UC Berkeley's Channing Bowditch and Ida Jackson Housing

Berkeley, California

  • Architect: Pyatok Architects, Inc.
  • Developer: UC Berkeley Capital Projects
  1 / 4 

Credit: Gina Phelan for Tipping Structural Engineers

A cost-effective, performance-based design significantly increased these student housing projects' seismic capacities using conventional construction methods.

The Ida L. Jackson Apartments, UC Berkeley’s flagship graduate student housing project, successfully balances the university's need for conveniently located affordable housing with the high seismic demands of a site located less than one mile from the Hayward Fault. The 4-story, 47,600-sq-ft complex houses 120 graduate students in 4- and 5-bedroom flats set around a central court.

The project pushed the limits of wood-frame construction to meet the performance requirements of the University's Seismic Review Committee while remaining on budget. We  used a capacity-design approach that improved the building’s seismic strength and toughness by a factor of two while staying within the bounds of traditional construction methods.

The 72,000 sq ft, 57-unit Channing-Bowditch Residence Apartments also uses this ultra-resilient capacity-design approach. The complex incorporates 2 courtyards, stoops, balconies and seat walls to encourage casual interaction among residents and provide informal study spaces. The shingle-clad buildings step down from 4 to 3 stories, complementing the scale and character of the adjacent Craftsman-style buildings.





Executed as Tipping Mar