The Science and Engineering 2 building continues UC Merced's quest for high sustainability in design and function. It is the second building to accommodate instruction and research programs in the School of Engineering and the School of Natural Sciences. The three-story 102,000 sf building includes open and flexible class laboratories, research laboratories, study facilities, collaborative breakout spaces, and academic and administrative offices. The building was designed to meet LEED Platinum standards.
A major design goal was to integrate the building with its surroundings, to provide indoor-outdoor space and connect to neighboring buildings. Structural solutions to achieve this goal:
Laboratories at the ground floor include adjacent porches, which serve as outdoor learning space. A pedestrian plaza and shaded walkways connect the buildings within the quad.
The building was designed with stellar energy performance in mind and serves as an experimentation space for renewable energy. The rooftop includes solar water heaters that are accessible and easily monitored for learning opportunities.
Rutherford + Chekene worked closely with UC Merced, the MEP engineer and the architect, utilizing BIM to facilitate collaboration and design.