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An interesting design element within the building’s large atrium is the Scholarly Activity Structure, also known as “The Rock,” a two-story substructure intended for student lounge space. The challenge for the Holmes Culley design team was how to frame this irregular structure. After developing a 3D reference model, the team devised a solution that would account for tolerance in the fieldformed skeleton using appropriate materials. The funky shape was accommodated by a frame made of structural tube steel with connections that provided flexibility during construction.

Rendering courtesy of STUDIOS Architecture

The right design partnership can spark true creative chemistry. After the first design of the University of California– Merced’s new addition to the School of Social Sciences and Management proved too costly, the University decided to change teams. Holmes Culley and STUDIOS Architecture accepted the challenge to create a signature building that wouldn’t break the bank.

The STUDIOS’ design replaced the original concept of an “L”-shaped structure with a more economical square form. The new design adds a light-filled atrium to the features of the addition, which includes classroom, lecture and laboratory spaces. The new design corresponds to the Central Valley’s strong agrarian and industrial context while incorporating materials that will allow the building to achieve LEED Gold certification. To eliminate costly finishes, Holmes Culley and STUDIOS collaborated to create a design that would use the structural frame as an aesthetic architectural finish. Exposed concrete made from recycled material, including fly ash, was selected as the structural frame. This choice added to the sustainable elements and reduced construction costs.

This project is on a fast-track schedule to meet semester start dates and funding deadlines. As part of this intense schedule, the Holmes Culley/STUDIOS team completed design of the core project and proceeded to construction while simultaneously finishing the design of the secondary structures. This seamless transition into the construction schedule took exceptional teamwork.

Client: STUDIOS Architecture

UC Merced Social Sciences & Management Building


UC Merced, Social Sciences & Management Building

Above clockwise from top: On site testing with the team. Construction of the connecting stair. Concrete structure, Interior space under construction. Opposite Page: Construction of the Scholarly Activity Space.


UC Merced, Social Sciences & Management Building

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Pre-fabricated construction has been advantageous for many of our clients in recent projects. Constraints of construction schedule time, labour on site, access to the site, construction noise has led our design teams to solutions implementing pre-fab construction. Controlled warehouse environments, pre-fabricated construction is completed off site. Structure, building envelope, electricity, plumbing, finishes, and even furnishings can be part of the pre-fabricated elements.

The University of California, San Francisco Kirkham Child Care Center is a new 9,000 sf facility. Designed as a modular building, constructed with of prefabricated elements provided by a modular building manufacturer. The program includes a large multipurpose room and five classrooms. The Center provides on-campus child care to UCSF Parnassus staff, caring for up to 72 preschool children each day.

Holmes Culley was retained as part of the DesignBuild team, led by TCB Builders, to provide structural engineering services. Our scope included the design of the foundation and retaining walls that support the modular building and the ancillary structures on site. Our team also developed the on-site ancillary structures including a stand-alone exterior steel stair tower for the Child Care Center. Our experts performed a peer review of the manufacturer’s modular building design to ensure that it met the California Building Code and the seismic design requirements. The pre-fabricated building was assembled in about twoand-a-half days and is documented the first multi-story, off-site constructed building in San Francisco.

For some university and college projects, a low number modular units, built in multiples has allowed significant savings to the project costs. Some elements of the building remained built on site through traditional means. One advantage of this system is the quality and control of workmanship for these contained spaces. For projects at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Auckland site constraints and the client’s interest in reducing the number of days of work on site, and thereby few days of noisy construction, led both clients to select pre-fab construction. In the case of UCSF, after the foundation was laid, the structure was craned in place in and assembled in two-and-a-half days.

Client: University of California, San Francisco

UCSF Kirkham Childcare Center


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The new 313,662 sf Public Safety Building and Emergency Operation Center houses essential emergency services including police, fire and emergency response call centers as well as community meeting rooms and department offices and has a net zero energy target. The City of Salt Lake, a risk-averse and wellinformed client, envisioned an enduring facility that would provide the structural performance needed to withstand the Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE), an earthquake with a return period of

approximately 2,500 years. The City expects this facility to meet immediate occupancy performance criteria for this level of shaking, exceeding code minimum which intends to prevent collapse for the MCE.

Working with Dunn Associates, Holmes Culley is responsible for the seismic structural design. The team utilized performance-based engineering, to explore a number of different protective seismic systems that gave consideration to progressive collapse/blast resistance and contents protection. The specific systems tested include base isolation, damped steel and concrete moment frames, and dual-systems incorporating rocking shear walls with perimeter moment frames. The team quantified the relative performance of each system with “conventional code conforming design� in terms of anticipated structural damage, non-structural damage, and likely repair costs including downtime following the MCE. Base isolation was calculated to provide superior performance, ensuring the best probability that the building would remain fully operational following the MCE. The client selected the damped steel moment frame, the second best performer, because it was adaptable to the architectural program, which sought to balance the needs of an emergency services center with an open and inviting environment. The Public Safety Building is currently under construction and targets completion in Summer 2013.

Client: Salt Lake City

Public Safety Building


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WRNS Studio and GSBS architects orientated the building to maximize natural daylighting and the expansive views of the adjacent Wasatch Mountains. The primary structural material for the six-story office buildings is reinforced concrete. Through careful design and detailing, the concrete is exposed eliminating costly finishes and providing the raw aesthetic the client desired. With a public road dividing the 15 acre site, numerous options were studied to link the campus. The selected option uses the typical four story office building to bridge the road, allowing continuous access from each side of the site for the Adobe employees.

Holmes Culley and Dunn Associates were selected as the structural engineering team for the new Adobe Corporate Campus in Lehi, Utah. Phase I, 260,000 SF of the 850,000 SF campus will include a four-story office building as well as a gymnasium/amenity building which cantilevers over an outdoor space below. At the heart of the campus a three-story atrium space will serve as a focal point for the site.

Currently under construction, Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

Client: Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe Corporate Campus


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Deloitte Center The four underground levels provide car parking for the building and also house the truck dock and service areas. The ground floor level contains a feature entrance lobby, retail banking and high end retail shops. The upper floors contain leasable office space. The Deloitte Center has been integrated with the existing Jean Batten Building which originally occupied the eastern half of the site. A significant portion of the Jean Batten Building has been retained and incorporated into the completed development. Holmes was hired to address a number of significant engineering challenges. These included the top down construction of a four level basement in an area of soft ground conditions and high water table, requiring a secant pile perimeter retention system.

The Deloitte Center is a major new Class A office building situated at 80 Queen Street in the heart of Auckland. The steel frame high-rise commercial tower, 403,650 sf, occupies an entire city block, comprising of 20 floors above ground and four floors below.

The development required the integration of the design of the new building with the retention of a significant portion of a heritage building in a meaningful manner, requiring tight floor to floor levels to be achieved in the podium. The Deloitte Center was designed to the requirements of the NZGBC 5 star Green Star rating, the first in New Zealand to achieve this rating by the Green Building Council.


Project Name

Process/Construction photos HERE

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Upon completion in 1926, 140 New Montgomery in San Francisco’s financial district stood as the tallest building in the city. Holmes Culley collaborated with the designers at Perkins + Will and owners at Wilson Meany Sullivan to seismically rehabilitate the 26-story, 300,000 sf Pacific Telephone Building. The project will restore the terra-cotta clad, brick and concrete steel frame building to its original office use. The project will create new Class A commercial office space and preserve the historic entry lobby. The strengthening scheme utilizes a new core of reinforced concrete shear walls which are propped by outrigger trusses at two locations that run the length of the building. Shotcrete overlay walls on the west and south facades and new above grade foundations will be built in the sub-basement to minimise the need for excavation. This project is currently under construction.

Client: Wilson Meany Sullivan

140 New Montgomery Street


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Originally a four-story Del Monte warehouse constructed in 1925, the building was later used as a printing plant. The robust concrete structure was designed to take heavy loads which allowed additional floors of new construction to be added. Second Street Square was renovated, seismically upgraded and expanded to its current height by adding three new floors of steel framed construction and a terrace level to convert this former warehouse into a seven-story office building. The building has one additional level of underground parking. The original building was seismically braced by constructing a massive concrete walled tower down the center of a building. The existing building concrete columns had tremendous under utilized gravity load capacity for the new construction to utilize. These columns take the loads of the additional three stories to create a total of 300,000sf tenant space was provided in the structure.

Client: Gate Capital LLC

Second Street Square


References Catherine Kniazewycz Director of Architecture University of California, Office of the President (Social Sciences & Management Building) 510 987 0985 Catherine.Kniazewycz@ucop.edu Tom Lollini Associate Vice Chancellor University of California, Merced (Social Sciences & Management Building) 209 228 4475 tlollini@ucmerced.com Craig Peterson Capital Programs & Facilities Management University of California, San Francisco 415 476 3943 Craig.Peterson@ucsf.edu Seth Bland, Partner Wilson Meany Sullivan 4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 3330 San Francisco, CA 94111 415.905.5300 sbland@wmspartners.com.


130 Sutter Street Suite 400 San Francisco, CA 94104 T 415 693 1600 F 415 693 1760 www.holmesculley.com


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