Westgroup Designs Honored With AIA Design Award For INDA Academy

Westgroup Designs (WD) received a Merit Award for its design of INDA ACADEMY, at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orange County Chapter Design Awards Gala, presented virtually on October 1st.

The project is a 25,000 square foot, Pre-K to 6 educational facility for the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), focused on the goal of creating an inclusive 21st century neighborhood school with an innovative DREAMS curriculum (Design, Research, Engineering, Arts, Math and Science).

Citing the project’s sustainable concept for Adaptive Reuse and design quality, the AIA Jurors unanimously celebrated this project:

The design is well-considered, thoughtful, and nicely executed, including a playful slide that descends along the side of the building. Another great embodied carbon story that encourages the reuse of existing structures.”

The design team delivered a unique solution that would facilitate progressive hands-on learning for 225 students a year, and understand how this solution would enhance the community, leveraging the local climate to support indoor/outdoor educational activities with glazed retractable walls and highly flexible interior spaces. As part of the resilient design concept, WD focused on creating a healthier building, updating the design of the building skin, adding operable windows and a new ventilation system which exceeds energy requirements by 30% and provides 100% outside air for healthier indoor air quality. 

Our responsibility as architects is to both dream and to build responsibly, Westgroup Designs Principal, Dr. Shazad Ghanbari said. “ This will be a transformational environment; an example for our next generation of emerging technology and learning experiences.”

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