Turner Construction broke ground on a $98 million, net-zero energy building for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at California State University, Chico, according to a company announcement.
Sustainable aspects of the 94,000-square-foot building include solar panels, an efficient water system, a design that leverages both natural and LED lighting and a chilled beam cooling system. The structure also includes an indoor garden with living trees and bridges, as well as open and enclosed study spaces.
The building, designed by Los Angeles-based AC Martin, will be home to nine academic departments, 22 classrooms, five laboratories and a lecture hall, as well as faculty offices, conference space and breakout rooms to foster collaboration.
Gayle Hutchinson, president at Chico State, said the building reflects the university’s commitment to sustainability.
“As we work to attract and serve the next generation of changemakers, we’re proud to do so with one of the most state-of-the-art buildings in the entire CSU system,” Hutchinson said.
The building also reflects the impacts of the pandemic on design. Each classroom and lab will feature what the university refers to as “Chico Flex,” its instruction model that enables faculty to teach and interact with students in person and online simultaneously, according to the university.
Turner’s Dan Wheeler, vice president and general manager, is a 1993 graduate of Chico State’s Construction Management program and is returning to the campus as a part of the build.
“To be a part of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences project 30 years after I graduated means so much to me and our company,” Wheeler said in the release. “We hire many Chico State students and with this project, we can catch up with students on a regular basis and they will be able to see what a real-world job of this magnitude looks like.”
Wheeler previously worked on the construction of the campus’ Student Services Center in 2008.
The new social sciences building is slated to open to students in fall 2024.