The team that renovated two floors of the 30-year-old KPBS broadcasting facility at San Diego State University did not have a plan set in stone. It had to revise its schedule multiple times to adjust to the needs of a TV and radio studio operating a floor or two below.

Photo by Mike Torrey Photography
San Diego State University's KPBS Renovation, Best Project - Interior Design/Tenant Improvement
Photo by Patrick Walls
The $1.86-million project renovated two floors of the 30-year-old KPBS broadcasting facility at San Diego State University.

The $1.86-million project, completed in August 2011, included reconfiguring 1,075 sq ft of the first floor as a conference room/workspace and two offices. It also transformed the 24,000-sq-ft second floor into a multidisciplinary facility exemplifying "convergence"—a collaborative, open-space environment for radio, TV and Web teams.

The renovation incorporated custom glass walls, including some that are writable; enhanced wall finishes of steel, honeycomb and porous expanded polypropylene; a 600-lb boardroom door; and scrim walls for space separation and projection opportunities.

Working above a TV and radio studio challenged the project team in scheduling coordination, noise and vibration control and access. "We collaborated and developed detailed phasing plans with the occupants below early in the planning phase, then met daily to coordinate work activities," says Dale Kain, vice president and district manager in the San Diego office of the Denver-based general contractor PCL. "Many times we had to change the plan and resequence work around broadcast or recording time frames."

Incorporating power and data feeds for the open-work-area desks was a big challenge because the design did not allow for power poles. The original intent was to route all power and data feed under the second-floor deck, but access there might have disrupted studio operations.

Instead, the team routed conduits in the existing second-floor slab parallel to the deck flutes from the existing columns and on to the power supply.

The facility had a suspended acoustical ceiling system, but the new space called for a "blacked-out" open ceiling with MEP systems exposed. The original structure was not intended to support that, so the team developed custom structures for the MEP systems.

SDSU – KPBS Renovation

San Diego

Key Players

Owner: San Diego State University, San Diego

Owner Representative: O’Connor Construction Management, San Diego

Contractor: PCL Construction Services Inc., San Diego

Lead Design: Luce Et Studio Architects, San Diego

Structural/Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers, San Diego

MEP: MA Engineers, San Diego

Electrical Engineer: Sparling, San Diego

Lighting Consultant: Candela, San Diego

Subcontractors: Bergelectric Corp., Escondido; Countywide Mechanical, Santee; Minshew Brothers Steel Construction, Lakeside

Submitted by PCL Construction Services