Construction completes on UC Berkeley’s biofuels research building in US

21 October 2012 (Last Updated October 21st, 2012 18:30)

Rudolph and Sletten, a subsidiary of contractor Tutor Perini, has completed the construction of a $133m biofuels research building for the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), in the US.

UC Berkeley's biofuels research building in US

Rudolph and Sletten, a subsidiary of contractor Tutor Perini, has completed the construction of a $133m biofuels research building for the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), in the US.

Designed by SmithGroupJJR, the five-storey, 113,200ft² Energy Biosciences Building (EBB) was constructed at a site formerly occupied by the California Department of Health Services.

Situated at the northwest edge of the UC Berkeley campus, EEB will bring together researchers, academic leaders, and students into a single building to foster collaboration and innovation.

The facility will house the Energy Biosciences Institute and part of UC Berkeley’s Department of Bioengineering.

Along the north face of the building, the structure will have research spaces for a specialised field of advanced energy exploration.

Each floor of the facility features two eight-bay wet laboratories with support space located across a central equipment corridor.

The facility also includes insulated exterior cladding featuring reinforced concrete panels to offer improved thermal and moisture conditions for interior spaces.

An angular glass curtain wall profile of the structure on the south and west sides will help in creating a crystalline facade and allow daylight into the office spaces.

Other features of the facility include automated roll-down window shades and a day lighting control system that will adjust the levels of artificial light sources depending on daylight availability.

The facility also features high-performance insulated glass units at its exterior openings and an exterior solar shading system to further reduce heat gain into the structure.

Two rows of translucent sunshades have been installed at each floor at changing depths of two and three feet.

Sustainable features of the building include a new plaza to its south that will provide green space. Other improvements include a restored pedestrian connection for Walnut Street.

SmithGroupJJR design principal and leader of the science, technology, learning and courts studio at San Francisco office Suzanne Napier said, "The sunshades guard against direct sunlight and help to lower energy while also reducing glare."

Sustainable features in the building are expected to earn it a LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.


Image: The new building will house Energy Biosciences Institute and part of UC Berkeley’s Department of Bioengineering. Photo: SmithGroupJJR/Marketwire.