Press Release

Syska Hennessy Designing Building Systems/Lighting for UCLA, Terasaki Life Sciences Building

Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. has been awarded a contract to design the building systems and architectural lighting for a new Life Sciences Building on the campus of UCLA in Westwood, California.

The existing Life Sciences Building at UCLA was in need of significant upgrades and expansion to serve the university's research needs. Pre-design studies determined that a new building would best meet the university’s goal to provide a state-of-the-art research facility.

Because the new Life Sciences replacement building will be located on a high profile site next to a historic campus building, UCLA sought an architectural and engineering team that could design a premier facility, meeting a strict campus plan. Working with architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Syska Hennessy Group is providing engineering services that include developing high-performance design solutions to support the building desired by the university. The scope of work includes design of all mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as architectural lighting.

The new 175,000 square foot building will house the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology; the Department of Physiological Science; and the Department of Organismic Biology, Ecology and Evolution. Syska's design supports the diverse requirements of wet research laboratories and related laboratory support space for this LEED Silver-designed facility. A unique overhead lab utility services unit was custom designed to keep lab spaces flexible. The unit is moveable and can accommodate benches, moveable tables or testing equipment of various heights. The design provides a high level of flexibility and convenience to users and maintenance staff.

The Syska team also designed a custom plant growth laboratory which features a unique custom rack system that maintains temperature and ventilates the room through a light fixture to extract ballast and lamp heat away from plant-life. Select laboratories and plant rooms feature VAV controls to accommodate fluctuation in load and to achieve energy savings.

Syska's lighting designers worked with the architect to develop lighting schemes to highlight the building’s glass encased north facade and northwest corner stairway at Charles Young and Manning Drive. Great care was taken to locate all luminaries so that no light was allowed to fall off site into adjacent residential areas. The team selected indirect, mullion mounted lighting to prevent light pollution and to provide a soft glow within the space. The designers also achieved necessary lighting levels for laboratories while also meeting Title 24 and LEED requirements. Laboratories and large public spaces incorporate automatic timer clocks for lighting control with local override switches with occupancy sensors in smaller spaces for increased energy efficiency.

SH Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. and Syska Hennessy Group Construction, Inc. ( is a global leader in consulting, engineering, technology and construction. The firm has helped engineer and construct some of the world's most innovative, technically sophisticated, and energy efficient buildings. Clients include leading corporations, fast-growing and high-tech companies, educational institutions, architectural and interior designers, and commercial developers, as well as state, local and federal government agencies. With offices in 17 cities and projects around the world, Syska’s market specific solutions are based on local knowledge and access, supported by national staff resources and specialized expertise.

Appeared in:

Consulting-Specifying Engineer
International Facilities Management Association
Plumbing Engineer