UC Merced | Science and Engineering 1
Merced, CA
Photos: Tim Griffith, R+C
  • 174,105 sf
  • $54.9 million
  • Exceeded energy requirements of California Title 24 by 30%
  • Among first buildings on Merced campus

The UC Merced laboratory building is built to world-class design standards and certified LEED Gold. The building provides interdisciplinary collaborative spaces, wet and dry research laboratories, a seminar room, offices and a vivarium.

The new LEED Gold building was one of four major projects included in the first phase of the new campus. The 174,105 sf building provides faculty office and laboratory space, teaching laboratories, a small-animal vivarium, and offices for two of the three academic divisions at the campus—Engineering and Natural Sciences.

Forming two sides of the engineering quad, the building complements its surrounding space. Glass sunshades provide sun-protected outdoor spaces. The building supports interdisciplinary research not only through the function of its classrooms and laboratories, but also through the layout itself. An arcade connects learning spaces on the ground floor, with glass-enclosed stairs leading up offices above. Sky-lit collective spaces are located at each floor.

Rutherford + Chekene provided structural engineering for the $54.9 million building. The building’s concrete structure provides superior vibration performance while tempering Merced’s arid summer climate. The structure contributes to the building’s efficient energy performance. In addition to sustainability standards—the building exceeded energy requirements of California Title 24 by 30%—the building required intensive ventilation and tight climate control to support sensitive research.

Other R+C work at the campus includes the Detailed Project Program for the Science and Engineering building and the library as well as the seismic evaluation of an existing building that served as an interim facility for site personnel during the initial campus development.