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Collaboration is Key at UCI

When the curtain rose on opening night at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, standing ovations were in order. As one of this country’s most eclectic and innovative centers, the UC Irvine facility is dedicated to both the visual and performing arts. The school, which offers degrees in drama, dance, music and studio art—as well as a minor in digital arts—is truly a bastion of artistic expression.

Collaboration was also evident in the UCI School of Arts design-build consortium chosen to deliver the new facility. With the assistance of Bergelectric—an integral member of the design competition team led by general contractor Edge Development, Inc., and Stephen Ehrlich Architects (SEA)—designers and engineers focused on very specific criteria developed by the university while fulfilling the design intent for the technologically advanced 80,000-sf arts center.

Optimizing Creativity

From placement of the high-voltage substation that powers the building and coordination of dry utilities such as phone, cable TV, and fiber optic, to layout of the electrical rooms to maximize efficiency of electrical distribution, Bergelectric was on hand to offer its specific expertise to electrical designers ME Engineers. Bergelectric teamed up with the UCI facilities staff to determine the best solution to the theatrical-lighting system in the Mixed Media performing arts theater and Motion Capture studio.

From multi-media live-performance area sound systems to the specific infrastructure necessary for recording equipment, and the professional exhibition galleries that require precise climate control to the Motion Capture Studio that calls for a specialized green wall unique to this type of production—Berg’s goal was the same as the client’s—optimize the creative activity.

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Keeping it Green

While the needs of music, drama, sound, dance, studio and digital artists were met in the $33.8-million Arts Building through the use of technology, the University also thought it important that the school’s environmental needs be addressed. The building’s design is in accordance with the LEED Green Building Rating System’s Silver certification. Such design elements as naturally-ventilated spaces, daylight harvesting and high levels of environmental controls for sound, light, temperature and humidity makes the building comfortable, functional and visually appealing. Beyond green walls and green design, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts claimed its place as a school that, according to UCI, has “a unique enthusiasm for the exploration of cutting-edge technologies as they intersect the arts.”

78,425-square feet

Electrical Construction Cost
$3.6 Million

April 2008 – October 2011

Delivery Method
Design Build


Other Team Members
Edge Developments, Inc.
ME Engineers

Berg Regional Office
Orange County




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