McCarthy recently completed the Student Activities and Athletics Center at the University of California, Merced (“UC Merced”). The new facility, which opened on Aug. 24, will increase the campus’ recreation space by nearly 70 percent and will seek LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“The Student Activities and Athletics Center will add much-needed recreational space for the university’s growing enrollment,” said Tim Albiani, McCarthy’s project director. “The campus elected a full design-build project delivery method — the first construction project to utilize this method on campus — to streamline the overall design and construction process throughout all phases, and to ensure it would be open to welcome the students this fall. Our successful proposal kept a clear focus on the environmental sustainability goals of the campus.”
The Student Activities and Athletics Center will be a significant ancillary building to the currently over-utilized Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center. The approximately 21,000-square-foot facility will include cardio-vascular and workout studios, an Outdoor Adventures activities area, meeting rooms, training facilities, and offices spaces for the recreational and athletics programs.
McCarthy and the project’s architect, WRNS Studio, applied a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to managing the job as a design-build project. By streamlining the building process and allowing the project team to resolve issues between disciplines in the preparation of construction documents, the design-build method assured that the project was completed on a “best value” basis: getting the project ready for the start of school while saving money, resources and time. Every team member actively participated in a systematic approach for continuous quality improvement, which included regular reviews emphasizing prevention rather than correction, and close, consistent coordination with UC Merced’s design and construction department, as well as, the users, throughout the design and documentation stages.
The Student Activities and Athletics Center project adheres to the original UC Merced campus goals to showcase environmentally responsible construction by planning and constructing one of the country’s most sustainable university campuses. As such, UC Merced is the first university campus in the nation to have all of its buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Sustainable features of the Student Activities and Athletics Center include: energy performance at 50 percent of buildings of this type, based on UC/CSU benchmarks developed in 1999, and 30% below current Title 24 requirements, sun shading to provide maximum daylighting with minimal solar gain, grass pavers for the fire lane integrated into the landscaping and drought tolerant planting comprised of mostly native or adaptive plants. The standing seam roof, plaster, glazing, metal screens and fins were selected to compliment the surrounding campus context while maintaining high standards of sustainability.
McCarthy is also the construction manager on UC Merced’s Science and Engineering Building 2, a 103,000 square-foot laboratory and research facility, and was recently selected to build the 34,000 square-foot Student Services Center, which will break ground this fall.
McCarthy Building Companies is the nation’s 8th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2012), and the largest general contractor in California (ENR California, August 2012). With nearly 150 years of experience, McCarthy is one of the nation’s oldest, privately held construction firms. Committed to the construction of high performance buildings, the company provides general contracting, construction management, program management and design/build services for educational, healthcare, parking structure, entertainment, retail, laboratory, biotechnical, microelectronic, and industrial facilities; office buildings; tenant interiors; mixed-use; and bridges and highways. In addition to Sacramento and San Francisco, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach and San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix; Albuquerque; Las Vegas; Dallas; Houston; St. Louis; Collinsville, Ill.; and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. Visit the company’s website at www.mccarthy.com and follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mccarthybuilding.