SFSU Science & Engineering Innovation Center

San Francisco, California

The Science & Engineering Innovation Center (SEIC) at San Francisco State University is a groundbreaking project that unites the College of Science and Engineering and the College of Professional and Global Education in a collaborative effort to foster cutting-edge research and instruction.

Representing the first new STEM building to be constructed at SFSU in more than half a century, the much-anticipated SEIC project encompassed the renovation of an existing 54,000-sq.-ft. Science Building structure and a brand new five-story, 126,000-sq.-ft. building that will serve as a hub for STEM research and study on the SFSU campus.

To help bring the project to life, GPLA served as structural engineer of record for the exterior, which was a hybrid of a prefabricated exterior metal panel system and cold form framing, as well as for the interior system. The GPLA team worked with architect SmithGroup, general contractor DPR, and base building SEOR Rutherford and Chekene to deliver this much anticipated new facility, which opened on schedule in January 2024.

The building was designed using a seismic drift system to meet the owner’s high-performance criteria and to ensure its safety in this high seismic zone. GPLA performed the LOD 400 concrete and rebar modeling, which were then used as field use shop drawings in coordination with the base building SEOR and with DPR’s self-perform concrete group. This elevated level of detailing work utilizing HD BIM, combined with highly integrated coordination with prefabrication contractor Digital Building Components and the rest of the design and construction team, was integral to the project’s success.

In addition to the exterior and interior engineering, GPLA was also responsible for designing and detailing the tower crane’s complex footing foundation system. This effort was critical to jobsite safety and risk management on a project that is situated on a highly constricted site within a busy transportation corridor off 19th Avenue in San Francisco.

The entire team’s integrated approach and shared commitment to delivering the highest level of value, meeting the aggressive schedule, and averting issues in construction through detailed planning and coordination were essential to the successful delivery of a new centerpiece facility on the SFSU campus – one that will serve as a beacon of collaborative learning and scientific research for decades to come.