Ohana is one of the largest healthcare buildings to use cross-laminated timber (CLT), a material traditionally reserved for commercial projects. With a 16-bed residential program, partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, café, dedicated garden spaces for staff and patients, gym, and music room, the facility benefits from its low carbon impact, its modular components that can be assembled off-site to reduce cost and schedules, and its anxiety-lowering properties.
An increasing number of people, including children and teens, suffer from mental health issues. This is further compounded by a lack of psychiatric beds, residential care facilities, lower-than-average funding and high occupancy rates of behavioral health facilities. These effects are particularly acute in Central California. The design of the Ohana Campus in Monterey, CA, applies the latest in neuroscience research to provide an inclusive, healing environment for patients, families, and caregivers.
Challenge #1 - The freeform roof shape echoes the building’s curves and blends with the natural topography but proved challenging from a prefabrication standpoint.
Challenge #2 - The challenge given the curved profile of the buildings is to provide an efficient structural layout that minimizes panel fabrication waste while achieving the desired exposed timber aesthetic.
Solution #1 - To optimize the roof’s shape for modular construction, NBBJ’s design team worked together with the prefabricator and Vancouver-based structural engineering team, Fast + Epp, in our Revit model, designing in real-time for both aesthetic and construction and structural performance. As a result, a fabrication model was created during the design and documentation phase, which significantly minimized time during construction.
Solution #2 - Working with the prefabricator, contractor, and design-build MEP subcontractors during the design process was critical to solving these challenges. We created service chases between the CLT panels, that allow for large expansive open spaces to be clean and visually unobstructed.
Key Findings, Measurable Results &/or Next Steps
A Transformative Model of Care. New healthcare environments are changing this narrative. Embedded in nature, the Ohana Campus deploys unique design strategies that unite holistic services for resilient mental illness intervention and prevention.
This project is shaped by Neuroscience Research. As a model for behavioral health facilities, the design of Ohana applies the latest in neuroscience research. It provides a healing environment for patients and their families and also increases wellbeing for behavioral caregivers.
These are some of the neuroscience principles that help inform the design response: Mitigating Staff Arousal Fatigue, Boosting Immune System Health, Improving Executive Function, Fostering Personal Agency
Links to Published Articles
- Monterey OKs $106 million children’s mental health facility
- Ohana Center for Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health is the Structures Awards 2023 honoree for Health Care Project
- A New Tool in Treating Mental Illness Building Design