UC Santa Cruz Porter College Residence A Retrofit & Additions
How do you add beds to an existing residence hall with minimal structural upgrades to the building?

Forell | Elsesser provided structural engineering services for the seismic evaluation, retrofit, and 2-story vertical addition for this existing 110,000 s.f. 4-story, cast-in-place concrete dormitory building constructed in 1970. The new steel-framed vertical addition increases the total number of beds from 248 to 425.  This project achieved LEED Silver Certification.

Customized Solution

  • The overall scope included a seismic upgrade with additional concrete shear walls, steel braced frames, steel collectors, and foundations.
  • In order to add the additional floors, the project required the demolition of the existing concrete framed roof, fan rooms, and fourth-floor interior construction.  The vertical addition was possible with minimal foundation work due to the creative and strategic demolition and replacement of the existing roof with little net increase in building weight.
  • Having just completed the similar Porter B project, the design and construction of this project went very smoothly by incorporating the lessons learned, as well as a great design team and builder synergy.


  • Architect: Anshen + Allen/Stantec, General Contractor: DPR
  • Owner: University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Cast-in-place concrete construction with 2-story steel-framed vertical addition
  • Increase bed count from 248 to 425
UC Santa Cruz Porter College Residence A Retrofit & Additions


UC Santa Cruz Porter College Residence A Retrofit & Additions

Geoff Bomba

Director of Engineering Operations