"Beyond the Work" Sustainable Community

Trevor N. Trzebiatowski, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


Since its earliest beginnings, the construction industry has been shaped in a way that favors “traditional” ways of building. These ways of building do not refer to the actual materials or installation process, but rather the way an owner interacts with a builder and the surrounding community to complete a project. “Beyond the Work” is a nonprofit organization that is creating affordable, self-sustaining housing options for low-income families. One of their projects in Santa Margarita, CA is pushing the boundaries on how owners work with local county officials to avoid unnecessary costs while creating a finished product that is safe, sustainable, and benefits the surrounding community. Fall quarter of 2020, “Beyond the Work” reached out to Cal Poly’s Construction Management department for students to assist with on-site and off-site tasks during the beginning phase of their project in Santa Margarita. Key responsibilities included creating a detailed project schedule and budget, organizing subcontractors, creating estimates, comparing design options, and assisting with on-site labor when needed. While the unique project encountered various challenges and obstacles, significant progress in preconstruction was made that provided valuable lessons learned for all team members involved.