Case Study

City of San Jose

Convention Center Exhibit Hall Renovations

With a population of well over a million, the City of San Jose earns recognition as the third most populous city in California, and it is county seat for one of the most affluent regions in the United States: Silicon Valley. Downtown San Jose is considered Silicon Valley’s “City Center,” and as such it is host to many of the region’s important business and social events. The 372,754-square-foot San Jose McEnery Convention Center is a popular location for community events, with close proximity to public transportation, a variety of hotel accommodations, and dozens of restaurants.

The City of San Jose contracted Salas O’Brien to provide in-depth engineering design services for renovations in the convention center’s Exhibit Halls A, B, and C. The goal of this $18-million renovation project was to design a ceiling and rigging system that could be set up and broken down faster and more efficiently, and our team’s services included the preparation of three design options for achieving this goal.

This final design included removal of the existing ceiling and relocation of utilities to higher structural members to avoid conflict with rigging beams and T-bar supports. These changes meant new designs for the exhibit halls’ architectural acoustics, stage and ceiling rigging, electrical lighting, low voltage, security (CCVT), sound systems, mechanical HVAC, and fire protection. The finished product was an open ceiling with an exposed T-bar and rigging system and state-of-the-art ventilation, sound, and LED lighting.

Salas O’Brien completed these designs and provided the bridging document that outlined safety management for the project. The finished renovation met the prescribed goals and increased both the versatility and the efficiency of the convention center exhibit halls.


San Jose, California

Project Size:
372,754 Square Feet

Electrical and Mechanical