The Olympic and Centennial residence halls totaled a massive 343,000 square feet ranging from eight to ten stories and accommodating 1800 beds as well as a 7000 square foot basement for housing maintenance and facility storage. Due to these combined needs from both the University and the student body, PCL realized early on that building access for both students and university employees would be of prime importance.

As reliable access is needed 24 hours a day, PCL successfully proposed this project to the University along with a team of MEPF and Elevator Design-Build contractors. Periodic meetings with the UCLA Housing Maintenance and Facilities Management team were organized to receive input on design and materials. This assisted PCL in delivering a product that would cost less for future maintenance and provide a hassle-free living experience to the students. Upon receiving the Notice to Proceed, the PCL project team led the face-to-face weekly meetings with the owner, consultants, and DB Trade partners. The PCL team further organized Bluebeam studio sessions with building officials and scheduled fire marshal reviews to help expedite the procuring of permit documents. 

Site Logistics became an immediate challenge due to the tight space as well as the university and PCL’s desire to preserve as many trees as possible on the natural site slope and avoid disruption of many indigenous migratory birds as well as any possible future erosion of the hillside. In addition, the site was surrounded by additional student residence halls, a library, and tennis courts; all of which were required to be fully operational during construction.

PCL surveyed the entire area with the help of drones to obtain geographic and underground utility data. After this, recommendations were made to the design team, locating the footprint of the new buildings and utility tie-ins to avoid relocation of existing lines, minimize removal of existing vegetation and dirt, and concurrently keep overall costs for shoring down.

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