Judges for the 2024 Gold Nugget Awards named four HMC-designed projects as Award of Merit winners. Del Oro High School, California State University, Fullerton’s The Suites Student Housing, Resilient Roots, and Clovis Community Medical Center were selected from hundreds of entries as the top vote recipients in each category. As a result, the projects are automatic nominees for the Grand Award, the highest honor in each category. The awards will be announced in Anaheim, California on June 19in a live presentation hosted by the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC).

Del Oro High School

Best Educational Project (Excludes housing)

Amidst the expansive agricultural canvas of Bakersfield, California, Del Oro High School is a testament to sustainable innovation on a constrained budget. Committed to creating future-focused learning environments for 2,500 students within a modest budget, our team designed a Zero Net Energy facility transcending traditional educational paradigms. Inspired by the local quilted agricultural landscape seen from a birds-eye view, Del Oro mirrors the collaborative essence of agriculture in education. The design synthesized with science, engineering, art, and mathematics education empowers students to achieve extraordinary feats. This analogy guided our design to foster a holistic educational experience. Del Oro surpasses Title 24 expectations and projects a 20% improvement in performance. Features include high-efficiency windows, exterior sunshades, cool roofs, and bioswales for stormwater management. Anticipating a remarkable 100 percent reduction in Energy Use Intensity (EUI), Del Oro High School is the region’s first Zero Net Energy High School (certification pending). Carbon reduction goes beyond operational carbon with design choices that also reduce embodied carbon. For example, the selection of local concrete masonry ensures durability and supports the goal of exceeding a 100-year facility lifespan. Del Oro is a beacon of sustainable architectural innovation, weaving together affordability, functionality, and ecological responsibility.

CSU Fullerton, The Suites Student Housing

Best Student or Faculty Housing

California State University, Fullerton’s The Suites Student Housing’s 615-bed student housing expansion represents the development of a framework for sophomore and junior success, exploring how a student’s identity is shaped by their experience living on campus. Shifting from 54 residents per floor in Phase III to the proposed 120 residents per floor was a major concern for housing staff. The HMC Architects + Sundt design-build team focused on two interrelated strategies to align housing goals with budget and student success: identity and access. The building’s massing creates distinct wings that create a specialized identity, provide a noise buffer against the nearby freeway, and position the buildings with optimal solar orientation. The team also addressed access control. While the building is perceived as one cohesive community, it functions as three independent houses with individual access. The solution began by creating three unique points of access on the ground floor. On upper levels 2-5, each house has a set of doors separating itself from centralized shared amenity spaces. In two of the wings, the elevator is accessed from within the wing. This gives housing staff the flexibility to operate each wing autonomously or collaboratively, depending on resident or conference needs.  Using interactive methods, the design-build team developed the program while engaging users.


Resilient Roots

Best On-the-Boards Site Plan

Allensworth, California’s first black-founded town, symbolizes resilience and empowerment. The Resilient Roots project, a community hub and cultural resource, transforms Allensworth’s historical adversities, like poor air quality, into assets by prioritizing resilience and decarbonization. The building’s low-carbon wood frame is easily constructed and flexible to accommodate community events and farmer training. Additionally, greenhouses recycle converted CO2 into oxygen back into the building. A marketplace supports community well-being by offering onsite sourced produce from greenhouses and fields. Elevated walkways encourage activity and use native plants to filter air pollutants and stabilize the soil. Along the trail, display walls celebrate Allensworth’s history. Rammed earth walls define communal spaces and provide thermal comfort. The children’s playground and outdoor gym are also shaded and protected by these walls and native plants. The agricultural student housing uses local materials while integrating native plants for residents’ wellbeing. Each unit is designed for accessibility and off-grid living, featuring translucent roof panels for maximum daylight and airflow. The housing doubles as community shelters during crises; equipped with solar-supported water heaters and adjustable louvers for passive ventilation based on wind direction. Resilient Roots empowers Allensworth’s community through strength, renewal, and sustainability while fostering wellness, empowering farmers, and preserving identity.


Clovis Community Medical Center

Best Health/Wellness Design Solution

This project represents the rebirth of a medical facility that has served California’s Central Valley community since 1965. As the City of Clovis grew rapidly, the medical center implemented a growth plan to more than double its size, including inpatient and critical care services. Clovis Community Medical Center’s design is based on a revolutionary approach to patient care, with innovative and cost-effective construction solutions using high-tech-high-touch technology to meet the needs of today’s demanding healthcare customers. Well known for care in women’s health, labor and delivery, cancer care, sports medicine, and minimally invasive surgery, Clovis Community Medical Center has prided itself on delivering exceptional care within comfortable accommodations. This expansion is no exception. For example, the hospital entry structure features a high-quality landscape, tall bright interior spaces with abundant ambient lighting, and a grand signature art piece inspired by the nearby orchards found within the central valley. Despite the significant increase in size, these and many other design features throughout the expansion successfully create a clear, intuitive, and accessible facility with many memorable experiences throughout. With this 390,000 GSF expansion, the hospital achieves its growth target ahead of its long-term plans and will be able to provide quality healthcare for many years.

GNA is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the nation. It honors design and planning achievements in community and home design, green-built housing, site planning, commercial, retail, mixed-use development, and specialty housing categories. To learn more or to see a full list of award winners, visit  PCBC’s website.