Thursday, September 17, 2009

Second Science & Engineering Building Approved at UC Merced

The architectural design of the second Science & Engineering (S&E 2) building at UC Merced was approved by the UC Regents’ Committee on Grounds and Buildings this week.

The 101,900-square-foot facility overlooking the next phase of campus development will provide research and instructional labs, and core facilities. Some of the architectural features include: several significant outdoor spaces, which include a plaza between the two S&E buildings’ instructional labs; a shaded promontory perched above the canal that can serve as an event venue; and a porch adjacent to the engineering labs for outdoor learning opportunities such as robotics competitions. In addition to offices and computational and wet labs on the upper levels, breakout rooms with adjacent balconies will provide collaboration space with sweeping vistas of the undeveloped landscape, and future campus expansion.

As with all other permanent buildings on the UC Merced campus, this next building will be designed and constructed to achieve a LEED “Gold” rating through the U.S. Green Building Council, and may be able to achieve a “Platinum” rating. Six campus buildings have already been certified as LEED Gold and one has a LEED Silver standing. No other university in the United States has earned LEED Silver or better for every building on campus.

Since its inception, UC Merced has been a leader in sustainable planning and environmental design, and as it develops it continues on that path. As the campus grows, new development will be designed, planned and sited to demonstrate innovation and minimize impacts on the environment. The campus Long-Range Development Plan also establishes a Triple Zero Commitment by the campus to use zero non-renewable energy, generate zero solid waste and achieve a zero net-carbon footprint by 2020. By the end of 2009, the campus will be generating 20 percent of its total power demand through on-site renewable energy.

Construction of the Science & Engineering II Building is scheduled to begin as early as fall 2011, state funding permitting, with the facility opening in the 2014-15 academic year.