Case Study

PCWA Business & Admin Center

The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) was created through an Act of the California State Legislature in 1957, with the objective of preserving Placer County’s rich water resources and protecting these resources from development and exportation by other interests.

By 1988, PCWA’s Business Offices, Customer Service, Data Processing, Administration, Accounting, Engineering, and Board Meeting functions were seriously overcrowded or relegated to trailers or other remote locations. To consolidate all of it’s operations and functions, PCWA purchased a 2.4 acre site with the intention of constructing a new Business and Administration Center. However, the 5 person Board of Directors was split, on whether the building was necessary or not. After much debate, the building was approved, but with an extremely tight construction budget of approximately $2,500,000 (+/-$100/sf construction costs for the building and site work). PCWA had very intense space planning requirements for their new space, which resulted in a two-story building, +/-18,285 sf of fully developed space ion the First Floor, and +/- 6,666 sf of undeveloped future expansion space on the second floor. With commercial properties to the front, and residential properties to the side and rear, the building took on a crossover look between residential scale, and commercial presence.

The tight budget led to wood framing on a concrete slab, with gang-nail roof trusses and T1-11 Plywood Siding as the Structural sheathing and finished Architectural Siding. Windows were residential, and roofing was Composition Shingles and 3-ply BUR. The result met the budget, but proved to require ongoing maintenance. The Plywood Siding and Wood Trim required painting every few years, the windows were not energy efficient, and the roofing was not agreeable to the addition of photovoltaic panels and additional mechanical units.

Today, PCWA is the largest waster purveyor in Placer County. The PCWA Business and Administration Center still serves the Agency’s needs; the Second Floor is now occupied with the Engineering Department, and various interior improvements have been made to accommodate growth and direction. The 1993 building was overdue for exterior improvements. In 2015, the roofing issues were taken care of; sloped roofs with Composition Shingles were replaced with Metal Sales Vertical Seam Standing Seam metal roofing.

All exposed Fascias and trims were wrapped with matching metal. In 2018, Phase 2 of the Exterior Remodel occurred. The existing T1-11 Plywood Siding would remain for it’s structural value. The existing aluminum / 5/8” IG glazing assemblies were removed by sawcutting the nail-fin, and not disturbing the siding. A weatherproof barrier was installed over the plywood siding, and then covered with Metal Sales 24 gauge T6-A metal wall panels.

The PCWA Business and Administration Center is now weather-tight, with low maintenance exterior finishes, and quieter with the improved window assemblies.


Photos courtesy of Calpo Hom & Dong Architects and Rudy Calpo Photography

Project Details

PCWA Business & Admin Center

Project Completion Date: 2019
Project Type: Office
Architect: Calpo, Hom and Dong Architects