University of California, Davis | California Avenue Net Zero Lecture Hall

University of California, Davis | California Avenue Net Zero Lecture Hall

Davis, California
United States
University of California, Davis | California Avenue Net Zero Lecture Hall

UC Davis’s newest lecture hall houses almost 600 seats, a flexible learning space with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, community gathering areas that extend to the courtyard, and food and beverage space.

Introba (formerly Integral Group) provided mechanical and electrical engineering and sustainable design services during a highly-collaborative design process with the architect and University.

The project is designed to be Net Zero Energy Ready, giving the University the option to provide solar photovoltaics at a later date. Introba also worked closely with the University on a solar thermal collection system to export to a future campus hot water loop.

To support the use of 100% daylight, the Introba provided exceptional daylighting studies to ensure lighting troughs and other natural lighting sources illuminate the students and desks—and not the presentation screens—in all daylighting conditions. The screens are not traditional projection screens; instead, they are made of special tiles that reject light from other directions, helping to allow for full daylighting.

The project is the first fully daylit lecture hall in the UC system, requiring no electric lighting during the day. Dynamic skylights are zoned to dim using motorized louvers in the skylight wells, resulting in daylight levels that accommodate a wide variety of room usage modes, including lectures, films, exams, and collaborative learning. The dynamic skylights are also tuned to ensure clarity of presentation material shown on a large projection screen, balanced for visual comfort and glare. The team sculpted and tuned the skylight coffers and optical assembly using an integrated design process with the architect.

The new lecture hall represents the campus’s first significant addition of classroom space in more than a decade and is now the largest lecture hall on campus.


  • 100% daylit

  • Solar thermal collection system


  • LEED Gold Target

  • Net Zero Energy Target