Imperial Valley Sciences and Engineering Laboratories, San Diego State University

Brawley, CA



The SDSU Imperial Valley Sciences and Engineering Laboratories will support the burgeoning Lithium Valley and the university’s commitment to workforce development in both current and future geothermal energy sector demands through new four-year degree programs. The 37,000 square foot lab facility will house a STEM Innovation Hub, undergraduate science labs, core facilities, and collaborative spaces for public and private partners to work side by side with faculty and students in lithium research. The new building will create a sense of place and identity for the campus in Brawley, California.

The architectural vernacular embraces sustainability and resilient strategies derived from site specific climate and regional heritage. The design includes open collaboration spaces inside and sheltered outdoor spaces with a solar photovoltaic canopy to provide comfortable areas for students to hang out before, between and after classes. As one the most lab intensive SDSU facilities, incorporating flexibility and adaptability for future changes in STEM research is paramount in the design. By addressing the demands of intense science research and incorporating architectural sensibility that acknowledges the low-desert climatic environs and cultural heritage of the area, this project will be a beacon of STEM learning in Brawley.

The project will double the enrollment of the SDSU Imperial Valley campus, delivering the future leaders of economic and employment opportunity brought by the development of the State’s Lithium Valley initiative. The project is a result of $80 million in state funding from Governor Gavin Newsom and university investments to expand STEM opportunities. The building is planned to be completed in 2025.