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AirDrain on a Roof Top Soccer Field Complements UCSD Parking Structure

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AirDrain on a Roof Top Synthetic Grass Soccer Field Complements The New UCSD East Campus Sports Deck Parking Structure

Bomel Construction Co., Anaheim, and International Parking Design,  Sherman Oaks, CA recently completed construction on a 1,200-stall, 500,000-sq-ft parking structure complex that serves the Thornton Hospital Cardiovascular Center at UC San Diego’s East Campus in La Jolla.

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The new parking structure/rooftop synthetic grass soccer field at UCSD East Campus Sports Deck

The Bomel-IPD team developed a plan to build two adjoining structures, instead of the owner’s original plan to erect one, and overcame an assortment of pesky construction challenges to complete the $24 million project on time and within budget.

The project’s pre-existing conditions included a sloping canyon site, unforgiving soil, a proposed adjacent rooftop soccer/athletic field and a desire to keep a low profile in a scenic and ecologically sensitive area.

The university originally envisioned one parking structure with more than 1,200 stalls on seven or eight levels. But Bomel and IPD designed and built two adjoining garages and a rooftop soccer field and archery range that meet the university’s parking needs and allow for a more-aesthetically pleasing facility.

The end result is a two-level garage (called the East Structure) with 428 stalls and a five-level garage (the West Structure) with 819 stalls. The current configuration produces a much-lower building profile within the canyon and positions the synthetic-turf rooftop soccer field and archery range on top of the two-level garage, freeing up valuable land for other uses.

Other members of the design-build team included Wolf Architecture, Hope Engineering, RBF Consulting, Syska Hennessey, PB&A and Spurlock-Poirier.

The scope of construction involved much more than erecting two side-by-side, poured-in-place-concrete parking structures.

Bomel’s management of infrastructure improvements included trenching and the installation of numerous below-grade electrical conduits, cables, vaults and water and gas lines.

“We also installed 10 precast concrete vaults along an active road adjacent to an operating medical center,” said Kasey Shay, Bomel’s senior project manager.

The location of the canyon site, which is visible from the heavily traveled Interstate 5 freeway, necessitated some creative thinking during the project’s planning phase.

“To be stuck with a seven or eight story building on a hillside seemed a bit daunting,” said Cliff Smith, president of International Parking Design, a firm that has teamed with Bomel on dozens of parking structures over the last 20 years. “So we came up with a scheme that had one open-air parking structure with five levels in the canyon with one level above grade and four levels below grade. We made the building lower and longer. The other structure has two levels underneath the soccer field.”

The two open-air structures are separated by a light well to draw in natural ventilation and are connected by pedestrian bridges. The first entrance, farthest from the hospital, is for the staff, who park in the two below-grade levels. Visitors park closer to the medical center, choosing one level at grade, one above and three below.

The sloped site required a 40-ft-high retaining wall that is 240 ft long. “If you tried to use the building to hold the earth back, the forces on the building would become greater than the seismic load, therefore the potential for the earth to push the building downhill is immense,” said Smith.

“Soil-nailed walls hold the earth back in place,” he added. “It also gave us the opportunity to create a 40-ft-high light well to bring natural light into the parking structures.”