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County of San Mateo Temporary Navigation Center
Redwood City, CA
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County of San Mateo Temporary Navigation Center

XL led the construction of a new, state-of the art, 240-bed Navigation Center that serves the homeless or at-risk residents of the County of San Mateo.

Award Details
  • Local Award Winner Shield


Redwood City, CA


County of San Mateo


Office of Charles Bloszies





Market Sector


Delivery Method



  • Award Winner


  • LEED Silver Certification

For optimal time and cost efficiency, all the 102 sleeping modules, 27 support modules, bathroom units, and two modular elevators were prefabricated. Two conventionally built structures were constructed onsite and contain an all-electric commercial kitchen, dining hall, and community building/support center. The modules are arranged in four rows. Two rows are stacked three stories high, one row is two stories high and the last is a single story. The on-site all-electric commercial kitchen provides means for food preparation for clients staying onsite and doubles as a training facility for onsite employment preparation programs. This project is the best-in-class navigation center in Northern California, and perhaps the Nation.

Challenges and Solutions

01 / 03
XL was challenged to maintain a very tight budget.


To stay on target with the $51.25 million project budget, XL kept a meticulous design decision log and collaborated closely with the designer, client, and end users to achieve the design intent while reducing cost with the following changes:

  • Eliminated two trash towers – $900,000 savings
  • Used fewer fence posts and longer panels – $200,000 savings
  • Used wood framing instead of steel – $1.4 million savings
  • Reduced total number of trees and plants – $150,000 savings + operational cost savings

Budgetary challenges were overcome thanks in large part to the County of San Mateo working side-by-side with XL and the architect. The County was extremely collaborative, providing input and removing roadblocks at every turn.

As the largest of its kind in California, the size and scope of the modular Navigation Center was a challenge in itself. The biggest process the team implemented for construction quality was weekly MEP and design coordination meetings with the modular vendor, architect, and MEP trade partners, to manage factors such as MEP connections to the modular units.


This critical work allowed for the seamless tie-in of waste and water lines at 28 locations where the margin of error was less than ¼ inch. Failure to hit such a precise mark would result in massive rework. Thanks to the coordination meetings, everything hit its mark and the construction team was able to set an average of 15 modules (6,000 s.f.) per day.

Unforeseen rainfall caused a delay in the project's completion.


The project experienced a relatively minor delay, as the dedicated subcontractors were willing to work in adverse weather conditions, donning rain gear to ensure the timely completion of the project.

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