Exceptional Service: Design-Build

One of the things I’ve always appreciated about working at CALA is the wide variety of projects I have the opportunity to...

One of the things I’ve always appreciated about working at CALA is the wide variety of projects I have the opportunity to be a part of. This not only includes the range of project types with which I’ve been involved, but it also includes the teams I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with. 

I’ve found that some of my most enjoyable and rewarding projects have been those on which we have served as part of a design-build team. While most of our projects tend to be traditional design-bid-build procurement in which we work with the end-user and collaborate with other design professionals to arrive at project solutions, design-build projects provide added collaboration with construction professionals early in design through project completion. This three-way partnership adds a whole new level of synergy to the design process. Design-build collaboration projects, when done well, create a win-win-win situation for the end-users, design professionals, and builders/contractors through the integration of expertise, streamlined communication, and efficient decision-making.

No more was this winning combination evident than in the Contra Costa County Emergency Operations Center and Administration Building project. CALA worked with the builder, Hensel Phelps and architecture firms, Dreyfuss + Blackford  and Fentress Architects on these two new facilities in the City of Martinez. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) provides a new headquarters for County Sheriff’s Administration, Field Operations, Communications, Coroner and Emergency Services Divisions while the Administration Building houses County Administration, County Counsel,  Human Resources Department and the Board of Supervisors.

From the project’s inception, it became evident that collaboration with the County, bridging architects, and the design-build team would be key to the projects’ success. Understanding each entity’s unique perspectives and requirements, we were able to align the building, site and landscape designs seamlessly to form a complete and integrated vision that met the County’s needs efficiently and cost-effectively. Through effective communication and a shared commitment to excellence, the design-build team pooled our expertise, exchanged ideas, and developed innovative solutions that made the entire project better.

I am proud to have contributed to the success of these remarkable projects which stands as a testament to exceptional service and the power of thoughtful design. This owner-designer-builder collaboration resulted in not one, but two exceptional facilities that will serve Contra Costa County and its community for many years. 

Services for these Design-Build projects included: Arborist services, conceptual design, stakeholder outreach, multiple agency coordination, WELO documentation, LEED assistance, permit assistance, PS&Es. The projects are LEED Gold certified and have won several awards!



Dan Miller

Senior Associate - PLA, ASLA, LEED AP

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