Nova Academy - Santa Ana

Client: Nova Academy Children's Foundation

Scope: Renovation

Size: 44,384 SF

Completion: 2016

Project Manager: Richard Berliner, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP


Located in a prominent location across from Santa Ana City Hall, NOVA Academy was a 4 story office building that Berliner Architects converted into a hi-tech charter school serving students from surrounding low-income neighborhoods. Berliner completed a thorough code analysis process, determining the extent of upgrades required to convert the occupancy classification from B (offices) to E (educational). This work includes additional means of egress, fire rating of corridors, and structural upgrades. Originally built in 1981 with a “pre-Northridge” steel moment frame system, the building required an extensive seismic strengthening as a result of the change of occupancy. To this end, Berliner and our consultants evaluated a diverse range of strategies, ultimately landing on an innovative fluid damper retrofit system. This approach will alleviate the need for works to enlarge the foundations, saving valuable time and resources. Additionally, the renovation will fully update and modernize the facilities – including a fitness center and student resource hub. 


Berliner Architects helped us to create a space that was receptive of our pedagogical needs and facilitated hi-tech learning. Their forward thinking and planning help them with positive problem solving solutions.  

- Renee, Nova Academy


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