Client Spotlight: University of California, San Diego

For almost 60 years, Swinerton has proudly worked hand-in-hand with the University of California, San Diego, and 2018 was one of the partnership's most successful years yet with the completion of the Osler Parking Structure and Visitor Center and the Warren Apartments.

On August 31, UCSD held their official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Osler Parking Structure with speeches from the Director of Parking Services and the esteemed Chancellor of UC San Diego, Pradeep Khosla. Two weeks prior, Swinerton and our design-build team of Watry Design, Gensler Architects and Spurlock Landscape successfully turned over the 1,300 parking-stall garage just in time for the Fall 2018 semester.

Swinerton worked in conjunction with UC San Diego Capital Planning and Parking Services to deliver a beautiful structure that incorporates UC San Diego’s beloved Eucalyptus grove. The façade takes design cues from the surrounding Eucalyptus grove to make the parking structure blend into the landscape. To do this the design team utilized a combination of perforated metal planks on the façade of the structure to mimic the surrounding trees. The successful collaboration between the real trees from the Eucalyptus grove and the perforated metal panels created a product that is aesthetically pleasing and allows the building to become part of the landscape rather than competing with it.

Connected to the structure is the new Visitors Center that demarcates one of several main entrances into the UC San Diego Campus. The interior of this structure is an open concept design with floor to ceiling glass walls and a high-tech video wall that will help familiarize visitors to campus life.

In September, Swinerton San Diego wrapped up the UC San Diego Warren Apartments project. Working on two separate buildings, Douglas Hall and Goldberg Hall, work totaled roughly 75,000 square feet each. A $7.6 million-dollar project, work had to be completed in a mere three months, in time for the fall session.

The team installed a new fire alarm system, fire sprinkler system, elevator modernizations and electrical impacts to make the life safety systems fully functional. Associated accessibility improvements and guardrail code compliance were made on all walkway and roof terrace decks.

The biggest challenge was addressing the unforeseen existing conditions to route the new fire sprinkler and fire alarm system—and their first opportunity was when students moved out for the summer and the team stepped onsite. After performing demolition operations to expose all conditions, they had to quickly compare the proposed routing plan to what routing was possible to close up walls/ceilings/soffits and install finishes.

There were two main lessons learned. The first was creating a schedule that allows concurrent demolition on the top levels along with the ground level soffits to expose all routing conditions. The schedule worked from level six down to level one, but the fire sprinkler main and the largest diameter pipe was on Level one. It would have been beneficial to identify the conflicts on level one the first week to route the main instead of waiting until four to five weeks later by working top down.

The second lesson learned was to provide enough detail in the Fire Alarm schedule. They had set devices, trim, programming, and final testing, but also had to do wire pull, set devices, terminate wire in FACPs/RTCs, programming, final trim & permanent labeling, pre-test, and final testing with Fire Marshal. They would have realized they needed to start this activity well in advance of their original baseline schedule.