University of California, Merced


UC Merced, Science and Engineering Building 2


While other campuses nationwide celebrate their centennials, the University of California, Merced is putting its greenest foot forward since its inception in 2005. Planners and facilitators have set lofty energy goals to set the stage of this Central Valley campus, including zero net energy and zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and beyond.

The architecture of the Science and Engineering Building II embodies research and educational goals of the students and faculty within its walls to discover alternative energy solutions. An exposed concrete façade with colonnade responds to the campus context and a three-story photovoltaic shading structure reaps the rewards of the sunny disposition of Merced. Acting as a living laboratory, renewable energy experimentation space is also included on the roof, where solar water heaters are easily accessed and monitored.

The laboratories are designed on a flexible module and organized to meet the needs of the diverse engineering program, and can be expanded to an outdoor arcade, which surrounds the ground level engineering laboratories. This space also provides a shaded connection to the adjacent buildings to activate the campus. The facility also includes a high number of faculty offices, which are organized along a central corridor so that each faculty member can be adjacent to their lab suite.