Text description provided by the architects. The plan of the University of California at San Diego's existing student center, the Price Center, was developed with an "introverted" configuration - a central courtyard bordered on three sides by all of the building's program elements facing inward - that established a powerful sense of place and a hub for dining, socializing, and events. When the university's growth necessitated an expansion of the Price Center, our solution was to create an "extroverted," highly permeable addition offering many points of entry and features such as plazas and monumental staircases that engage the building's surroundings and enrich the street experience.
The 172,000 sf addition expands the bookstore and the space available for retail, foodservice, and student organizations and reinforces the primary pedestrian circulation paths linking the sides of campus. In response to the gradual slope of the site, the addition has two "ground floors," as does the original Price Center, enhancing the accessibility of both the existing facility and the expansion and maximizing revenue from and synergy among retail and foodservice outlets, all located at grade.
Consistent with the planning goals of the UCSD Master Plan and the University Center Design Guidelines, the addition's architectural character and multiple points of entry aid the transformation of the surrounding University Center neighborhood into a "town center": a lively, dense, pedestrian-oriented area with a distinctive urban quality, serving as hub for many different activities and the heart of the campus. In support of the university's goal of achieving the equivalent of a LEED Silver rating, the project incorporates a number of sustainable design elements.
In the Price Center Expansion, an HVAC system tailored to the microclimate of the La Jolla Mesa uses relief air to serve multiple purposes. Outside air is cooled, filtered, and drawn into office areas, then directed to the building's large atrium space, and finally vented out through spaces that can operate at higher temperatures, such as mechanical and electrical rooms, cooking facilities, and loading docks. The ventilation of mechanical rooms with relief air from the building protects equipment from ocean moisture and salt without requiring additional filtration. With a capacity 30% below standard, the expansion's HVAC system was achieved at a first cost of 20% less than a typical San Diego office VAV system - even with the additional ductwork.
Chilled-water control valves dramatically improve the temperature difference between supply and return chilled water, improving the central plant's efficiency and expanding the capacity of existing equipment. In harmony with the mild climate, the building's heating system provides heat only in required locations at the building perimeter and capitalizes upon internal heat generated from lighting and other sources. Taken together, the building's innovations yield an overall energy efficiency that significantly exceeds California Title 24 standards.
Development of building in existing urban campus preserves greenfields and natural resources
144 bicycle rack spaces and three electric cart recharging ports encourage alternative transportation on campus
Building is served by campus bus line accessible from multiple building entries
Trees and landscaping shade 30% of nonroof surfaces, reducing heat-island effects
Exterior lighting achieves zero direct-beam illumination from site, minimizing night-sky light pollution
Indoor Environmental Quality
Displacement ventilation system enhances indoor air quality beyond code minimums
Low-VOC construction adhesives, paints, coatings, carpet, composite wood, and agrifiber products preserve indoor air quality
Permanent temperature and humidity monitoring system integrated with building's automation system maintains building zones within comfort setpoints
Materials and Resources
Existing Price Center building reused
Exterior stone reused
30,000 cubic yards of site-excavated soil reused
Linoleum and wood flooring specified from rapidly renewable materials
Carpeting incorporates 35% recycled content
Construction waste of paper, wood, metal, and concrete separated and recycled by contractor
Energy and Atmosphere
Low-velocity air displacement mechanical system outperforms California Title 24 standards
Customization of ventilation system to microclimate of La Jolla Mesa reduces system's first cost
Circulation of air throughout entire building increases ventilation system efficiency
High-efficiency irrigation technology and low-flow fixtures conserve potable water