The new SEM Building is a collaboration hub for the division’s 8,287 students in seven programs including Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Physical Science, and Physics. The three-story, 106,000 SF SEM building is the first new instructional space added to the campus since 1976 and features updated laboratories and equipment for research and teaching, an interactive student resource area, and new lecture halls and conference rooms.
The facility houses an Immersive Digital Classroom (IDC), a striking 96-seat theater featuring motion projection on the domed ceiling used by the astronomy, science, and mathematics programs, which has the potential of a planetarium to be added later on. Another section of the building is dedicated to a crematorium to serve the College’s mortuary program.
The project was designed with innovative sustainability strategies and built to outperform California state energy requirements while reducing water 50% beyond code. Large bioretention areas were developed to treat all of the building’s storm water runoff and the façade made from ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) rain screen panels significantly improves thermal performance. Modern and forward-thinking, the new Science, Engineering and Math Building was designed to serve the needs of today while being flexible enough to expand into the expected growth of tomorrow.