San Francisco, CA

The University of San Francisco has developed, a 59,000 SF, five-level center, near the middle of the campus off Masonic Avenue, will serve more than 6,000 students required to take one science and math course during their undergraduate time at USF. It will be a focal point for USF’s 1,239 students majoring in the environmental sciences, health sciences and computer sciences. Targeting LEED Gold. The CSI embodies the university’s mission to train future leaders who will improve society through science. Offering state-of-the art laboratories and classrooms, integrated with informal learning areas for collaboration and reflection, the new facility fosters a campus-wide culture of scientific inquiry that builds upon the university’s commitment to academic excellence and service.


With graduate admission rates for medical and PhD level programs at twice the national average, USF had specific goals for learning spaces: revolutionize basic and translational sciences; germinate new boundary-crossing curricula; expand student research with faculty; prepare all students for an increasingly technological world; provide critical biology training to nursing majors; and grow new collaborations between business programs and the sciences.


Our teams engineers designed  state of the art MEP systems to minimize energy consumption by integrating natural ventilation at the perimeter circulation spaces and displacement ventilation at the classroom levels and offices. The laboratories were designed with an interlocked low level displacement air and a phoenix hood exhaust system to ensure proper pressurization within and outside the lab spaces. A rainwater harvesting system was utilized to feed the evaporative cooling tower to provide the majority of the cooling, coupled with an absorption chiller connected to the campus waste steam system


With a sustainable focus, our engineering team worked towards a LEED Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council. To reduce strain on the city’s combined storm and sewer infrastructure, 100-percent of the rainwater falling on the site is filtered and captured within a 28,000-gallon on-campus cistern to offset use of water for non-potable purposes. In addition, the building’s glass façade and multiple skylights provide natural light to students and faculty, while the transparent nature of the design provides direct glimpses of learning for all on campus to see and interact with. Even the laboratories located in the lower level have natural light via skylights, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Just outside the doors of the center, two contemporary plazas redefine the center of campus. These gathering spaces welcome the entire university community and are beautifully landscaped with indigenous plants.

UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science + Innovation

Type: New Construction
Size: 59,000 SF
Architect: NBBJ Architects 


601 Montgomery Street, Suite 1450
San Francisco, CA 94111


415 987 3337