MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. –  C.W. Driver, a premier builder serving California since 1919, recently completed construction on the new City of Manhattan Beach Library. Located at 1320 Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach, the existing library was demolished for the construction of a new, two-story, 22,000-square-foot library built with a point supported double glass curtain wall. Construction on the $19 million design-build project began on July 2013 and completed April 2015.

“With a close-knit community and four elementary schools in close proximity to the Manhattan Beach Library site, creating the ideal learning environment was a primary focus for this project,” said Brett Curry, vice president with C.W. Driver. “Replacing the 43-year-old library without undermining the quality and sustainability of our work has been the goal from start to finish and is a welcome addition to the Manhattan Beach community.”

The library was constructed to face the Pacific Ocean, making the floor to ceiling glass curtain wall a major focal point of the project for its aesthetic value and complex construction. The construction process was complex; C.W. Driver pre-tensioned the structural steel prior to setting the curtain wall to accommodate the weight of the glass. This was done to avoid any cracking of the glass due to steel movement during installation. Once completed, the glass curtain wall now has the appearance of a continuous wall of glass, providing unobstructed views of the South Bay and Channel Islands.

Since the jobsite was located in a densely populated, active area of downtown, C.W. Driver worked with the city and local businesses throughout the construction process to limit the impact of construction to the surrounding area’s activities. This included the coordination of separate off-site parking for all project teams and the positioning of a mid-size crane that was used to construct the majority of the building in a remote corner of the jobsite to effectively avoid traffic obstructions.

Additionally, during the final design phase, C.W. Driver found that there was inefficient space planned for the installation of the required piping and air ducts within the steel structure, hard lid and acoustic ceiling. In order to avoid difficulties in the field, C.W. Driver utilized BIM modeling to efficiently communicate with the other members of the design-build team so that they could navigate any obstructions and make global changes to the design prior to the start of construction.

“BIM became an integral part of construction with the limited space that we had,” said Tom Jones, Project Director with C.W. Driver. “A majority of our materials, such as piping, had to fit in a smaller than normal space. Using BIM helped us ensure that our plans were accurate and in line with the goals of the City, greatly decreasing the margin of error and avoiding costly corrections throughout the build.”

The new facility features reading areas for adults, teens and children, a homework center, a 100-seat community meeting room and express-service checkout machines in the lobby, better serving the needs of Manhattan Beach residents. Improvements to its landscaping, walkways and security lighting were also included in the redesign.

The project achieved LEED® Gold certification by incorporating sustainable design features to optimize energy and water use efficiency, enhance sustainability of the building, improve indoor environmental quality and maximize the use and reuse of sustainable and local resources.

In addition to Curry, the C.W. Driver project management team members include Tom Jones, Project Director; Nathan Vaca, Project Manager; Jay Bolduc, Superintendent; Tremale Berger, Asst. Project Manager and Caryl Anne Vredenburg, Sr. Project Planning. Johnson Favaro created the master plan. The design was completed by Harley Ellis Devereaux Architects.

The Manhattan Beach Library joins a multitude of library projects that C.W. Driver has worked on, including Fallbrook Library, Alpine Library and Ramona Library. C.W. Driver’s most recent project start, the Alpine Library, is tracking to achieved LEED® Gold certification as it will be San Diego County’s first Zero Net Energy building (ZNE).