Irvine, California

University of California Irvine - Transmission Electron Microscope Facility

University of California Irvine - Transmission Electron Microscope Facility

2018 | Best in Design - Engineering | Special Recognition

University of California Irvine - Transmission Electron Microscope Facility

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

Successfully completing this project required the design-build team to work closely with the owner, equipment vendors and end users in order to understand these highly specialized microscopes and how they were used. Phased turnover allowed vendor installation in parallel with ongoing construction, giving end users an opportunity to test the equipment and identify improvements that were not initially recognized. Since the team reached substantial completion 317 days after project award, with budget remaining, the owner retained the contractor for an addition 126 days, effectively a fourth phase, to perform end user requested enhancements to optimize facility performance.


UC Irvine set out to build a world-class electron microscopy facility to house the most sensitive TEMs available today. The TEM project was technologically sophisticated and logistically complex, achieving unprecedented EMI and vibration specs in an occupied building near the center of campus. A team of experts worked closely with the campus design group, instrument vendors and key faculty to ensure the facility was built right. The team proactively engaged and coordinated stakeholders, met demanding, often fluid, requirements from users and exceeded criteria by an order of magnitude. Research enabled by this facility will result in fundamental breakthroughs in science.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: University of California Irvine, Design and Construction Services
Design-Builder, Project Manager, General Contractor: PCL Construction Services, Inc.
Architect: Carrier Johnson + Culture
Engineer: Critchfield Mechanical Inc.
Specialty Contractor: Field Management Systems
Specialty Consultant: Veneklasen and Associates
Key Subcontractor: Anderson Howard
Duration of Construction: 14 months
Project Cost: $6,556,546