Valley Terraces Student Residences

Valley Terraces opened for UC Merced's first students in Fall 2005, with housing for approximately 600 in nine two-story buildings that house apartment-style suites. Each suite includes a common living room, double bedrooms and shared restrooms for four to six students. 

The complex also includes the Terrace Center with recreational, meeting and office space, and the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center, which seats approximately 540 people.  The complex (formerly called Garden Suites and Lakeview Dining) was awarded LEED Silver Certification in July 2007.  

Project Details

Size: 149,170 square feet
Construction Cost: $24 million
Completion Date: August 2005
Awards: LEED-NC Silver
Campus Architect: Jim Smith
Project Director: Catherine Kniazewycz
Hallmark Project Manager: Fran Telechea
Campus LEED Coordinators: Cynthia Hughes and Mark Maxwell
Architect & Engineers: The Taylor Group Architects & Teter Consultants, LLP
Contractor: Bernard Brothers
LEED Consultant: CTG Energetics

Project Highlights  

  • Potable water consumption was reduced by more than 50 percent compared to similar facilities through a combination of strategies, including drought-tolerant landscaping with efficiently controlled irrigation; low-flow faucets and showerheads; and waterless urinals in the public restrooms. 
  • Bicycle parking is provided in numerous areas throughout the complex. Showers for bike riders are provided in the Terrace Center and Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center. 
  • The heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system and the electrical and lighting systems were commissioned by a third-party team of highly experienced engineers. They established a commissioning plan to verify that the systems perform efficiently as designed, ensuring minimized energy use as well as optimizing occupant comfort and productivity. 
  • 91 percent of construction waste was recycled instead of being sent to the local landfill. 
  • 48 percent of building materials for the Valley Terraces complex were manufactured regionally, reducing transportation carbon emissions and earning an extra LEED point for exemplary performance. 
  • Building materials with low volatile organic compound (VOC) content were used throughout, protecting occupants from noxious airborne fumes and odors. 
  • The concrete slabs in the building contain 40 percent fly ash in place of cement, which is requires more energy to produce. Fly ash is a recycled industrial byproduct.