The Design-Build extension of UC Irvine’s campus to the Anza Borrego desert was to support study and research environment in a dedicated facility with classrooms, labs and conference facilities. The R.A. Burch design/build team designed this major addition and renovation to upgrade the facility which was constructed in 1949, and respectfully balanced the incorporation of the many unique and historically significant design components. The updated teaching and scientific classroom/labs context maximizes sustainability and low maintenance and provides an ideal teaching and learning environment in an ideal setting.

The renovation included code upgrades of the existing 5,662 SF Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center as well as the addition of 7,831 SF of new construction of research labs, classrooms, dormitories and supporting spaces. The project included new independent sleeping quarters for students, standalone scientific workroom/ lab space and long-term researcher lodgings, covered patios, outdoor staging and research areas as well as enclosed storage rooms. This project achieved a USGBC LEED Gold Certification.