Balfour Beatty Construction completes Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility – Phase 1

Aug 27, 2014 5:00 PM ET

SAN DIEGO, August 27, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Balfour Beatty Construction has completed the first phase of a two-phase contract for design-build services to construct the new $221.5 million Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility in Santee, Calif.

Comprising 25 buildings across 45 acres, the 1,216-bed facility replaces the former 1960s-era complex and serves as the point of intake for women inmates in San Diego County. The project was built on existing and adjacent County property.

“Our design-build team met the County’s goal of building a facility that is safe and secure for inmates, staff, and the public at large.  Additionally, the project finished ahead of schedule, on budget, without a single punch list item, and with all documentation complete,” said Brian Cahill, division president of Balfour Beatty Construction’s Southwest division. “The zero punch-list at turnover on a project of this size is extremely rare in the construction industry. I’m most proud of the team’s excellence and focus on safety – they logged in over 875,000 man hours without a lost time incident.”

The 460,000-square-foot campus engrosses: new housing, inmate receiving and transfer, visitation, laundry, recreation, religious, dining, medical, administrative, warehouse, buildings for inmate industries, rehabilitation and learning resource center, and new entrance with expanded parking for staff and visitors.

The goal of the design was to create a soothing environment to help reduce recidivism over time. The project sets a new standard for detention facility design that builds on the well-documented precept that the environment cues behavior, and that the character of the site development and the architecture can encourage productive interaction and outcomes.

Design innovations include clusters of smaller-scale housing units that are grouped according to detention levels that support the varying security classifications and programmatic needs of the inmate population. The layout combines open space and landscaping amenities to create a campus-like environment.

The facility was designed by executive architect Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz (KMD) of San Francisco and associate architect is HMC of San Diego. Several green building techniques and materials were incorporated into the project which is targeting LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Examples include:

  • Roof-mounted solar hot water panels are used to exceed the County’s requirement for 2.5% onsite renewable energy. Buildings are designed for future photovoltaics wherever possible.
  • Through a combination of an efficient envelope, lighting design, and mechanical system, the project is targeted to achieve a minimum of 20% energy reduction with a potential of 30-35% energy reduction. Potential savings could reach as high as $365,000 per year in electricity and natural gas.
  • Several recycled water lines from Padre Damn are situated adjacent to the site and will provide a 100% recycled water source for site irrigation.
  • Enhanced daylight and acoustic features are incorporated to increase natural daylight in living and work spaces.

In 2013, the project was honored by two prestigious industry organizations:

 “The key to our success was our ability to build a strong collaboration with the County and their facilities maintenance staff, the Sheriff’s Department users, the owner’s consultants, the project architects, our trade partners, and even the County Building Department and inspectors,” said John Parker, project executive for Balfour Beatty Construction. “It was an amazing team effort by everyone involved, and spearheaded by project superintendents, Steve Radford, Sean Phillips, and Jeremiah Sizer.”

“We all broke down traditional barriers by embodying a team attitude and integrating everyone as critical stakeholders and partners throughout the entire design and construction process. In fact, we scored 9.7 out of 10 possible points on a partnering scorecard used by the County to rate our performance. Those results speak to the fact that everyone was 100% vested. I’m proud to have been part of this outstanding team, which also delivered an exceptionally safe project,” Parker added.

The project owner also commended the team, “We completed the first phase of a very important project through partnering and collaboration with the entire project team,” said Andrew Bohnert, project manager for the County of San Diego.

The Southwest division’s construction team working on the project includes John Parker, project executive; Craig Smith, project manager; Jose Hernandez, site safety and health officer; Steve Radford, general superintendent; Sean Phillips, Andrew Vallas, Ron Leith, Frank Ortiz, and Grant Muscavitch, superintendents; Travis Radford, assistant superintendent; Jacklyn Tate, BIM coordinator; Conner Miller, Daniel James and Eric Sierra, project engineers; Cherie Kibbe and Lisa Hollingsworth, project accountants; and Joe Mansour, quality control manager.

Phase 2 of construction is scheduled to commence in October 2014 and is expected to complete in January 2016.




About Balfour Beatty Construction

An industry leader for more than 80 years, Balfour Beatty Construction Services US provides general contracting, at-risk construction management, and design-build services for a wide variety of markets, serving clients in both the public and private sector. With more than 3,000 employees across the U.S., the company has been cited as a Top 10 Domestic Building Contractor and Top 10 Green Builder by Engineering News-Record. The company is part of London-based Balfour Beatty plc, a global infrastructure services business operating in more than 80 countries, with a worldwide commitment to providing assets that help societies function, develop, and thrive. To learn more about the company, visit or look for BalfourBeattyUS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.



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