Paul Roberts & Partners, Inc.

UC Hopland Laboratory & Multi-purpose Facility


As the University of California's principal field research facility for agriculture and natural resources in the north coast region, Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) aims to fulfill their role as a center for community and research. After a preliminary programming and design phase by Sim Van der Ryn and the EcoDesign Collaborative, PR&P was contacted to oversee the team and further develop the building design and site. Working with a very tight budget, the facility will house 2 laboratories, a central museum space and a large meeting room.

The building has been positioned on the site to capitalize on the surrounding water and shade opportunities. Because the Center is in a somewhat remote location and concentrates on natural resources and agricultural research, it was only natural to employ a plethora of sustainable design. Among other sustainable elements, the building will employ natural ventilation, natural light, water collection and reuse, wetlands water purification, and materials selection.

Emblematic of the local biome, acorn woodpeckers use any accessible soft wood as food storage and peck 1" holes to store acorns. To truly create a symbiotic relationship with nature, PR&P has gone the extra step to select materials that keep the building structurally sound and protect from inclement weather and still allow the woodpeckers to use the building as a beautiful grain silo.

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