UC Irvine opened its doors in 1965 as part of the University of California System and is distinguished as a Public Ivy.

Located in the town of Irvine, among the mountains, beaches, and attractions of Southern California, it offers 80 undergraduate degrees and 98 graduate and professional degrees to 31,551 students (25,256 Undergraduates & 6,295 Postgraduates).

Among colleges and universities in America, UCI is in the vanguard when it comes to sustainability and climate change in particular. You can read the University’s first climate action/sustainability plan (2013) here.

In the ‘90s, UCI won a Nobel for work on atmospheric chemistry related to the formation and decomposition of ozone. In fact, Professor F. Sherwood Rowland’s Nobel Prize-winning research put UC Irvine at the forefront of climate change science.


In 2011, We were invited to provide the team at UCI with a sample room of furniture. So the general contractor made a mock room—a shell—to match the specifications of what they were building.

Originally UCI asked us to design a solution for triple rooms. When we presented it in the mock room, it gave everyone a clear sense that triples would work well.

We also developed novel solutions to add value by incorporating features based on our experience. For example, we added unrequested features that improved the solution including:

  • A wardrobe shoe shelf
  • A wardrobe mirror
  • A wardrobe whiteboard
  • A new drawer configuration: underbed stackables
  • Three different desk options (design variations) and a rolling pedestal

But more to the point, our solution catalyzed a creative process of design collaboration with a number of university stakeholders including housing, purchasing, capital projects, and maintenance.

Everyone weighed in on the solutions, but what tied it all together was the focus on a student-centric solution. That’s why, for example, everyone was so interested in adding drawer space.


At some point in the process, the school increased their enrollment and in the end of June added another 100 beds thanks in large part to a novel quad solution.

The quad layout that we developed in collaboration with the design team helped UCI manage an unexpected surge in enrollment enabling them to convert more rooms to quads.

True to UCI’s leadership in the field of sustainability, they made a unique and special choice when selecting their desks. They chose the most sustainable option for their desks and pedestals—solid maple.

Further bolstering the sustainability pedigree of the project, we assembled all of the wardrobes locally in California just 100 miles from Irvine.

And the icing on the cake? Our solution cost them far less than what they budgeted.

View Case Study (PDF)

Project Location: Irvine, CA

Project Size: 935 sets

Building Type: Multi-use Residence Hall

Project Team: UCI, Hensel Phelps, Mithūn, DCI

Product List: Bunk and adjustable height bed, Desk with data port, Rolling pedestal, Stackable 2-drawer under-bed storage, Two-door wardrobe

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