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UC Riverside School of Medicine Research Building

Doctors tend to establish their practices in the area in which they are trained. With the growing need for medical professionals in the Inland Empire, UC Riverside, as part of the development of its new medical school, required research space to accommodate the needed senior faculty. The School of Medicine Research Building is designed to attract such faculty, supporting their advanced research and providing flexible, adaptable lab space to accommodate other related researchers in the future. The $28M project, completed on-time and on-budget, was backed by tremendous local community support–including funds donated to design and construct the building.

The University sought sustainable architecture which was enduring and durable, efficient with energy and materials, responsive to site and program, and flexible and adaptable into the future. With research laboratories typically being high energy users, the facility’s strategic combination of exposure, daylighting, nighttime cooling flush, efficient ventilation and other energy-saving measures resulted in a design with an Energy Use Intensity of 128 Kbtu/yr/sf–less than half the baseline for research labs and on par with the 2010 goals to meet the 2030 Challenge for Carbon Neutrality. The building is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification.

From the onset, the research facility was intentionally designed to be sustainable throughout its service life. This started with establishing a durable, easily maintained structure that would be flexible and adaptable over a long timeframe. The open plan layout is ideal for accommodating a wide range of current and future researchers, featuring a repetitive, modular, overhead utilities infrastructure to accommodate varied and changing equipment and lab bench requirements.

Laboratory support spaces, featuring direct access from the open lab areas and equipment spaces accessed via a shared equipment corridor, allow lab technicians to occupy workstations along the building’s exterior with full access to light and views. Faculty offices are oriented to utilize north light and provide distant views of Mt. Baldy and the nearby Picnic Hill. Offices are separated from labs to reduce ventilation and energy use, yet adjacent to the labs with shared spaces to enhance interaction.

Computer-controlled blinds at clerestory windows regulate natural daylight and eliminate glare. Based on a Computational Fluid Dynamic analysis, the lab safety ventilation is reduced by half. In the office area, a nighttime flush in lieu of artificial air conditioning cools the building. Additional energy-saving measures include low-emittance window glazing, operable ventilation louvers in offices, occupant sensor input on lighting and ventilation control, a 78% reduction in irrigation water and 45% reduction in domestic water, and a 32% reduction in overall energy use.

The building is strategically sited in close proximity to the campus’s existing Bioinformatics computer space and vivarium, sharing these assets with other programs rather than developing redundant facilities. Its location creates a series of quads and courts along a major pedestrian spine, convenient to its users and establishing a campus neighborhood.

Notable Accomplishments

  • 32% reduction in overall energy use
  • 78% reduction in irrigation water
  • 45% reduction in domestic water

Award Credit

Owner / Developer
University of California, Riverside
Don W. Caskey, FAIA
Associate Vice Chancellor
Campus Architect
Office of Design & Construction
3615-A Canyon Crest Drive
Riverside, CA 92507
SRG Partnership
Ralph Belton, Jon Schleuning, Tim Evans; Project Architect: Tomer Maymon
Saiful/Bouquet, Inc.
Saiful Islam
385 Colorado Blvd., Suite 200
Pasadena, CA 91101
Landscape Architect
Michael Zilis, ASLA
111 SW Oak, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97204
General Contractor
Barnhart Balfour Beatty
Anthony S Mardirosian
Project Manager
10760 Thornmint Road
San Diego, CA 92127
Lab Planners
Richard Heinz, RFD
Plumbing & Electrical Engineer
Jim Sharpe, AEI
Energy Science Consultant
Charlie Brown, ESBL
University of Oregon
Civil Engineer
Kerry Parker, TMAD
Lara Swimmer


Edward Dean, AIA, LEED-AP
Harley Ellis Devereaux
San Francisco, CA

Dean is director of the San Francisco office of Harley Ellis Devereaux, which is committed to a low-energy design approach, or a zero net energy approach when possible, for every project undertaken by this branch office. Before joining the firm in 2008, he was lead designer for major projects at a number of leading California design firms, including Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis (EHDD), Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and NBBJ Architects.

Projects include the addition to the Main Library at UC Berkeley (early example of a living roof) and, currently, a zero net energy public library for the City of Berkeley. His involvement in low energy building design has been consistent throughout his professional career, starting as a regular member of the design faculty in the Department of Architecture at UC Berkeley for ten years.

His special interest is in daylighting design; in 2006, he was a presenter at the Greenbuild Conference in Denver for a major session entitled Daylighting Intensive.

Larry Hoeksema, AIA
Architects Mosher Drew
San Diego, CA

Hoeksema is President (since 1997) of Architects Mosher Drew in San Diego, having joined the firm in 1979. Beginning his higher education experience in Civil Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he completed his formal training, receiving his Bachelor of Architecture, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

He is active in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) having served in various Board Positions and as President of the San Diego Chapter in 1995. Statewide he has served on the Board of Directors for the AIA, California Council for five years and as served Advisor to the Academy of Emerging Professionals for three years.

He currently serves as President of the San Diego Architectural Foundation and on the NewSchool of Architecture and Design’s, Advisory Board.

Jason A. Silva, AIA, LEED AP
Partner, Design Principal
Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects
Sacramento, CA

Silva is a partner and design principal with Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects in Sacramento, California, focusing on civic, higher education and arts-related projects. Licensed in California with over 15 years of experience, he has overseen the design and construction of major projects throughout northern California.

Jason is active in the American Institute of Architects at the state level as board member of the Academy of Emerging Professionals (AEP) and nationally, as Regional Director for Young Architects Forum (YAF). Locally, with the Central Valley chapter of the AIA, Jason is involved in media and outreach, and sits on the Design Competition Committee.

He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and attended Virginia Tech’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Consortium.

Peter Barsuk, AIA, LEED AP
Studio Leader, Project Manager, and LEED expert
Santa Monica, CA

Barsuk brings almost 20 years of experience in the design industry as an architect and green building expert. He has been involved in a wide variety of project types including commercial, education, civic architecture, health care and entertainment.

A Studio Leader, Project Manager, and LEED expert at Gensler, Peter often gets called in to assist clients with LEED certification and documentation processes for various project types.

As a leader in Sustainable Development, Peter continues to serve as a board member for the USGBC Los Angeles Chapter and educate his colleagues at Gensler on the LEED rating system and the practices of sustainable design.

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