Sky Oaks: From ashes to hope

The San Diego State University Sky Oaks field testing station, located near Palomar Mountain east of Highway 76, is a world- class facility devoted to the study of ecosystems by university earth and life science researchers. Students live, study and research data at this facility year-round.

The station pictured above was devastated in the 2003 Coyote Fires, and recently funds have been allotted to proceed with rebuilding the facility. It will be rebuilt to be fire- resistant … and constructed to embrace the principles of sustainability.

The SDRSP agreed to adopt this project and contacted two of its members — Sparling and Sillman Wright Architects — for assistance. Both members agreed to take on the project on a pro-bono basis.

It will include a lecture room, administration areas, student sleeping areas, kitchen, and locker/shower rooms.  The building will be a 3,500 square foot pre-engineered metal structure with a oaks

The goal of the project is to achieve Gold or higher LEED Certification. The design will focus on creating a sustainable site using recycled materials, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, solar panels and waste water recycling. Additionally, the project will be designed to be completely self-sustaining with off-the-grid utility usage. Utilizing Revit software, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is being used. The estimated cost is $1.4 million, and construction will begin this summer. Here’s a look at what will rise from the ashes:

David Rosenberger of Sparling was instrumental in pulling together a team of professionals to take on this project. The team consisted of Sparling Engineers David Rosenberger and Jeff Hankin, who bring electrical engineering, low voltage sytems, and LEED consulting to the project. Then, Sillman Wright was brought in as the architect with a team including Larry R. Sillman, AIA, principal in charge; Tina Reagan, AIA, project manager; Rich Badt, senior design architect; and Katie Dwyer, CAD design/BIM. In addition, Sandy Eisman of LSW Engineers was brought in to work on mechanical and plumbing design for the project.

Johnson & Johnson

Marriott International


Designed to encourage sustainable development, this program promotes green building design practices in SDG&E’s service area and provides incentives for qualified projects that greatly exceed the California Energy Efficiency Standards and obtain LEED® certification. Read More >>

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