UCSF Research and Academic Building at ZSFG FAQ (Summer 2018)

These FAQ are sorted by topic. To jump to a topic, simply select either Communication, Project, Programming, Timeline, and Move Preparation & Working in the Building. There is also another section on the website dedicated to Open Plan FAQ.


Where can I learn more about the building, and the design and construction processes? When will I hear more about what happens next?  Multiple channels of communication are in place including quarterly email newsletters, a page at the [email protected] website, town halls, and quarterly meetings with the neighboring community. Future meeting dates will be shared as they are scheduled. These FAQs will also be updated regularly. If you have questions, you can email: [email protected] at any time.


The UCSF community relations website will also have information about the building focused on nearby residential and business community concerns: https://www.ucsf.edu/cgr/cgr-projects/ucsf-research-building-zsfg#community-involvement.


Are there other ways you would like to learn about the progress of the new Research and Academic Building? If so, please let us know. Email: [email protected]


Who can I reach out to with specific questions?  Messages to [email protected] will be addressed by the building project team. You may also contact the following people with specific issues or questions related to the building:

Fraser Conrad - ZSFG Vice Dean's Office Project Lead: [email protected]
Christine Shaff - UCSF Real Estate: [email protected]


I was interviewed by Perkins + Will in 2016. What was the outcome of that? Those interviews were conducted as part of the initial information-collection process. Thank you very much for your input at that stage. The outcome of those interviews helped to provide a picture of our state at that time and has informed early phases of the project. Later phases will require updated and more complete information from you. We will provide details about how to participate in the design process in the fall of 2018 after the architect has been selected.

How will construction affect traffic flow, shuttle stops, access to buildings, noise, etc.? This has yet to be determined completely. The impact of construction will likely be similar to that during construction of the new hospital building (Building 25). Shuttle service will continue but stops may need to be temporarily relocated. There will be noise due to this project and to the city-managed Building 5 seismic upgrade construction that is scheduled to occur at approximately the same time. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Will the garage be expanded? The decision to expand the garage is subject to the approval of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Currently there is no approval to expand the garage. The SF Department of Public Health (DPH) and UCSF are partnering to develop a more comprehensive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program to help some of the current parking issues. New parking options were announced in March 2018, and the San Bruno parking lot is now open; you can apply for a monthly permit for that lot at http://bit.ly/SanBrunoPermitApp. For more details go to https://zuckerbergsanfranciscogeneral.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/All-Staff_San-Bruno-Parking_Application_May2018.pdf or email [email protected].

Will the lobby be a public space?  The design process for the building has not yet begun, but the lobby of the new Research and Academic Building will probably be much like other UCSF building lobbies at Mission Bay and across San Francisco. This is likely to include a space that is accessible to the public, and a security station to prevent free access to secure areas of the building.

How will the building be secured?  While the lobby design has not commenced just yet, we expect that there will be a public entrance with UCSF security and check-in required to access secure areas of the building.

What will happen to the red brick buildings after UCSF staff leave?  That will be up to the Department of Public Health, who owns the property.


What will be in the new building? The building program is currently being finished, and will serve as a basis for the building design. The program will include a mix of wet and dry research laboratory space, hotel stations and offices, specialty spaces to support research types currently conducted in Building 3, plus a patient research center, surgical training facility, learning center, research cores, central cryogenic sample storage system, and a biomechanics testing facility. There will be shared conference rooms, huddle rooms, and town centers with kitchen facilities as well as support spaces like lactation rooms. The size and arrangement of these spaces will be finalized during the project design phase with plenty of opportunity for input from those who will occupy the building.

What information does the planning team have? Personnel counts were updated in February 2018, and data will continue to be maintained as the project proceeds. Planning for the building will involve an iterative process of information gathering while the building design is drafted and finalized, construction begins, and we prepare to move-in.

Who is moving into the building?  Who moves into the new Research and Academic Building will depend on the programming decisions for the building, and capacity which will be finalized during design. The aim is to provide space for all of the researchers who must vacate the red brick buildings, and then to allocate additional space as best serves the needs of our research and academic programs.

When will we need to move? UCSF research groups will generally remain where they are until the projected completion of the new building in 2022. Exceptions to this may include temporary relocations as required by the city-managed Building 5 seismic upgrade and other construction projects, and relocations by research groups that are currently seeking to move to other UCSF sites as suitable space is found. UCSF leadership is dedicated to finding improved space for all UCSF at ZSFG research programs, either in the new building or elsewhere.

Will you make sure I have everything I need for my research projects in the new building?  UCSF researchers at ZSFG will have the opportunity to provide input to the design process for the new building, and make recommendations that support their facility needs. There are no current plans to make extra funds available for new equipment or instruments for individual research projects. Existing laboratory equipment and instrumentation is planned for relocation to the new building.

Will furniture be provided for the new building?  Funding is included in the project budget for office furnishings and some standard equipment, for example AV for conference rooms. Specifics have yet to be determined, but fundamental to the Open Plan concept at UCSF is that each assigned work station is provided with an adjustable height desk, along with fully adjustable seating for comfort and ergonomic support, and lockable storage. Laboratory equipment and specialty items will not be funded by the project.


Will I be able to see my research subjects in the new building? The building program includes a patient research center where subjects can be interviewed and examined in a low-touch environment, including a reception and waiting area, interview and exam rooms, a focus room, and support spaces. It will support current research focused on underserved and vulnerable groups. The layout of this space will be refined during the design process with the input of those who will use it. As the research building will not be regulated as a clinical environment, provision of clinical care will take place outside of this center.

Will funds be made available to purchase new equipment and instrumentation? There are no current plans to make extra funds available for new equipment or instruments for individual research projects. Existing laboratory equipment and instrumentation is planned for relocation to the new building.

Who was on the Programming Committee? The Programming Committee, which held its final meeting in March 2018, was made up of the following:
Sue Carlisle, Co-Chair, Vice Dean, ZSFG SOM Dean's Office 
Mike McCune, Co-Chair, Professor, Medicine
Fran Aweeka, Professor, Clinical Pharmacy
Michael Bade, Associate Vice Chancellor - Capital Programs, Real Estate, Planning & Capital Programs
Mike Beattie, Professor, Neurosurgery
Rachael Callcut, Assistant Professor, Surgery
Lisa Cisneros, Senior Director, University Relations
Margaret Damiano, Associate Dean of Administration, ZSFG SOM Dean's Office
Christine Dehlendorf, Associate Professor, Family and Community Medicine
John Ewers, Facilities Manager, ZSFG SOM Dean's Office
Monica Gandhi, Professor, Clinical Medicine
David Hathaway, Director, Budget and Resource Management
Rebecca Jackson, Professor and Chief, OBGYN
Diane Kay, Planner, Campus Planning
Anda Kuo, Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Margot Kushel, Professor, Medicine
Jim Marks, Professor, Anesthesia
Ted Miclau, Professor and Vice Chair, Orthopedic Surgery
Jane Meier, Division Administrator, OBGYN
Ellen Owens, Senior Project Manager, Capital Programs
Laurae Pearson, Director of Administration, Medicine
Don Rudy, Deputy Campus Architect, Capital Programs
Martha Shumway, Associate Professor, Psychiatry
Bruce Wintroub, Vice Dean, School of Medicine


What is happening now? The Board of Supervisors’ historical approval in January 2017 for UCSF to lease land for the Research and Academic Building started the negotiation process by UCSF and the SF Department of Public Heath (DPH) to execute the Lease Disposition and Development Agreement. This agreement has now been fully executed by the University of California Regents and the City and County of San Francisco.

The process for hiring the design-build team began in February 2018 and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018. The next major phase of the project will be design work. Affinity groups assembled by the Vice Dean’s Office and made up of users for each kind of space (wet lab, dry lab, cores and other specialty areas, etc.) will have the opportunity to discuss design options related to these types of space. Recommendations from these groups will be used to create the final design of the building.


Other ongoing work includes regular meetings with UCSF and SFDPH to optimize local site logistics and reduce any disruption to ongoing hospital operations during the preparation for building construction, and the numerous City projects at ZSFG which include extensive seismic upgrades to Building 5.

What will happen during design?  As part of the design process, affinity groups assembled by the Vice Dean's Office and made up of users for each kind of space (wet lab, dry lab, cores and other specialty areas, etc.) will discuss design options related to these spaces. The design-build team will use information from the groups to develop the facility's design. These and other opportunities for input will ensure that all UCSF faculty, researchers, educators and staff at ZSFG have the chance to be heard.

When will construction begin? Construction of the UCSF Research and Academic Building at ZSFG is planned to commence in the fourth quarter of 2019. Construction for roadway improvements is expected to begin before construction of the building. Specific dates and details will be shared when they are confirmed.

When will occupants move in?  Moving into the new building is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022. As dates are confirmed they will be shared.

Preparation, & Working in the New Building

Can we move into the new building without putting our projects on hold? If not, how long should we plan to stop work? The intent is to start the move into the new building once it is fully completed, so that current occupants of the labs that will be vacated will not have to move before the building is ready. This will minimize the down time required for the move, but there will need to be some advance planning to set aside time that must be dedicated to that process. The details will become clearer as programming, design, and construction of the building progress.

I have an office now. Will I get an office in the new building? All new UCSF space is built based on open plan design (https://space.ucsf.edu/open-plan-design), which incorporates a variety of work spaces including assigned private offices, assigned work stations, unassigned focused rooms, unassigned huddle rooms, a variety of conference rooms, hotel offices and hotel work stations. UCSF is incorporating lessons learned from initial use of open plan design on campus into the planning of the ZSFG building.A governance process will be created and implemented for the building that will help inform who would be assigned office space.

How will space / offices be assigned?   Arranging the layout of the new building will be a complex process involving input from researchers, architects, planners, different UCSF departments, and leadership. Ultimately, a new governance structure specific to the UCSF building at ZSFG will be designed and implemented to inform the assignment and management of spaces and adjacencies. The goals in assigning spaces and adjacencies will be meeting researchers’ needs, optimizing potential for collaboration, considering similarity of research, and providing the best opportunities for use of shared equipment. We will share that information as that structure is designed.

Will we get to choose where our labs will be located? The building layout will be determined through a collaborative design process involving affinity groups that provide design recommendations. The structure of this design process will take shape in the coming months while the architects, engineers, and contractors are hired as a design-build team. A new governance structure specific to the UCSF building at ZSFG will also be designed and implemented to inform the assignment and management of spaces and adjacencies. The goals in assigning spaces and adjacencies will be meeting researchers’ needs, optimizing potential for collaboration, considering similarity of research, and providing the best opportunities for use of shared equipment.

What common facilities will there be in the new building? This question will be answered during the design phase of the project, based in part on input from the ZSFG research community. The current program includes support facilities, town centers with kitchen areas, restrooms, day lockers, a lactation room, focus rooms, conference rooms, hotel offices and workstations, specialty spaces, and certain functional cores.

How will costs be shared if there are common facilities? This has yet to be determined, but it will be informed by what has been learned from other recently constructed UCSF buildings using open plan design. Ongoing operations costs, indirect cost recovery, and space governance will need to be carefully reviewed and adjusted as we plan for the move of UCSF operations into the new building.