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Project Description

Overview and Proposed Program

The HBS-ME building vision intentionally instantiates instructional, research, and community engagement goals. The building will be programmed and designed to provide instructional facilities for medical education and other allied healthcare-related courses that are able to evolve as these programs mature. Space types will be functionally programmed to serve dual and triple uses to ensure that, as research priorities change, and the medical education program progresses towards accreditation, the campus fully utilizes the capacity that the HBS-ME building will provide. The building will be designed to facilitate vibrant and interactive collaboration among researchers, students across all levels, instructors, and the community. The HBS-ME building will provide multiple areas for learning and collaborating, including multiple distance learning classrooms, a community sample collection and analysis laboratory, developmental psychology intake laboratories, social sciences faculty research laboratories, clinical practicum spaces, digital anatomy, simulation trainer environments, and a café.

Project Site and Building Design

The preferred site for the proposed HBS-ME building is located adjacent to the Arts and Computational Science building on the north edge of Cottonwood Meadow. The 2020 Long Range Development Plan (2020 LRDP) land use designation for the subject site is Campus Mixed Use and the proposed academic/research building use is an allowed use. The building will be designed to be consistent with goals of the 2020 LRDP and follow the design guidance in the campus Physical Design Framework.


The architectural design of the new HBS-ME building will adhere to the campus aesthetic vision and reflect the University’s vision for a distinctive environment that is dynamic and engaging for learning, living, and work. The arrangement of building design elements will emphasize academic-oriented social interactions in ways that reinforce interactive learning and interaction with the community. The building will incorporate visible entryways, arcades, and common spaces to engage the public at the ground level. The research vision for the HBS-ME building requires design that is sensitive to access by the general community, including children and disabled individuals. To facilitate community participation in developmental psychology research studies and community-based public health initiatives, a moderately sized surface parking lot will be provided adjacent to the building with direct access to Cottonwood Loop Road.

Project Delivery

The campus Design and Construction team has determined that Construction Management at Risk (CM@R) will provide the Campus with an integrated design team approach where both the Design Team and Contractor contribute to all phases of the project. The CM@R team will be selected based on qualifications of like project experience and financial stability and will provide a competitive bid for fees and other fixed commitments. UC Merced has successfully delivered other projects through CM@R including Classroom and Office Building 2 and the Downtown Campus Center.


The HBS-ME building will comply with the University of California Policy on Sustainable Practices and the campus’ sustainable practice design guidelines. Project sustainability targets and goals include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) minimum building certification level of Gold, with incentives for Platinum.


The campus anticipates that the HBS-ME building will be its first fully electrified project. The project team will study whether a fully electrified research building can be more energy efficient as a standalone building as opposed to being connected to UC Merced’s already highly efficient Central Plant for provision of heat and chilled water.


The project will outperform the California Energy Code by 20 percent or better as required by UC policy and will also meet Whole Building Energy Performance Targets as outlined in the University of California Policy on Sustainable Practices. Design strategies to maintain the “triple net zero commitment” established in the 2020 LRDP to produce zero net emissions, zero waste and zero net water will also be employed.