Day labor station wins Holcim sustainable construction award

November 01, 2008 |
The station’s interior seating is flanked by a restroom and a food prep area.

A self-contained, multipurpose day labor station prototype designed by the San Francisco-based firm Public Architecture won the Silver Award in the 2008 Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction competition for North America.

Built-in benches are made of sustainable wood.

The prototype, measuring 8x50 feet and standing 12 feet high, is designed to serve as an employment hub, meeting space, and outreach center for day laborers, who typically gather in unofficial locales, such as street corners and the parking lots of big box retailers, looking for work. According to the architects' research, each workday as many as 110,000 individuals are looking to perform day labor in the U.S.

The station, which is designed to be mounted on a wood platform frame (site conditions would determine foundation support), features built-in interior seating, a restroom, and a small food prep station much like those used by mobile food vendors, which can be used to sell food to generate income to support the station's upkeep. A cantilevered roof provides additional covered outside seating.

Sustainability was an important consideration in the prototype design, which features locally sourced, salvaged, or certified wood; used billboard vinyl; fiber cement board; polycarbonate roof panels; recycled PVC floor tiles in the bathroom; a low-flow toilet (dry or incinerating toilet if installed off the grid); and a sink with a low-flow faucet (grey water can be linked with the toilet). The open design provides natural ventilation, and solar energy can be used to power the station.

Public Architecture research on day labor is available online, along with more information on the station prototype:

For more on the Holcim Awards, go to:

Overlay Init