UCSD Utilizes Grasscrete and Mulch Emergency Vehicle Access

Adjacent to parking area, an installation of Grasscrete Concealed Systems concrete with mulch area at UCSD Rita Atkinson Residences for emergency vehicle access.

During the fall of its 50th anniversary, UCSD had the debut of an exceptional emergency vehicle access installation adjacent to the newly constructed Rita Atkinson Residences.  University of California San Diego has long touted itself as a living laboratory for promoting sustainability, and this pervious concrete Grasscrete Concealed Systems project aligns perfectly with that objective.  The landscape esthetic and ambiance are enhanced by this concealed concrete, which, installed in 2010, has easily stood the test of time.  The concrete is concealed, in this instance, by 2 inches of mulch, and the 5½ inch deep voids, filled with dirt, were planted with sedges and grasses.  By constructing a concrete lattice that incorporates a combination of solid areas and voids, along with the inclusion of rebar reinforcement within the concrete, Grasscrete Concealed seamlessly marries the strength and rigidity of a unified monolithic structural framework with ample permeability to facilitate continuous access to soil, water, and sunlight, thus promoting the growth of sustained vegetation.  The result is a vegetated pervious concrete surface that is drivable, when necessary, and able to support the weight of a large fully loaded fire truck.

Unique UCSD Contest Includes Intrigue

Valerio Dewalt Train Architects entered a design competition sponsored by UCSD to develop a new residential building for graduate students.  Each participating architect was teamed with a builder who would guarantee the cost to the university.  The design needed to convey the university’s reputation for innovation, help recruit top students, and enhance the overall educational experience on campus.  To better understand the UCSD student experience, VDTA dispatched a young designer on an undercover mission.  She spent two days fully immersing herself in campus life, attending classes, exploring the campus, and engaging in conversations with students.  The valuable insights she gathered played a crucial role in shaping VDTA’s design approach.  After two rounds of strenuous competition, the team of VDTA and Webcor Builders was awarded the project.  The project was completed September of 2010, a full year ahead of the original schedule, through rigorous coordination and teamwork.

Building Gains Gold LEED Certified Status

The Rita Atkinson Residences in La Jolla, CA, represent a Type II concrete student housing project for higher education, built from the ground up.  This comprehensive design-build endeavor encompasses a total area of 230,998 square feet within a single nine-level structure above ground.  The facility consists of 225 two-bedroom apartments, one three-bedroom apartment, along with various support spaces, including staff offices, laundry facilities, and fitness centers.  The building consists of two interconnected L-shaped wings, united by a single elevator tower.  It serves as a focal point within the academic mall on campus.  Notably, the third floor boasts a green roof that not only extends the mall’s aesthetic but also functions as a courtyard, mitigating stormwater runoff and offering insulation benefits.  KTUA was responsible for installing the LiiveRoof green roof garden.  The interior design of the residences embraces a contemporary loft-like style, featuring exposed concrete walls, ceilings, and polished floors.  Webcor took on the task of self-performing the concrete work.  It’s important to note that this project has achieved LEED Gold® certification for its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

You can print a pdf of this project from its Project Profile Page.

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