Sustainable research facility built in Berkeley

November 7, 2012 by  

Construction of the Energy Biosciences Building in Berkeley California has recently been completed, creating a $133m research building at the University of California. The design of the building complies with sustainable principles, with a cladding system on the exterior providing a high level of insulation, made from concrete panels reinforced with glass fiber.

The new building, designed by SmithGroup JJR has five levels spread over 113,200 square feet, situated at the former site of the California Department of Health Services. The laboratory and office space in the research building has been designed to make it easier for students, academic leaders, and researchers to interact. The support labs are situated opposite the researchers’ offices on the south side of the building, along with warm and cold rooms and greenhouses. Kitchenettes and conferencing areas are located next to the researchers’ offices.

The new facility may be included in the latest promotional material of the University, possibly requiring the services of local brochure printers. The feature will include details of the Department of Bioengineering for the University of California Berkeley, which has been accommodated at the new facility. The building has been constructed to be energy efficient while retaining heat and maximizing the natural light available, reducing the requirement for artificial light sources.

Molecular and microbial biology, chemical separation, and fermentation will also be studied at the new facility, which was constructed by Rudolph & Sletten. One feature added to the building is a crystalline façade created by a curtain wall on the south and west of the building, to attract daylight to the interior of the building – an effective and sustainable feature.