California State University, Sacramento Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex

  • Location:

    Sacramento, CA

  • Client:

    California State University, Sacramento

  • Construction Value:


  • Delivery Method:

    Collaborative Design-Build

  • Year Completed:


  • Specialties:

    Higher Education, Laboratories

Features & Highlights

  • Adjacent operational facilities
  • Limited laydown and material staging areas often necessitating on-time delivery and creative site logistics
  • Sensitivity to sound pollution
  • Targeting LEED Gold® certification
Project Overview

The Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex was the largest project the campus had pursued in the last 10 years. The science complex puts science on display: from the glass-lined hallways which allow passersby to view scientists at work, to the state-of-the-art planetarium, students feel immersed in a world of innovation the moment they walk through the doors.

Most notably, its spaces include a 120-seat planetarium and a rooftop observatory. The planetarium has a 2,500-square-foot dome offering a high-tech environment for students to learn about astronomy and the night sky. The observatory is accessible from the building’s 5th floor and features a retractable roof and two telescopes.

The complexity of this project required the delivery of materials and craft through our small site to the school’s University Union Expansion, which is being built adjacent to and concurrently with the Science Complex. Collaboration for on-site logistics with the other general contractor was vital to our ability to keep not just one but two projects progressing smoothly, without delay or negative impact to surrounding buildings, students, and neighborhoods. Building in complex environments has taught us that flexibility is key and compromising safety or negatively impacting the environment is not an option.

The project is just down the street from Sundt’s next student housing complex project for the university, Hornet Commons. Once completed, it will be one of the largest student housing complexes in Northern California.

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“Sundt demonstrates their commitment in many different ways. What stands out is their honesty in their interactions. They are very conscientious of community concerns. They always ask how Sundt can better serve the community to make the construction process less of an obstacle.”
– Tania Nunez, CSU Sacramento Administrator


AWARDS & Accolades

2020 Best Real Estate Project of the Year: Education, Sacramento Business Journal

2020 CHESC Annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Award
Overall Sustainable Design Category (New Construction & Major Renovations)