College students aspiring to solve some of the world’s most critical health problems may soon have the ideal forum to realize their goals at the new Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility, being built by McCarthy at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in La Jolla. ZGF Architects, LLP, is the project architect.
Located on a 3.3-acre site within the UCSD School of Medicine campus, the 196,000-square-foot Heath Sciences Biomedical Research Facility is being built to achieve LEED Platinum Certification, and potentially could receive notoriety as being the highest performing laboratory facility in the entire country. McCarthy construction crews recently completed the last concrete pour on the five-story building, celebrating the milestone with a topping out barbecue luncheon for site workers. Final project completion is scheduled for August 2013.
Boone Hellmann, campus architect for UCSD, heads the Facilities Design and Construction office charged with implementing the $105 million project, with James Gillie, senior director of construction services for UCSD, supervising construction and Mark Rowland charged with overall project management.
“We’re on track to make this project the most sustainably designed research lab on the UCSD campus and possibly in the entire nation,” said Hellmann. “The McCarthy/ZGF project team has been working closely with us to tailor a project delivery system that will help ensure the success of our mission.”
The new research laboratory will have a function similar to the existing 145,000-square-foot UCSD School of Medicine Leichtag Family Foundation for Biomedical Research Building, which McCarthy completed in spring 2004. The newer facility is part of the ongoing expansion at the campus.
The research building will fit within the modern design context of the academic mall on the School of Medicine campus, with its exterior incorporating a combination of concrete, curtain wall, metal panels, and terra cotta cladding. The facility will encompass wet labs, open lab space, lab support, and administrative support space on five stories above ground, with core lab space and support mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems located in the basement.
Distinctive design features of the building include dynamic, computer-controlled exterior solar shading systems on the east, west and south facades, representing the most extensive use of this type of shading by any building in the UC system. UCSD will study how capturing natural light in this unique manner lends itself to enhancing students’ learning abilities and study motivation.
In response to San Diego County’s water shortage, the building’s design also dictates extensive reuse of water for landscape irrigation, as well as urinal and toilet flushing. Particular attention also will be given to the build-out of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to ensure optimum energy efficiency.
“We’ve collaborated with McCarthy on past UC-system projects,” said Joe Collins, FAIA, a partner with ZGF and principal architect for the new UCSD education laboratory. “For this particular facility, the team has gone a step beyond by bringing subcontractors aboard during the initial design phases to help us fashion a seamless, integrated building process.”
According to Bob Betz, senior vice president for McCarthy, one of the most technically challenging aspects of construction will be the lab space and highly MEP-intensive areas of the overhead construction. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is being utilized extensively to help in the coordination of these spaces.
Another important feature of the building design is the exterior structural concrete work, which McCarthy is self-performing. The firm previously achieved award-winning success on the poured-in-place concrete at the nearby Student Academic Services Facility, completed by McCarthy in August 2007, and earlier on the Salk Institute.
KPFF of Portland and San Diego is the structural engineer for the new UCSD Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility. IBE Consulting Engineers, based in Sherman Oaks, is the mechanical and plumbing engineer, and Integrated Engineering Consultants of Los Angeles is the electrical engineer. Spurlock Poirier of San Diego is the landscape architect. RFD, also of San Diego, is the laboratory-planning consultant.
Recognized as one of the nation’s elite true builders, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is America’s 8th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2012) and the largest educational facilities builder in California. The company is committed to the construction of high performance green buildings; innovative jobsite technology; and safer, faster and more cost-effective execution. McCarthy has managed construction or built more than 300 K-12 school projects nationwide totaling more than $2 billion in construction value, and nearly 100 higher education projects on more than 50 campuses. In addition to San Diego, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Albuquerque; and Collinsville, Ill. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com.