On a recent overcast spring afternoon, Scott Shackleton, assistant
dean for facilities and capital projects in the College of Engineering,
sat down to discuss what's new with CITRIS's future headquarters. Since
returning in December from a year-long tour of duty in Kuwait with the
Navy Reserves, Shackleton has been put in charge of managing the
project full-time, as it moves through the design and into the
Intended to be a
place where great minds from all over campus, as well as visiting
researchers from industry and government, can mingle and collaborate,
the seven-story, 140,000-square-foot building will feature a 150-seat
auditorium, state-of-the-art classrooms and distance learning
facilities, a cyber café and patio area looking out over the scenic
Campanile, flexible office space, conference rooms on every floor,
connecting walkways, as well as a premiere nanofabrication lab. A
change in architects and a redesign have resulted in a more efficient,
flexible, and affordable plan. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place in
The new design for the building looks a bit different from the previous one. Why the change in plans?
of what's happening in the marketplace, the price of concrete and steel
have risen dramatically over the last couple of years. So, when we were
receiving construction bids from contractors, our project came in way
over budget. The Smith Group, a well-known architectural firm from San
Francisco, was contracted to lead the redesign effort to bring down
But it doesn't seem like you've sacrificed the appearance or usefulness of the building at all.
definitely going to be an attractive and important addition to the
campus. We've kept the footprint of the building the same, which has
allowed us to start digging out the foundation and installing retaining
walls right away. The new architects have done a good job fitting their
new design into the old footprint. We've only lost about 5,000 usable
square feet, but overall the building is more efficient. We're using
more glass and not so much heavy concrete, so it's a lighter weight
surface structure. We've also taken a lot of the extra steel out of the
building and unified the steel framing design to help reduce costs.
How will the building embody the ideals of CITRIS?
In the old days, we
had what I call the "moat syndrome," in which departments maintained
boundaries around their department spaces. This really reduced the
collaboration among researchers. What CITRIS hopes to do is fill in
those moats and bring everybody together to share ideas. The plaza and
cyber cafÃ© on the campus level are going to be really inviting areas
where people can meet. Classrooms and breakout rooms are going to be on
the lower levels to encourage foot traffic. Open landings on the third
and sixth floors will connect to the Department of Civil and
Environmental Engineering in Davis Hall. In the future, we're planning
to build an additional bridge connecting to EECS in Cory Hall. Finally,
we're learning a lot from industry about what kinds of environmental
changes will make people more productive and cooperative. People still
need their privacy and space–and the new building accommodates
that–but we're also creating a lot of flexible open office space
One of the main features of the CITRIS
headquarters is the nanofabrication lab, which will replace the older
facilities in Cory Hall. What can you tell us about that?
is going to be a renowned facility, recognized around the world for its
state-of-the-art fabrication tools and the synergy it has with the
adjacent CITRIS building. We put a lot of extra dollars to keep this on
campus, but we think it's critical to the success of CITRIS to do so
because, as you can imagine, anything that's going to be developed in
an electronic format to help society is going to have to have some kind
of silicon-based chips operating or processing it. So having a
nano-research and manufacturing facility right here where they can
develop those chips in various quantities is a real benefit. One really
great component of the design is a set of viewing windows, which will
let people see what's going on inside the lab without having to gown up.
Is any CITRIS-developed technology being used in the building?
hope to incorporate as many CITRIS-developed technologies in the
building as possible. For example, one of our professors, Steve Glaser,
has developed micro-sensors that are currently monitoring earth
movement at many national treasures around the world. We hope to work
with Professor Glaser to use his sensors to monitor our retaining walls
during construction. This would help offset some of our weekly
surveying costs. Already in place is a CITRIS-based project that
enables you to manipulate the cameras monitoring the construction site
from the Web. There's been a lot of talk about integrating
CITRIS-developed "smart dust" sensors into the HVAC controls. As the
building comes to fruition, people will look for ways to test and
integrate CITRIS technology into it. That's why we've tried to make the
space extremely flexible allowing the building to literarily become
part of the research.
So what's next?
plan is to go to bid with the new plans by early September 2005. We've
been on a fast track. This is the second time that we will have bid
this project, and what took us two years the first time will take us
only eight months the second time.