The University of California Regents are tying up litigation with the architectural company responsible for the faulty design of UCSB’s Student Affairs and Administrative Services Building.
The UC Regents filed an official complaint against Antoine Predock Architectural Co. on Jan. 22, 2001 for inadequate design of the heating, venting and air conditioning structures in SAASB. Antoine Predock Architectural Co. and the regents are currently in the process of settling the case.
“There is an active lawsuit; it is not settled or resolved but there are active discussions going on right now,” said David Robinson, general council for UC. “One of the things that is being discussed is Antoine Predock Architectural Co. paying for repairs to the building.”
Jack Wolever, management services officer for facilities management, said this is the likely outcome of the litigation and that he hopes repairs to the building – which the regents estimated at $500,000 in the original lawsuit – will be completed by the end of summer. Some repairs have already been made, making it difficult to estimate the cost of future repairs.
“We don’t know the cost of the [remaining] work, but [Antoine Predock Architectural Co.] will be paying for it,” Wolever said.
Antoine Predock Architectural Co., the main architect for the design of SAASB, is currently working with the UCSB facilities management to develop repair plans.
“We’re still finishing designs, then we’ll hire a contractor,” Wolever said.
After the building was completed on Dec. 3, 1996, a number of employees working in the new structure reported feeling queasy, saying that the building appeared to be swaying. It was later discovered that the cause of the problem was faulty design.
Parts of the ventilation in some areas of the building vibrate, causing the floors and walls to shake, making some employees motion sick, Dean of Students Yonie Harris said in Feb. 2001.
More structural problems, such as faulty heating and cooling systems, were discovered over a three-month period after the building was officially opened. The ventilation system does not deliver enough airflow, making it unable to effectively control the building’s temperature.
If repairs are done on SAASB this summer, staff working in the facility could be further inconvenienced by factors such as noise. SAASB is open in the summer, making planning and scheduling repairs even more difficult.
The building must remain open for students and prospective students in summer sessions, orientation sessions and tours this summer, so closing and vacating offices for repairs is not a likely option, Wolever said.
“We’re going to try to work around the people working [in SAASB] during the summer,” he said. “But those details have yet to be worked out.”
Wolever said one possibility would be to do repairs on the weekends.
Antoine Predock Architectural Co. has designed structures at other UCs, including a social sciences and humanities building at UC Davis, a music facility at UC Santa Cruz and a dance studio at UC San Diego. No problems, structural or otherwise, have been discovered at these facilities, Assistant Director of UC Davis Architecture and Engineering Clayton Holliday said.
Antoine Predock Architectural Co. could not be reached for comment.