Entry number: B08008
Project Name: Washoe County Care|Sart Facility
Building Type: Commercial
Completion Date: July 11 2008
Architect: Sheehan Van Woert Bigotti Architects
Building Location: 2395 E. Prater Way, Sparks, NV 89434
Electrical Engineer: PK Electrical
Landscape Architect: Lumos & Associates
General Contractor: Building Solutions
Structural Engineer: Ferrari Shields & Associates
Civil Engineer: Lumos & Associates
Interior Design: Sheehan Van Woert Bigotti Architects
Photographer: Sheehan Van Woert Bigotti Architects
Project Management: Sheehan Van Woert Bigotti Architects
Statement of Design Approach:
The CARES|SART organization was established by the Washoe County District Attorney's Office at the Northern Nevada Medical Center in 2000. This facility is the result of a collaborative effort of the Washoe County Child Protective Services, the City of Sparks Police Department, the University of Nevada Reno Police Department, the Washoe County School District Police Department, the Crisis Call Center and the Northern Medical Center. The SART and CARES programs provide a safe and comfortable environment where victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse are examined, interviewed, and receive assistance.
The design addresses the owner's intent to create a building that not only accommodates the pragmatics of function and operational flow, but also provides a place that is welcoming, unintimidating, and non-clinical for abuse victims, while remaining conscious of its limited budget, a constrained site shape and size, and the need to fit into the medical and residential context.
Project Description/Narrative :
Washoe County requested a building that would provide a secure and considerate space for the CARES|SART organization, and that could genuinely and appropriately respond to the needs of its occupants, staff, and the community. The recently completed building is located in Sparks, Nevada, on a site [donated by the Northern Nevada Medical Center] very near its previously shared facility. It was the desire of CARES|SART personnel to have a welcoming, cheerful, and bright atmosphere that would offer comfort and provide a non-threatening environment for those who would use and interact within the spaces.
Many of the patients that come to the facility are victims of intense psychological stress and therefore it was imperative that the design offer conciliatory spaces that shift focus away from the necessary clinical exams and evidence collection taking place within the building. In using warm and vibrant color, by highlighting generous views to the natural landscape, and by welcoming as much natural light as possible into the spaces, the character of the building is not that of a medical examination facility, but a place where one can feel safe, cared for, and protected. The building remains non-descript in purpose since all signage and labeling are located on the interior side of the structure's entry wall, keeping knowledge of the facility's location limited to those who require its security and services.
Sustainable design elements were incorporated into the overall concept of the CARES|SART facility, while respectfully considering the budgetary constraints of grant funding. Overall, the project maintained a commitment to simple and affordable building methods through careful material selection, repetitive structural assemblies, and conscious choices to efficiently utilize the funding invested in this facility. Passive shading strategies. such as deep overhangs and window recesses, are employed on the south facade of the building to reduce solar heat gain in the summer, while allowing its benefits during the winter months.
Additionally, low emission and frosted panels of glass are incorporated throughout the structure to both reflect heat and retain it per seasonal needs, as well as diffuse the light within the spaces. North facing walls minimize windows and contain maximized construction assemblies with higher insulation values to address the cold weather climate in Northern Nevada. The landscaping on site corresponds to our high desert climate : the various native plants are hearty and require less water to survive and flourish. Finally, the entry landscaping strip benefits from the perforated channel beam, directly above it, at the low side of the shed roof : this detail allows the collection of rain water, which is then directed to irrigate the planter below.