Case Study

De Anza College

Visual and Performing Arts Center

A community college serving San Francisco’s South Bay area, De Anza College provides a wide variety of educational programs to 21,000 students on 12 acres in Cupertino, CA. The college has played a significant role in Cupertino’s growth from a small town into a powerhouse of Silicon Valley.

Success of the college’s performing arts program—which far outgrew its Flint Center for the Performing Arts—as well as a growing need for large lecture hall facilities kicked off development of the De Anza Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC). Funded by a voter-approved bond and one significant patron donation, VPAC is a 400-seat, multi-use facility used for classes and a variety of college and community events such as film viewings, dances, concerts, meetings, lectures, and live theater. Also home to the Euphrat Museum, a dynamic exhibition space, the building was certified LEED® Silver.

Salas O’Brien’s commitment to client service and to adapting to the unique needs of each project were deployed when providing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering; central plant upgrades; and LEED certification services to VPAC. The nature of the facility’s purpose as a beautiful and acoustically sensitive performance center impacted the team’s designs and procedures in multiple ways throughout construction. The team made special provisions in planning to ensure that the HVAC and plumbing systems would not interfere with the delicate acoustics of the performance areas. In addition, the fire and life safety engineers ensured that the sprinkler and fire alarm systems met code requirements while also minimizing aesthetic impact to the facility.

The finished 20,000-square-foot building serves as an accessible, sustainable, modifiable, and beautiful event venue for college students and community members alike.



Cupertino, California

Construction Cost:
$15 Million

Project Size:
20,000 Square Feet

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering

LEED® Silver