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Bren School Reopens

Officials Remove All Suspended Ceilings After Saturday’s Collapse


UCSB officials have reopened the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management after a suspended ceiling on the first floor estimated to weigh 4,000 pounds came crashing down Saturday afternoon.

No one was injured in the collapse in the lobby area outside an exterior elevator, and everyone in the building that day was evacuated safely.

As a precautionary move, UCSB building officials have ordered the removal of all suspended ceilings built in a similar fashion in the Bren building. John Wolever, Design and Construction Manager at UCSB, discovered Monday afternoon that shot pins used to mount the ceiling to a concrete deck had come loose in other suspended ceilings of the building.

Wolever confirmed that the suspended ceilings were installed using typical procedure.

“I’ve never seen a failure like this in my 39 years of construction experience,” Wolever said. “At this point, we don’t have any information that would suggest why it failed.”

Wolever said that he could not find any correlation between leaking ceilings, which he noticed in other areas of the building, and the Saturday afternoon collapse.

The construction of Bren Hall was completed in 2002 by Soltek Pacific Construction Company, who have also led the construction of the Life Sciences Building and renovations to the De La Guerra Dining Commons, Wolever said.

In 2002, the building, which houses the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management was recognized as the “greenest” laboratory in the United States after it was completed. In 2009, the building was the first to receive a second LEED Platinum certification for recognition of maintenance and operations of an existing building.

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