Press Release: 01.13.2015

Collaborating for Success

University of California, Merced
Science and Engineering II

Merced, California

“Our project team focused on achieving the highest quality and best fiscal outcome for the university through the application of innovative, sustainable and schedule-driven construction solutions."
—Tim Albiani, project director, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

University of California, Merced Science & Engineering Building

McCarthy recently completed the new four-story, 101,900-square-foot, design-build Science and Engineering II (S&E2) facility at University of California, Merced. The facility provides UC Merced students and faculty with advanced educational and research capabilities and completes the academic core around the Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad. S&E2 houses mechanical engineering, material science, computer science, and environmental and bio-engineering studies, and includes classrooms, research space and laboratories, faculty offices, support space, administrative areas and a wind tunnel lab.

The project was fully modeled from early design, a huge step in ensuring the advanced project design was well understood by all prime trade contractors from the date of bid all the way through closeout. The project took building information modeling (BIM) technology to the next level by incorporating not only mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems but also integrated exterior system alignment, interior framing challenges, and integration to the campus building utilities. The advanced BIM effort, coupled with a state-of-the art virtual plan room, allowed the project team to efficiently coordinate the project’s complex design and building elements with the prime trade contractors in real time right on-site.

“This project mandated a high level of cooperation and integration between teams, and was exemplary of what we at McCarthy call a ‘True Builder’ approach,” explained McCarthy Project Director Tim Albiani. McCarthy partnered closely with the project design team lead by Smith Group JRR, whose vision of innovation and functionality was fully realized through this project

The completion of S&E2 marks another milestone in McCarthy’s role in UC Merced’s recent campus expansion effort. McCarthy was the general contractor or construction manager for each of the last four major campus projects including the Student Activities and Athletics Center, completed in fall 2012; the Student Services Center, and the Site Development and Infrastructure Phase 4 projects, both of which reached completion in early 2014

All projects on campus adhere to UC Merced’s original campus charter to showcase environmentally responsible construction and further their Triple Zero Commitment: net-zero energy use, zero waste to landfills, and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. As 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, UC Merced is one of the country’s most sustainable university campuses.

S&E2 is on track to achieve LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. As part of this focus on sustainability, the project team incorporated the UC Merced philosophy of “recycling-reusing-reclaiming” into the building process. Construction crews repurposed 1,500 tons of material from area landfills, and 40 percent of the materials used in the facility’s construction were recycled or reclaimed.

The facility also features an energy-efficient photovoltaic structure that will act as part of a living laboratory of renewable energy education and serve as a source of the building’s energy supply. The building’s interior incorporates the extensive use of recycled materials, including reclaimed wood for special ceilings and wall panels, helping to prevent indoor air pollution.

“The entire project team was focused on achieving the green building goals of the campus. It is exciting to celebrate the completion of an educational hub that will provide much-needed research and instruction space for this bustling academic environment,” added Albiani.

sign up to receive insights

Sign up to receive McCarthy Insights