We’re excited to announce that our Oakland office has moved!

But don't worry, we didn’t go too far. We have relocated across the street to a new space in Big Oakland, a coworking environment designed specifically for the AEC industry.

New Address:
​​​​​​​1423 Broadway, Suite 108, Oakland, CA 94612

Looking to add a touch of excitement to your daily caffeine fix? Look no further than the Botbar on 12th Street in Oakland.

If you want entertainment with your morning coffee, visit the Botbar on 12th Street in Oakland.

Our office wanted to celebrate this beautiful Friday morning so we all walked over from 1330 Broadway to experience ordering our coffee from a robot. We'd heard about this place.

Fun and easy. I recommend the foamy hazelnut latte. Delicious.

At Hilliard Architects, we take immense pride in the accomplishments of our team members and their outstanding contributions to the field of architecture.

Today, we are delighted to shine a well-deserved spotlight on one of our own, Mr. HCAI himself, Jorge Navarro, Assoc AIA, CSI, CDT. We celebrate Jorge's incredible journey of overseeing 40 successful HCAI projects over the past five years. Join us as we explore the insights and dedication that have led Jorge to this remarkable milestone.

Many have asked, "What's your secret, Jorge?" In response, Jorge humbly shares, "There is no secret; you just need to pay careful attention to Chapters 12 and 11B of the California Building Code." This emphasis on knowledge and strict adherence to building regulations has been the cornerstone of his impressive career.

At Hilliard Architects, we are proud to have Jorge as part of our team, and we look forward to his continued contributions to our firm's success.

Have you ever looked at your building and thought, "There's nowhere to put an elevator?" Think again!

During our recent visit to Lisbon, we stumbled upon a fascinating exterior elevator installation. A true testament to the fact that where there's a will, there's a way!
Whether you're a business owner aiming to enhance your property's accessibility, a dedicated property manager seeking creative solutions, or simply want to make your spaces more inclusive, let this incredible elevator installation be your inspiration.
Our team specializes in creative solutions that break boundaries. We'll help you navigate the process from planning to installation, so you can enhance convenience and accessibility for all.

Sunset Chess Anyone?

Edgewood Tahoe Resort, Stateline, Nevada

HCAI PIN-8-Hazardous Materials Inventory

If you are submitting a project involving storage or use of hazardous materials to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), it is crucial to include all the necessary information. The information provided in these submissions is often incomplete, making it difficult to assess compliance with the California Building Code (CBC) and the California Fire Code (CFC).
To address this issue, a guideline has been created to help both the industry and OSHPD staff in evaluating such projects. This guideline includes a Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement (HMIS) table, which condenses essential information about hazardous materials into a single, easy-to-read format.
For each hazardous material, it needs to have the following info listed by room:

1. Common or trade name.
2. Chemical name, major constituents and concentrations if mixture.
3. Hazard Category/Class, pursuant to California Fire Code (CFC).
4. Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number found in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
5. Indicate whether the material is pure or a mixture and whether the material is a solid, liquid, or gas.
6. Maximum aggregate quantity stored and used at any one time, in gallons and/or pounds.
7. When a material has multiple hazards, all hazards shall be addressed.

Hey puzzle enthusiasts and supporters of local businesses!

We've got fantastic news to share about the Oakland Puzzle Company!

Remember how we previously raved about their Kickstarter campaign? Well, we just received their first collection of unique, locally inspired puzzles, and we couldn't be more impressed!
From the moment we opened the box, the dedication and passion behind these puzzles were evident. The intricate designs and attention to detail truly reflect the rich culture and history of Oakland.
Let's continue supporting this amazing venture and help this small business grow! Contact us if you would like to get your hands on a Puzzle.

AIA Conference on Architecture 2023 in San Francisco!

This week we are attending the highly anticipated AIA Conference on Architecture 2023 in San Francisco!

This conference is an absolute must-attend event for all architecture enthusiasts, professionals, and anyone who appreciates the art of designing our built environment. People from around the world gather to explore, learn, and discuss the future of architecture.

Architecture Expo June 8 & 9 is free to all California residents (registration required) is the place to see new building products and materials.

Oakland Puzzle Company​​​​​​​: Have Fun. Do Good.

Have you heard about the Oakland Puzzle Company? They recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first collection of unique, locally inspired puzzles. Their dedication to creating high-quality, challenging puzzles inspired by the culture and history of Oakland encouraged us to pledge to this great idea!

If you're looking for a fun new puzzle to work on or just want to support a great new company, check out their Kickstarter campaign and consider making a pledge.

Congratulatations to Rosa Linda Navarro!

We would like to congratulate Rosa Linda Navarro for successfully completing the RichmondBUILD Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Rosa Linda Navarro is the sister of our Senior Designer Jorge Navarro.

The RichmondBUILD Academy Program aims to develop students into a talented and skilled workforce in the fields of high-wage construction and renewable energy.
Your new skills and knowledge will undoubtedly benefit you in your future career, and we look forward to seeing how you apply them in your work. Keep up the great work!

You can learn more about the RichmondBUILD Academy here.

Exciting news for the City of Pinole!

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District has been approved to provide full operation of fire services in the city, including Fire Station 74.

Hilliard Architects previously completed a cost-efficient fire station project for the Pinole Fire Department, designing Station 74 to meet the needs of both the firefighters and the public, all within their expected budget.

Our team employed several strategies to keep costs down, while incorporating natural daylight and fostering neighborhood support with our simple residential design. We're proud to have worked on this project and can't wait to see it serve the community for years to come!

Learn more about this project here

A big shoutout to Latitude High School in Oakland!

Recently, two students from Latitude reached out to Architect Mike Hilliard to learn more about what a career in architecture looks like. These students are setting the bar high with their impressive dedication to their future careers. Their interest in the field was sparked by a class project where they designed, planned, and built a tiny home for the homeless. It's amazing to see high schools fostering real-world skills and preparing students for success.

There’s a new building code in town that became effective on New Year’s Day.​​​​​​​

The often-overlooked list of Definitions (1224.3 Definitions) in Chapter 12 of the new 2022 California Building Code is something to pay special attention to. Some new definitions include Invasive Procedure, Procedure Room, Restricted Area, and Semi-Restricted Area. These new definitions may impact projects you have planned but be careful to not overspend by adding scope of construction outside your originally planned areas of work.
You can find more information about the 2022 California Building Code Changes here.

In the United States, direct energy use in buildings accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide emissions per year—more than any other source.

Mike Hilliard attended a webinar this week hosted by California AIA Architects featuring Architect Charles Eley, author of Design Professional's Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings.

Mike’s highlight of the webinar was the insight that most clean energy is produced midday, while peak energy demand is at night and mornings. Expanding power storage, whether using battery storage or new yet unknown technology is needed to lower our carbon emissions.

Learn More →

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8

Want to verify your voter registration status?

Not registred to vote? No Problem! Eligible California Voters can complete the Same Day Voter Registration process. 

Accessory Dwelling Unit Loan Program

A new Accessory Dwelling Unit Loan Program (ADULP) provides low-interest loans of up to $100K to low-income homeowners in targeted areas of Oakland to turn an “almost” second unit on their single-family parcel into a legally established ADU or JADU.

The program aims to approve funding for up to 25 projects by February 2023 for construction through Spring 2024.

Small Business Inspections Checklist & Support

To further support The City’s small businesses, the Department of Building Inspection created a checklist of potential inspections for businesses that have been issued a building permit for tenant improvement projects.

The Small Business Inspections Checklist is available on the DBI Inspections Services page. The checklist is meant to provide information on what might be required and DBI inspection staff can provide additional guidance as the work progresses towards final inspection.

Small businesses needing additional support can also reach out to the Small Business Inspections Ambassadors for additional advice, guidance and help by emailing [email protected].

Most restaurants don’t have accessible tables.
Here’s what an accessible table is!

The 2019 California Building Code established requirements for what is and isn't considered an accessible dining table or counter. Click the button below to see what meets the requirements and what does not!

Serial Plaintiffs Turn California ADA Lawsuits Into a Lucrative Cottage Industry

Allen Martin reports on Bay Area merchants being hit with ADA access lawsuits mostly being filed by one man.

Under-used space? Or revenue?

"There were several redesigns and constraint issues along the journey but in the end, the team took an underutilized space and turned it into a revenue-producing patient area."
- SF Bay Area Hospital Associate Project Manager

​​​​​​​Technology is rapidly transforming healthcare delivery - so you may want to rethink how you're using precious space. With mammograms, MRIs, and X-rays going digital, boxes and cabinets of film images are obsolete. Transform that unnecessary file space into revenue-producing pre- and postop areas for patient care. 

It's faster and easier than you think. Just contact Hilliard Architects for a helpful discussion about your options. 

Enjoy the 2021 Notre Dame Advent Calendar

The Notre Dame advent calendar from Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris is filled with fun facts, images, videos and sounds from Notre-Dame de Paris.

Unlock a new surprise every day through December 25!

Stunning Architecture: Building Series Part 3

Our world offers mind-blowing architectural gems that you won’t want to miss. On the 3rd Thursday of each month, we are sharing three structures. The eccentric, the iconic, and a lost treasure. 
The Eccentric: Dancing House
Ah, the romance of dance, especially when legendary duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were in the house! The Dancing House, designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry, is a blend of static and dynamic elements, inspired by the iconic American dancers.
The Iconic: Las Lajas Sanctuary
In 1754, Maria Mueces de Quiñones and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a terrifying storm. Sheltering between flat slabs of sedimentary rock called laja, Mueces was shocked when her daughter cried out, “The Mestiza (the Virgin) is calling me,” and pointed to a silhouette lit by a flash of lightning. An image of the Virgin appeared on one of the slabs. But that’s just the beginning.
The "Mostly" Lost Treasure: World's Columbian Exposition
In 1893, the World’s Colombian Exposition celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World. It is often referred to as “The White City,” for its plethora of buildings, all cloaked in white. It featured 14 “great buildings” surrounding a giant reflecting pool called the Great Basin. During its run, the fair welcomed more than 27.3 million people from around the world. 

Hilliard & Pinevision can help you achieve and maintain ADA website compliance.

In the last few years, there has been a spike in web accessibility lawsuits being brought against small and medium-sized businesses. These lawsuits have all been filed under ADA Title III. The law prohibits discrimination based on disability by places of “public accommodation”, which includes both websites and brick-and-mortar facilities.
Technically speaking, website accessibility is defined by the requirements laid out by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To determine if these requirements are met, a checklist called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, or WCAG, is used. In more layman terms, website accessibility is simply giving someone with a disability, like limited or no sight or hearing, the ability to experience all elements of your website.
The effort to make sure a website is accessible is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing effort that needs constant attention. To learn more about ADA compliance and website accessibility, Hilliard’s website partner, Pinevision Design Studio, would be happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your website and accessibility options. Pinevision has also developed an all-inclusive, accessible website solution for small businesses, which you can learn more about here.

Stunning Architecture: Building Series Part 2

Our world offers mind-blowing architectural gems that you won’t want to miss. On the 3rd Thursday of each month, we are sharing three structures. The eccentric, the iconic, and a lost treasure. 
The Eccentric: Kansas City Library
Where in the world can you drive into a giant bookshelf to park your car? The answer? In Kansas City, Missouri on a visit to the central branch of the city’s public library!
The Iconic: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
This breathtaking museum holds quite a story. In 1991, the Basque government approached the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to develop a museum in Bilbao's decrepit port area. The government cost was $US170 million, but it has paid off handsomely. In its first three years, the government turned that into a revenue of €600 million, an approximate 70% return on investment.
The Lost Treasure: The Amber Room
Imagine getting a gift like this! In 1716, King Frederick William I of Prussia gave political ally Peter the Great of Russia a truly amazing gift: the Amber Room. This marvel of design and execution disappeared into Nazi Germany some two hundred years later. 

Stunning Architecture: Building Series Part 1

Our world offers mind-blowing architectural gems that you won’t want to miss. On the 3rd Thursday of each month, we’ll be sharing three structures. The eccentric, the iconic, and a lost treasure. 
The Eccentric: A Bird’s-Eye View of Casa Milà
This lovely, idiosyncratic building was designed by Antoni Gaudi but was promptly dubbed La Pedrera—"the stone quarry"—by neighbors who were less than charmed by its asymetrical, rough-hewn design and undulating walls.
The Iconic: A Bird’s-Eye View of the New World Trade Center
When the towers fell on September 11, 2001, our world was shattered – changed forever. But Americans never quit and on this 20th anniversary, we have literally risen from the ashes. We also never forget. The 9/11 Museum memorializes the souls lost and tells the story of one of our darkest days.
The Lost Treasure: A Bird’s-Eye View of the Crystal Palace
The Victorian era was one of energy and optimism, fueled by the Industrial Revolution and Britain’s sense of superiority and world domination. The Crystal Palace was designed to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, featuring a mind-boggling 294,000 panes of glass.

Biotechnology in the Bay Area: The Road Ahead

In my capacity as Senior HealthCare Planner at Hilliard Architects, I attend many business and technology events. Recently I sat in on a fascinating virtual presentation sponsored by the Bay Area Biotech Forum and pharma/life sciences giant Bayer and moderated by life sciences reporter Ron Leuty of the San Francisco Business Times.

Even if you do not have any biotech design/construction projects planned for the foreseeable future, this 5-minute read offers some interesting insights into an important player in this area’s fast-changing economy.

Congratulations are in order!

Congratulations to our friends and engineering partners at Guttmann & Blaevoet for being named one of the 2021 Bay Area Best Places to Work.

We wholeheartedly agree – they are a great company to work with!

How to Contain Construction Costs on
OSHPD-Permitted Renovation Project

When looking at a renovation project in a building with areas of obvious code violations, you may be tempted to bring the entire space up to current code. But if your budget is limited, you can make your project more financially manageable by demonstrating that areas outside the immediate project met code when they were first built. This is a smart strategy that saves money.

Company Towns: A Whole New Look

We’ve all heard of company towns — often-dismal places where an organization’s employees are paid in scrip and essentially forced into indentured servitude. (Think early-20th century mining towns in Appalachia.)
Now, there’s a new twist on the concept, revealed by Jonathan Hilburg in an article in The Architect’s Newspaper.

Here’s an Easy Way to Test Your Double-Pane Windows for Seal Failure

A failed window seal allows moisture in, reducing the insulation value of the glass and discoloring the film that blocks the sun. The windowpane looks cloudy and dirty.
To determine which glass panes have failed, you can hire a window installation company to test all of your windows. Or you can do this simple test yourself!
man sealing windowman sealing window

Wooden Skyscrapers – Not Your “Three Little Pigs” House of Sticks

Wooden skyscrapers are capturing the imagination of architects around the world. Commonly referred to as mass timber building, or plyscrapers, they’re built using various laminated lumber products. But they’re no “houses of sticks.” These “sticks” are engineered structural timber produced by laminating several layers of lumber with high-strength adhesive, resulting in a composite that rivals the strength of steel.
wooden scyscraperwooden scyscraper

Surprise! You’ve got Vikings.​​​​​​​

Every Architects’ nightmare is discovering your project site is an archaeological treasure, but in this case that nightmare turned into an incredible way to lure customers into the store. This Irish supermarket Lidl worked with architects and archaeologists to preserve an 11th century Irish Viking house under the new supermarket. A glass window in the floor lets visitors look back in time. Diagrams throughout the store talk about Dublin’s colorful history.
image of supermarket and freezersimage of supermarket and freezers