Miller Hull

Environmental Health & Safety Facility

University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
A dignified presence to a previously ignored function
Client University of California, Santa Cruz
Size 7,000 SF
Completion 2020


The new Environmental Health & Safety Facility on the University of California, Santa Cruz campus will manage chemical and low-level radioactive waste generated by teaching, research and campus maintenance activities. The site includes a steep ravine and mature redwood trees, which led to siting the building at the top of the slope to prioritize mature redwood stands and efficient vehicle movement within a minimal clearing. The building is constructed on caissons to be light on the land and allow natural drainage and existing root systems to remain below the building.

In order to capitalize on the mild climate of northern California, the building employs an indoor/outdoor secure circulation hallway with cover overhead and a redwood timber horizontal screen wall at the building perimeter. This open-air hallway separates hazardous areas of the building and utilizes natural air movement through the redwood timber screen to provide make-up air for normal and emergency exhaust operations, thereby greatly reducing energy consumption and the size of the rooftop air handling unit.

Currently under construction on a previously undeveloped site, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

Project Team

Architect: The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP
Contractor: Thompson Builders Corporation
Civil Engineer: Kennedy Jenks
Structural Engineer: Degenkolb Engineers
Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineer: PAE
Landscape Architect: Walker Macy