State Architect Grants Pre-Check Approval to Folia

Folia, A New Classroom Solution, Offers Shorter Schedule Through DSA Pre-Check Approval

San Jose, Calif. (July 8, 2016) – The California Division of State Architect (DSA) has granted pre-check (“PC”) approval to the Folia education building. This pre-check approval allows schools and community colleges to choose a building with dramatically reduced design, permitting and construction time so that attractive, sustainable and modern facilities can be opened in less than a year, at least 16 months faster than traditionally designed and built facilities.

“This is the solution schools have been looking for,” said Blach’s Director of Education Services Kim Scott. “Now that Folia has been granted DSA pre-check approval, schools can benefit from its shorter overall delivery schedule, without compromising the quality of their classroom buildings.”

Stemming from the pronunciation of the Greek word for “nest,” Folia (www.learnfolia.com) is built with the same type of materials and structural systems as conventional classroom buildings. Folia offers a flexible alternative to traditionally designed buildings with the same level of quality and longevity through its highly optimized design that is set up for prefabrication and fast installation. The concept was developed when leaders at Blach Construction, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects and Gregory P. Luth & Associates set out to develop a new solution for two-story classroom building construction. With DSA’s pre-check approval and highly optimized design that allows much of the building to be prefabricated, Folia buildings can now be delivered and opened in less than one year.

Folia’s pre-check approval allows for a shortened review process through DSA, which provides oversight for construction projects for K-12 and community college districts and other state-owned and leased facilities. DSA also reviews projects to ensure conformance with all structural, fire and life safety and accessibility requirements.

According to DSA, the goal of the pre-check approval process is “to streamline DSA plan review by providing a procedure for approving the design of commonly used structures prior to the submittal of plans to DSA for construction projects.”

Folia's DSA pre-check approved design includes 12 classrooms with a variety of options for support spaces configured in a two-story, L-shaped layout, which can be scaled and reconfigured to meet the specific needs of educational programs. Classroom suites include an operable partition wall to support a variety of learning environments, science, art and makerspaces and additional spaces that can be configured for offices, restrooms and other uses.

"Folia was designed to provide flexible, 21st Century Learning environments," said Aaron Jobson, a principal at Quattrocchi Kwok Architects. “In addition to the considerable time and cost savings, this building solution offers certainty for districts, coupled with customizable features for every unique school. Districts will also meet or exceed their energy efficiency goals with Folia.”

Folia is designed to meet the green building standards of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and is pursuing the CHPS PreFAB Certification. Folia is also solar-ready and the building can be designed to achieve Zero Net Energy (ZNE).

Blach Construction Company builds structures of enduring quality and value throughout northern and central California. Founded in 1970, Blach’s experience encompasses a broad cross-section of commercial, industrial and institutional building types, including education, healthcare, technology, life sciences, professional services and community facilities. Blach is a recognized leader in sustainable construction, completing the first LEED Gold certified public school building in Santa Clara County for Orchard School District. The company is based in Silicon Valley with a full-service regional office located in Monterey. 

Quattrocchi Kwok Architects (QKA) provides comprehensive master planning, design and construction administration services for Northern California K-12 and higher education, historic renovation and community facilities. With over $1.2 billion in projects completed in the company’s nearly 30-year history, QKA’s award-winning portfolio reflects a commitment to design that emphasizes environmental sustainability and community impact. Recent projects include the American Canyon High School, which is heralded as the “greenest school in America” and has achieved one of the highest scores of a California school to date from the Collaborative for High Performance School (CHPS) Verified program. Visit: www.qka.com.

Gregory P. Luth & Associates (GPLA), based in Santa Clara, California, has amassed a large and eclectic body of work over the past 30 years, including projects of virtually every type, size and material ranging from major bridges to small residential projects. The firm’s work is characterized by a dedication to the practice of engineering as a combination of art, craftsmanship, science, and service. The technical staff hones its problem solving skills by personally drawing the details that are the key to the economy, reliability, and sensitivity of any project, focusing their attention on the essence of the engineering and construction. There are no drafters at GPLA – only renaissance engineers. We work with repeat clients for whom our passion for creative engineering and collaborative problem solving has been the key to successful projects.

For more information on Folia, please contact Kim Scott at kim.scott@blach.com.

Posted on Friday, July 8, 2016