University of California—Irvine, Natural Sciences Unit II

Irvine, California

  • FIRM

    Carrier Johnson


    Regents of the University of California; Design/Construction Services

  • AREA

    146,075 sq.ft.





The Natural Sciences Unit II research facility is shared by the physical-sciences and biological-sciences schools. The building meets current and future demands for additional classes and laboratories, offices for new faculty and state-of-the-art facilities to meet projected needs for research.

Laboratory space is organized around ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMHensel Phelps Construction CompanyCOST PER SQ FT$294.00CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLaboratories double-loaded corridor. Physical-sciences laboratories typically are closed cellular spaces, whereas biological-sciences laboratories typically are open spaces with a “ghost” corridor for circulation. Professors are situated near daily research lab activities in order to have direct contact with lab personnel and students, enhancing interaction.

The physical-sciences labs accommodate multiple laser table experiments that can be isolated by retractable blackout curtains. Process cooling water outlets support the high heat load of experiments involving lasers, and overhead service carriers support the delivery of multiple laboratory utilities. Ladder racks are positioned to allow data pathways between the laser tables and benches at the perimeter of the lab. Synthetic-chemistry labs are designed for flexibility with central benches, movable tables and mobile under-bench storage modules. Above, ceiling-hung, adjustable shelving is demountable at a height of 8 feet, and overhead utilities also are capable of being disconnected at this height.

Biological-sciences laboratories are large and open. Benches have a flexible modular configuration, and every third bench has a fixed sink. The remaining benches consist of movable tables, mobile storage modules and demountable upper shelving, providing researchers with the highest degree of flexibility.

The project includes a separate, single-story structure dedicated to high energy. This high-bay building, designed for the assembly of large research instrumentation, features an overhead bridge crane (with 5-ton capacity) and a 20-foot-high rollup door.

“Adjustable shelving and movable cabinets allow for great flexibility and functionality.”--2006 jury