Clinical Sciences Building Renovation and Seismic Upgrade

University of California, San Francisco, California, USA

The Clinical Sciences Building is a seven-story structure built in 1932 by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to service the medical sciences campus. This seismic renovation project includes a gut remodel of the entire building which will not only make the building resilient in the face of earthquakes but reinvigorate the sustainable design principles of the original design. The majority of the building will provide much-need office space for clinical faculty and staff in a “hybrid” open office model that melds the functionality of open and closed plan workspace. Flexible and technology-rich classrooms and multi-purpose spaces will fill the lower two public levels. A major cut through the building will create a north-south connection between the two primary outdoor spaces on campus, Parnassus Avenue and Saunders Court.

The original passive functionality of the design is restored through re-establishing cross ventilation and daylighting as the primary means for thermal comfort and daytime lighting. Open floor plans and thoughtful zoning makes the most out of the narrow building footprint that served the building in an era before mechanical and electrical systems were relied upon for lighting and comfort. Breathtaking views of San Francisco and the Bay are opened up to all occupants by locating enclosed spaces generally towards the interior. Programming for sustainability allows this project to get the most out of its inherent strengths by replacing labs with offices and classrooms better suited for what this historic building offers. Finally, right-sized mechanical systems connect to efficient campus loops to reduce energy use down to an expected EUI of 21 kBtu/sf/yr, roughly 75% less than a typical existing office building today.

An enhanced seismic design utilizes post-tensioned shear walls that rock and restore to their vertical position after an event, rather than absorbing stresses and permanently deforming as code-complaint shear walls do. A seismically-resilient design of non-structural systems, such as partitions and pipework, safeguards systems that typically represent the largest proportion of earthquake related damage for small to moderate earthquakes. The result is a building that promises to be operational after even major earthquakes and can operate as a resilient resource to the UCSF community.

Lean construction principles underlie an integrated project delivery model that focuses on Owner value throughout the project cycle. Target Value Design was used to identify key client values and then to align those with the budget and technical design criteria through the design process, rather than at the completion of design.  Pull Planning was used extensively throughout both design and construction for detailed scheduling of design tasks and deliverables, as well as with the contractor for construction scheduling.  Sub-contacts for MEP, fire-protection and telecom were bid out as Design/Build during Schematic Design phase.  This locked in pricing allowed us to work closely with these trades to complete the design in the most cost effective solution.  


Size : 110,240

Completion Date : 2017




San Francisco

500 Treat Ave #201
San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 285-9193