Santa Barbara Student Center Seeking Silver
An $18-million building at UC Santa
Barbara was designed to exceed Title 24 standards by up to
40 percent. Key sustainable elements include daylighting,
windows and sun shading.
The top is closing on UC Santa Barbara's $18 million, energy-efficient
Student Resource Building.
The 69,500-sq.-ft. structure was about 65-percent complete
in December, with roof work and water sealing under way.
the new facility is completed in the summer, it will house
student services departments that are currently located in
more than six temporary, overcrowded facilities. The building
will include the Office for Student Life, Educational Opportunity
Program, Women's Center and Campus Learning Assistance Services.
A day-care center, library, computer labs and multipurpose
rooms also will be in the complex.
Designed by the San Francisco office of Sasaki Associates,
the three-story building includes many sustainable energy
principles and will seek a silver LEED rating from the U.S.
Green Building Council.
"I think it is going to be a demonstration building
in terms of its energy conservation," said Sasaki's Scott
Smith, the project's principal designer. "We were looking
to exceed Title 24 by 30 to 40 percent."
Title 24, which was signed into law in 1978, is a California
regulation that sets energy-efficiency design and construction
standards for new residential and nonresidential buildings
in California. The law ensures that buildings use components
that have been certified by the state, including insulation,
windows and doors, and energy-efficient furnaces and air conditioners.
It is updated every three years.
To achieve the goal, the design team is extensively using
green features such as daylighting, natural ventilation and
"By using daylighting and natural ventilation we reduced
the need for air conditioning and [other] mechanical systems
by anywhere between 30 and 50 percent," Smith said.
He said the building's high number of operable windows, which
make up about 40 percent of all glass on the project, work
for both daylighting and natural ventilation.
In addition, Smith said the cast-in-place concrete facility's
main forum area is actually an atrium space in the middle
of the building.
"This acts as a chimney to exhaust hot air, so that
when you open a window on the edge of the building, the air
comes through the building and goes out the top through the
The resource building is being constructed on 1.5 acres on
the southwest side of the campus, near the Events Center and
adjacent the Isla Vista student housing community.
Sustainable in Santa Barbara
Several sustainable systems have been incorporated
into the Student Resource Building at UC Santa Barbara.
Highly transparent metal and glass curtain wall
on the north wing to maximize daylighting
Lightweight masonry tile rain screen with small,
deep-set windows equipped with sunshades on the
Grove of 50 shade trees planted south of the building
to help reduce heat island effects
Mechanical ventilation is limited to internal spaces
HVAC system is connected to the campus chilled
water loop, eliminating the need for cooling towers
Interior has an exposed structural concrete frame
to reduce the need for finish materials
Flooring consists of rapidly renewable rubber and
carpet tiles manufactured of post-industrial nylon
Walls are finished with low volatile-organic-compound
paints and post-consumer, nylon fabric-wrapped panels
Bonsall-based Rogers-Quinn Construction Inc. is serving as
the general contractor.
"I've worked here 35 years and I have been dreaming
about this for 35 years," said Yolanda Garcia, UCSB's
executive director for student academic support services.
"We're trying to create a facility that will promote
community across departments, students, staff and generations.
"The building is structured in such a way that everybody
has common areas that they have to walk through and be a part
of to get where they are going."
Garcia said the new building is replacing older structures
that are "pretty substandard" and that are actually
old cargo containers or outdated "World War II barracks."
The showpiece of the resource building is the forum, a spot
designed to attract visitors in a central, gathering space.
"The building focuses on a central forum, and then the
various offices and meeting rooms occur around this forum
and overlook it," Sasaki's Smith said. "In some
spaces you can look through the entire building. It's a building
in which we dissolved the walls to make it as open and transparent
and interactive as possible."
It was on the northeast side of the forum that Frank Peters,
project manager for Rogers-Quinn, said that his crew had the
task of filling a 28-ft.-tall wall with about 50 cu. yds.
"The design called for a single pour, [and] the density
of the reinforcing steel made it impossible to place and vibrate
the concrete to assure a high level of consolidation,"
Peters added. "The finished spec for this wall only [could
have been] achieved with a high concrete consolidation. We
had a situation where physics and specs were in conflict."
To overcome this hurdle, Peters said the concrete contractor,
Newbury Park-based Falcone General Engineering, created places
where the concrete could flow through the forms to increase
the likelihood of reasonable consolidation.
The construction team also utilized external vibration on
the wall and modified the mix by adding a "super-plasticized"
substance to help the concrete flow smoother, Peters added.
The project, which broke ground in February 2004, was funded
by an increase in student fees, which students voted for and
approved in 2001.