University of California—Merced, Central Plant

Merced, California

The Central Plant, one of four first-phase buildings on the campus, has three elements: a three-story plant building, a thermal storage tank and a telecom building. As the school expands to 30,000 students over the next few years, the campus will follow the master plan to become an ordered urban grid, with additional plants built to serve each new sector.

With its ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMArup, Architect of RecordCOST PER SQ FT$634.00FEATURED IN2007 Architectural Portfolio layers of translucent and opaque exterior walls, the Central Plant functions as a dynamic laboratory for students studying environmental resources and creates a symbol for the university’s focus on energy research.

The plant exceeded the sustainable-design goals outlined by the UC Regents and earned a LEED gold certification.

At the heart of the university’s sustainability strategy, the Central Plant is a symbol of the campus’ commitment to future generations. In addition to providing electricity and water for the campus’ Phase I buildings, it will serve as a “living laboratory” for environmental-science students.