The new, 80,000 sf research building houses the Stem Cell and Developmental Biology departments and includes wet laboratories, laboratory support and offices. As geotechnical engineer of record, R+C's scope including exploration of subsurface conditions, provision of recommendations for demolition, shoring, provision of design recommendations, and site preparation for drainage and security. R+C was structural peer reviewer of the bridging documents for the design-build project.
Challenging Site, Smart Reuse
The base isolated building is located on a highly congested and steeply sloping site underlain by highly fractured Franciscan Formation and old landslide features. It is an elevated structure supported on a “platform” rising up to 70 feet above the slope. Geotechnical issues included development of criteria for retaining walls that extend up to 60 feet high and development of axial and lateral capacity and stiffness criteria for drilled piers or micropiles. R+C retained existing portions of the partially demolished walls from the buildings previously on site. These walls were reused as retention structures for the sloping site for an economical solution.