UC Santa Cruz Kresge College — Santa Cruz, CA

Renewing Community of Independent Thinkers

Kresge Mass Timber Residence Halls and Academic Building at UC Santa Cruz
New Construction - 110,600 SF
Renovations - 150,000 SF
New Construction - Studio Gang
Renovations - TEF
Mass Timber Suppliers
Structurlam & KLH USA
Sustainable Benchmark:

Kresge College has long represented a community of independent thinkers with its experimental merging of academic, social, and environmental space. Its hallmark 1970s architecture includes skewed angles, piazzas, and a pedestrian bridge through a redwood grove. As structures near the end of their lifespans, UC Santa Cruz has invested in a renewal program to sustainably carry Kresge forward into the 21st century.

Four mass timber additions will underscore connection with the forest and campus community. These include three five-story residence halls and a curvilinear three-story academic building. The project will also refurbish and reprogram 12 buildings. Through Design-Build delivery, Holmes is providing overall fire and life safety code consulting as well as structural engineering for the mass timber components.

UC Santa Cruz Kresge College Renewal Curved Mass Timber Academic Plaza and Students Rendering by Studio Gang
New Mass Timber Academic Building and Plaza
Mass timber dorms at UC Santa Cruz Kresge College rendering by Studio Gang
New Mass Timber Residence Halls
Mass timber and existing dorms at UC Santa Cruz Kresge College rendering by Studio Gang
Interplay of New and Existing Structures

During construction documentation, the project team sought a more proactive fire and life safety consultant: Holmes was selected for its responsiveness and ability to perform design reviews under tight scheduling. Holmes provided a swift code-based analysis for compliance with an emphasis on egress, fire ratings for assembly spaces, and input on buildable construction types. Code consulting moved mass timber designs through permitting and construction.

Holmes was also brought on by Swinerton as Specialty Structural Engineer of Record for the mass timber elements. Structural and fire engineers collaborated to maintain optimal mass timber exposure throughout the additions. Solutions showcase the warmth of wood pairing Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) diaphragms with glulam beams and columns. All additions achieved the required fire ratings and are designed to maintain structural integrity after fire-induced char.

Mass Timber Construction at Academic Building UC Santa Cruz Kresge College
Mass Timber Tall Timber Dorms California
UC Santa Cruz Kresge College Mass Timber Residence Halls Under Construction
Exposed CLT Floors at Mass Timber Kresge College Dorm Room
Glulam Beams and CLT Floor at UC Santa Cruz Kresge College
Curved Mass Timber Academic Building and Residence Hall Aerial View UC Santa Cruz Kresge
Mass Timber Dorms Residence Halls UC Santa Cruz Kresge College Redwood Forest

Structurally, Holmes designed CLT-paneled roofs, floors, glulam beams and columns for a cohesive campus feel. Careful detailing minimizes beam-to-column and column-to-floor connections. The use of hidden fasteners casts the illusion of floating columns. For beam-to-column connections, Ricon connections recess into the beam concealing hardware. Base connections were drilled underneath the column and grouted to a rod, fixed to the floor with gypcrete encasing the column. Glazing attachments directly point back to the timber structure. More broadly, Holmes accommodated curving forms that spark architectural interest and minimized the removal of redwood trees.

Curved Glulam Beams and CLT Floor at Kresge College UC Santa Cruz with Redwood Forest Studio Gang

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