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McCarthy Building Companies completes construction of net zero parking structure at Long Beach City College

LONG BEACH, CALIF. — McCarthy Building Companies Inc. recently completed construction of a net-zero design-build parking structure at Long Beach City College (LBCC) Liberal Arts Campus. Located near the southwest corner of Carson Street and Clark Avenue in Long Beach, Calif., the new parking structure was opened during a dedication celebration on March 29, 2011.

The $19 million construction project was built with Measure E facilities bond money approved by the voters in 2008. McCarthy served as general contractor for the 900-car parking structure along with design partner Choate Parking Consultants. The project included construction of a 295,485-square-foot cast-in-place, long-span, post-tensioned concrete parking structure as well as a revitalization of the former campus golf mall now renamed The Campus Green. A digital car counter was installed at each entrance of the structure to alert students to the availability of parking on each level, and emergency phones and security lighting on all levels will help ensure student safety.

Hailed by Long Beach City Mayor Bob Foster as a sustainable model for other public and private projects in the city, the parking structure boasts a number of “green” features, making the LBCC campus the greenest of the state’s 112 community college campuses. The structure also is considered the second largest solar installation in the city of Long Beach, next to the convention center.

The project’s most notable sustainable elements include a 2,100-panel solar photovoltaic system atop the fifth level and a high-efficiency lighting system with GE ballasts in linear fluorescent T8 fixtures. The structure also was built from sustainable materials including locally supplied concrete containing fly ash utilized for all foundation and on-grade concrete elements as well as reinforcing steel manufactured from recycled steel. Additionally, more than 50 percent of the construction debris was recycled and local labor was utilized.

Installed by Sullivan Solar Power of San Diego, Calif., the structure’s solar system is capable of generating 406.585 kilowatts to fully power the structure and provide partial power to adjacent campus buildings. With a 40-year lifespan, the cost of the solar panels will be recouped within the next 12 to 15 years depending on the rate of energy cost increases during the next decade. Based on the current electricity rate, the school expects to save $110,000 annually on electric bills and will be receiving a $621,603 rebate from the California Solar Initiative cash-back program paid to the school by Southern California Edison (SCE).

Achieving 76.06 percent below Title 24 requirements for energy efficiency, the high-efficiency lighting system will further decrease the school’s electric bill and will provide a rebate of $25,050 under SCE’s Savings By Design energy efficiency incentive program.

“If there was ever a good-looking parking structure, we have one,” said LBCC President Eloy Oakley. “Our new parking structure will not only relieve parking congestion on campus, but it is also a fiscally and environmentally responsible solution that will greatly reduce the school’s carbon footprint and electrical bills. McCarthy and the construction team’s expertise were vital in completing this project well ahead of schedule and on budget.”

During the event, the Statewide Educational Wrap-Up Insurance Program, which is a joint powers authority that provides insurance to schools and community college districts, gave McCarthy, Cordoba Corporation, and LBCC District construction safety awards for a successful project without a single worker’s compensation or other insurance claims.

In addition to being green, the net zero parking structure will provide a live solar learning laboratory to be used by LBCC faculty in Electrical Technology courses to teach students about solar technology.

“Completed in 10 months, this fast paced project is an all around success,” said McCarthy Project Manager Michael Flick. “Due to an exceptional project team, the new structure met all of its goals for budget, schedule, and quality. But, most importantly, it will serve the community as a functional, safe, and environmentally responsible facility contributing to the success of the students who will park in it and learn from it.”

Other project team members included: Construction Manager Cordoba Corporation; LBCC Director of Facilities Tim Wootton; LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley; Paul Coleman Architect, Inc.; Ficcadenti & Waggoner Consulting Structural Engineers; Empire 3 Consulting Engineers; TKSC Consulting Mechanical Engineers; Pfeiler & Associates Engineers; and AHBE Landscape Architects.