UC Santa Cruz Kresge College — Santa Cruz, CA
Renewing Community of Independent Thinkers
- New Construction - 110,600 SF
Renovations - 150,000 SF
- New Construction - Studio Gang
Renovations - TEF
- Mass Timber Suppliers
- Structurlam & KLH USA
- Sustainable Benchmark:
- LEED Gold
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.
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.
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.
Get in Touch
We would be pleased to speak to you about your project.