.

See full write-up and additional photos here.

Portions of this post were taken from the Sacramento Business Journal’s feature on the Best Real Estate Projects of 2011-2012. To access premium content, please visit the Sacramento Business Journal online as a subscriber.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two Visits to NYC

World Trade Center - Then and Now:
We visited New York City in August 2006 to check out colleges. Typical tourist, I was taking tons of pictures, always looking up at the skyscrapers. But in a city filled with skyscrapers, the most awe-inspiring moment for me was arriving at Ground Zero and immediately feeling the absence of buildings. There was a stillness there that was unique in this busy city; people walked beside an open weave fence in silence, staring at the emptiness. Inside the fence, the void left behind by the two World Trade Center buildings was significant. Through the fence we saw pavement with construction material, steel and concrete. Standing tall in the middle was a cross made of steel from the WTC, it is a memory I will not forget.

Flash forward to 2012, I try to visit New York City as often as I can. My son went to NYU and stayed, so it’s a great excuse for me to go. I was there in August and decided to go to Ground Zero for the first time since 2006. The change is extreme: the new WTC building is almost complete, and you can view it from the park which replaced the steel and concrete pavement. It seemed to me that my two favorite words, hope and action, were very present as the City has created a place alive with people and activity. I was initially surprised at the memorials, two large and low waterfalls seemed very understated considering the magnitude of the event they represent. But then I remembered the feeling of awe in 2006 as I looked at the emptiness of a space in New York City with no buildings. The beauty of the Ground Zero area as it rebuilds is that through thought, collaboration and design it respects the emptiness that was left when the buildings fell, but the rebuilding gives us hope for the future.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rediscovering the Art of Wood Construction

Back to Basics in China:
W+P’s first project in China is nearing completion! We designed three small tea pavilions for a corporate client. They will serve as hospitality spaces for entertaining VIP guests that consist of international, high-level government officials and Fortune 500 companies.
Hospitality is invaluable for this high tech company. In Chinese culture, the Tea Ceremony is a cultural activity to express friendship and gratitude for long-term relationships. It involves the ceremonial preparation, presentation and drinking of tea.
I’m proud to have had the opportunity to assist in the selection of three separate sites for the tea houses. Each pavilion was modified to take advantage of its location and views. Our approach infused  the client’s desire to use natural wood and organic materials.
This led to our discovery that wood construction is something of a lost art in China. During the Song Dynasty (960 -1279), temples and dwellings were built with wood using pin connection. Architect Li Jie wrote “Yingzao Fashi” (that is, “Treatise on Architectural Methods or State Building Standard”), which Emperor Huizong of Song Dynasty had published in 1103 in order to standardize architectural construction techniques for builders, architects, and engineers. But in modern China, suitable wood material is not readily available and almost all new construction in the country utilizes steel and concrete. 
Our client, inclined to use an uncommon construction material, had project management staff seek out a Chinese contractor that was associated with a wood supplier in Canada. The contractor’s framing crew was taught the art of working with wood in construction.
The tea pavilions now serve as examples of how this “lost art” can be successfully built in today’s China. Through such projects, people can rediscover the natural beauty to the Architectural order documented by Li Jie. We at W+P are privileged to have contributed to a renewed hope of bringing back this forgotten piece of Chinese culture.


Summer is in the air... Or is that construction I smell?

Summer School Construction:
I’m not so old that I don’t fondly remember my childhood summers–a relaxing time off from the hustle of school work and related responsibilities and an opportunity to partake in the beautiful outdoors, good friendly fun and family events… but those summers are now just a figment of my imagination. As an architect focused on educational environments, summer time is one of the busiest times of the year. Our education clients take full advantage of the 10 weeks or so when students aren’t in session, turning their campus into a moonscape of sorts, and transforming their facilities before the students return in mid-August.
This summer, Williams + Paddon had a number of learning environment projects in construction:
Bannon Creek Elementary School, Sacramento:
Began the first major phase of its conversion to a K-8 campus.
Parsons Middle School, Redding:
Began its first phase to completing a beautiful performing arts complex, plaza and sports courts.

California State University, Chico:
Completed its streetscape improvements along First Street and the University’s newest parking garage structure, along with a significant effort towards completing the new University Police and Information Facilities building.

San Juan High School, Citrus Heights:
Nearly complete with the last of seven transformative projects—the improvements to its performing arts center.

St. Clare, Roseville:
Began the construction of site improvements and a new classroom wing.

Marysville Unified School District, Marysville:  
Completed a number of small projects in campuses at the north end of the District.

It was also evident to me while traveling from our headquarters in Roseville to Chico, Redding, Fresno, Truckee, and across the Sacramento region this year, that education is alive and well in California. Despite economic issues and budget woes, School Districts and Universities are working hard to improve their amenities. Many of these projects are glorious examples of 21st Century Learning and Career Technical Education—a paradigm shift in the way we deliver education. Because they are new concepts, they are often not easy to implement, given aging infrastructure and hazardous materials.
Certainly, this time of year means unforeseen conditions, hectic schedules and mountains of paperwork… but at the end of the summer, we can say we’ve contributed a tremendous amount of lasting, physical work that factors into the future success of our students. It was a pleasure to see the reaction of students, parents and teachers returning from their time off to a new campus or new facility—their own hard work is rewarded with architectural design that will positively transform their lives.
This is a time to reflect on the difference that state and local bond funding makes in our educational environments, and the vital role we, as tax payers, play in the success of these measures. Many public school entities will be seeking local bond measures this November. So get out, vote, and show your support for public school construction in California!

Monday, September 10, 2012

UPDATE: New ADA Standards Taking Effect

Staying On Top of ADA & CBC
Accessibility related issues and items are a growing concern for property owners and tenants. Having a compliant facility and staying on top of both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California Building Code (CBC) requirements are critical to avoid increasing complaint letters and lawsuits. In March 2012, the 2010 ADA Standards took effect. These standards contain significant changes, some of which created conflicts with CBC requirements.  To resolve such conflicts, the State of California issued emergency measures, which have just taken effect this past month of August 2012.
Some of these recent changes include:
  • Range of mounting heights of signs is now allowed; replaces previously identified exact heights, which are no longer compliant.
  • Increase in required number of van accessible spaces.
  • Allowance of a range for toilet centerline from the wall; no longer an exact dimension.
  • Increase in duration required for the door closing speed/time.
  • Change in location of toilet paper roll; previous location is no longer compliant.
  • New requirements for previously exempt facilities, such as recreation facilities and golf courses.
  • Change in requirements for detectable warning truncated domes spacing and location.

Accessibility is such a critical component of facility management, design and construction, that Williams + Paddon has a studio dedicated to it led by Mark Posnick, AIA, CASp. We stay up to date on changes to the requirements and provide that information to our clients and colleagues. If you are interested in learning more about recent changes to accessibility requirements, please contact Mark at 916.786.8178 or email


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

W+P Tech Guy Assignment No.1 – Baby Monitor

Preparing for my first born baby:
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jeff Navarro a.k.a. “office tech guy #2.” (tech guy #1 being our I.T. manager).  I keep CAD, Revit and the like running smoothly in our office as well as work on various project in the office.  With that, I’m also a technology junky; what’s new, what’s hot, megapixels, terabytes… speed, speed, speed!  Now, I rarely have the opportunity to put my addiction to good use; but when I’m given clearance to research or buy technology for home, watch out!  My wife and I are expecting our first born baby this December and preparing for her arrival has been relatively easy so far, at least from my perspective.  I’m asked to look at colors or patterns and go through baby stores looking for things we might need or want to register for.  No big deal.

During one of these trips we came across the baby monitor section.  I’m thinking its radios or walky-talky like devices, easy.  Oh no!  It’s full on color cameras with built in two-way radios, night vision, heat sensors, humidity sensors, color displays, and on and on…  I start salivating thinking of what I can do with this!  I turn to my wife calmly and say, “I’ll take care of baby monitors.”  She gives me a smile and we move on through the store. 


When we get home, it’s on!  I first start looking at surveillance systems.  Not baby monitor from the kids store, but full on security IP camera systems with surveillance servers.  Can I get a system where I can mount multiple cameras in the room?  How about the front door and dog yard?  Can I access it from my iPhone and iPad?  Do the camera mounts swivel?  What about zoom and night vision? Ooh, looks like I’ll need to upgrade our home server!  How much more hard drive space can I pack in a new server?  Personal cloud storage?  $$$$$!  My brain is jumping from one thing to the next and soon I’m not even looking at cameras anymore.  I’m wondering what other personal toys I can squeeze into this camera thing.  Jackpot!

An hour or so into my scheming, my wife walks in and asks, “how’s it going?  Find anything we can use?”  I reply, “yea, but it might cost more than we thought.  Might need to set aside some money next month for this one.”  She gives me a crooked smile and walks away saying, “keep looking.”  I continue upon my quest.  I will not fail! 

Not more than five minutes later my wife comes back.  My brain is on overload with the possibilities and my hands are on my forehead.  I look distressed so she says, “how about this one?  It has audio and night vision with a monitor so we don’t need to use our phones.  Just what we are looking for, got good reviews and it’s cheap.”  She then asks what I’ve been looking at and why it cost so much?  Busted!

Next month’s assignment:  Baby room designs and colorswith Revit daylight simulations and 3D Studio Max renderings!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Newest Addition to the W+P Family

Because we love her so much:

We wanted to make sure everyone knows our new Business Development Manager - Tracy Librea-Asunto. Don't let her sweet temperament and perfect pearly white smile fool you... she's a lean-mean-marketing machine. When she's not whipping W+P into shape, you can find her rangeling the likes of her 3 boys... (husband included). Meanwhile back at the office, (as W+P's offical cat-herder), she's performing marketing miracles, pulling proposals from thin air on a daily basis.

If you haven't run into her out in the community yet, feel free to pop in @ W+P to introduce yourself! We promise, she doesn't bite! As long as you TRIPLE CHECK your spelling.

And now... a little something we like to call, The Many Faces of Tracy...    See why we love her!?!

Below, is pulled from the official press release...

Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners welcomes New Business Development Manager

Roseville, CA – Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners has brought Tracy Librea-Asunto aboard as business development manager. Her responsibilities include responding to RFQs/RFPs, coordinating the development of new business and client relations, and public relations. Tracy is also the current programs committee vice-chairperson of the SMPS (Society of Marketing Professionals) Sacramento Chapter. Tracy started her career in Southern California over ten years ago with Swinerton Builders. In Sacramento, she has worked with Rudolph and Sletten, and most recently, RMC Water and Environment.

Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners was established 31 years ago and provides creative planning and design services for Workplace Environments, Lifestyle Environments, Learning Environments, Interior Environments and Community Planning. The firm is headquartered in Roseville, California.

Tracy Librea-Asunto
Business Development Manager
Phone: 916.786.8178
Fax: 916.786.2175

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