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Warren Hall leaves imprint on its replacement


Designed with sustainable materials and practices in mind, the Warren Hall replacement building will be the first at the university submitted for LEED certification.

  • March 20, 2013

When construction begins on the five-story replacement building for Warren Hall in the fall on the Hayward Campus, a bit of the former administrative tower will go into the new structure adjacent to the Student Services Administration (SA) building.
Following the implosion of Warren Hall over the summer, the contractor expects to recover and grind up any remaining chunks of concrete and steel to produce what Jim Zavagno described as gravel-like rock.

“It’s commonly used for road beds,” said Zavagno, associate vice president of Facilities, Development and Operations. “What we envision for some of the landscaping … is we’ll use it to fill in, maybe in the sidewalks or retaining walls. There’s a nice symmetry to that – the old Warren Hall is incorporated into the new building.”

And vice versa, since soil dug up to prepare the foundation for the new building will be moved to the Warren Hall site to fill in the ground after the tower’s demolition.

The 40-year-old Warren Hall was rated the least earthquake-safe building in the California State University system by the CSU Seismic Review Board. In January, the CSU Board of Trustees authorized $50 million to demolish the former administrative building and replace it with a new structure.

Construction for the new 67,000 square foot-building is slated to begin in November on the former site of the Early Childhood Education Center, on the east side of campus. Doors are expected to open in May 2015 on the completed structure. 

Architecturally, the new building design complements the glass-and-steel look of the university’s newest buildings, SA and the Valley Business and Technology Center, while mixing in traditional materials, such as brick and concrete, featured in the nearby Art and Education building.

“It’s got a nice contemporary edge to it, but it pays homage to some characteristics of our older buildings,” Zavagno said.

Pre-cast concrete will run horizontally along the facade, another updated nod to Warren Hall, which sported a raw concrete exterior in a grid pattern.

An artist rendering of the new building illustrates one of its most distinctive features: a walk-through space three stories high on the east side of the building. The shape of the cantilevered building resembles a letter L resting on its short side. Visitors approaching the campus from the adjacent parking lot likely will be drawn to its outdoor courtyard, said Zavagno, adding it’s expected to be an active area and gathering spot.   

“It does a couple things,” Zavagno said. “It sort of signals an entrance into the campus, (and) it creates outdoor space.”

Due to grading at the site, the new building will feature two entrances. Visitors coming through the main entrance from the parking lots to the east will walk in to the first floor, while those approaching from the campus side of the building will enter on the second floor.

“We’ll have a campus front door and a public front door,” Zavagno explained. “It’s pretty cool.”

Other recent additions to the Hayward campus, such as the Recreation and Wellness Center, were designed to be “LEED equivalent,” meaning materials and building features echo the energy efficiency and sustainable practices called for by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an internationally respected green building program. The Warren Hall replacement building, on the other hand, will be the first CSUEB facility for which Zavagno’s team will seek LEED certification, he said.

“We told the architects (LPA Inc.): ‘We need to have a very sustainable and energy efficient building,’” Zavagno said.

Steps that will assist in securing a LEED Gold rating, a top environmental certification, include: orienting the building in a way that takes best advantage of natural heat and light provided by the sun; limiting the amount of glass used, preventing excessive heat gain and loss through window panes; and installing a cool roof made from a white thermoplastic material that reflects away sunlight. Additional sustainable elements of the project include using recycled and local materials, water-efficient landscaping and plumbing and high efficiency heating and cooling systems.

“What we would hope is (the new building) would be more comfortable for occupants,” Zavagno said. “In the long term, it helps with our utility costs, because those drop dramatically.”

“We’re seeing this trend that despite the increase in square footage (added to the campus), we’re actually seeing our energy consumption decrease,” he added.

Approximately 250 to 300 offices will be contained inside the new space.

Programs and services slated to be relocated to the replacement building include the Welcome Center, Division of Continuing and International Education, Accessibility Services, Educational Opportunity Program, Academic Senate offices, Faculty Development, Testing Services, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Parking Services and offices for about 100 faculty members.

For updates and details about the Warren Hall demolition and replacement project, visit the Facilities, Development and Operations Web site.

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