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Santa Clara University

Benson Memorial Center Renovation  

The 16,350 s.f. project is part of the University’s efforts to provide the highest quality services and facilities to its more than 8,000 students. 

In collaboration with San Francisco-based BAR Architects and food services design consultants WEBB Design, Blach renovated the existing kitchen and dining facility within the Benson Center.  

The scope of work includes the replacement and upgrade of the HVAC, plumbing, electrical and kitchen equipment systems under a Design/Build approach, and a complete interior build out with complex ceiling, floor, sliding glass walls and other interior finishes.  

Additionally, structural modifications were included in the scope to support rooftop equipment and 12 new skylights, which introduce natural light into the space. 

To coordinate the complex arrangement of the new ceilings, lighting, HVAC and skylights within the existing, partially exposed structure and HVAC systems, Blach leveraged its internal BIM Group and virtual design and construction tools to create a model during the design phase.

The Benson Memorial Center is the heart of campus life for students, featuring student and food services, conference rooms, campus bookstore, post office, credit union, and administrative offices.  Construction for the renovation began in June and completed in September 2010. 

In addition to this project, Blach also completed a $1.2M, 12,000 s.f. of office renovation during the summer of 2012 and  a feasibility study for the upgrade of the Dunne Residential Hall.

Blach also renovated the University’s 50-year-old back kitchen, office space and staff facilities with $1M in top-of-the-line equipment.  Additionally, Blach performed $500,000 of high voltage electrical upgrades to the Benson Center as a part of the University’s plan to bring all buildings onto the new internal power grid.  Blach also completely replaced the building’s loading dock. 

The 8,000 s.f., $5.3 M project had several challenges, which included a tight summer schedule, a small construction space, safety considerations and unforeseen utilities located beneath the loading dock.  For this project, Blach used BIM and a Faro laser scanner to map the ceiling space. 


Santa Clara, CA
BAR Architects
Virtual Design/Building Information Modeling
Silicon Valley