University of California, Merced – 2020 Campus Development

University of California, Merced is the youngest campus in the University of California system and the first American research university to be established in the 21st century. Its mission is to cultivate a community bound by learning, discovery, and engagement, while celebrating the heritage of the San Joaquin Valley and playing an important role in the region's future. Delivered in 2002, SOM's master plan and architectural guidelines have positioned the university as a model for sustainable growth. SOM is honored to further evolve UC Merced through the 2020 Project—a significant campus development initiative and milestone for the school.

The 2020 Project expands the existing campus in order to support the enrollment of 10,000 students by the year 2020. It comprises the development of creative mixed-use buildings, open space, infrastructure, landscaping, and recreational amenities. These will include new state-of-the-art research facilities, a dining hall, a competition pool, and 1,700 additional beds. The project covers master planning, design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance.

The master plan is organized as a compact, walkable environment to provide an inspiring atmosphere for living and learning. Dynamic public spaces enhance the campus by encouraging spontaneous interaction, enabling interdisciplinary collaboration, and welcoming the wider community. To achieve the project's long-term life cycle and sustainability goals, it will be built in a way that can be adapted to changes in use and future expansion. The project also supports the university's goal to achieve "triple net zero"—zero net energy, zero landfill waste, and zero net greenhouse gas emissions.

The expansion is being delivered as a public-private partnership through Plenary Properties Merced (PPM) with SOM as the campus planner and master plan architect. The project team includes Webcor as the design-build lead contractor, along with WRNS, Page, Mahlum, HOK, Arup, Atelier Ten, Hargreaves Associates, Cliff Lowe Associates, Interface Engineering, and Sherwood Design Engineers.