Green Energy Researchers Look to LEED Gold Building to Serve As New Facility

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor The Energy Biosciences Institute has announced that it’s moving into its new home—five years into its initiative to come up with energy alternatives. The building at 2151 Berkeley Way building will be shared with researchers from the University of California’s Department of Bioengineering, and approximately 300 researchers will be moving [...]

The Energy Biosciences Institute has announced that it’s moving into its new home—five years into its initiative to come up with energy alternatives. The building at 2151 Berkeley Way building will be shared with researchers from the University of California’s Department of Bioengineering, and approximately 300 researchers will be moving from facilities like the Calvin Laboratory operations center in order to reunite all staff under the same roof.

The facility is located at the northwest corner of the University of California campus at Oxford Street and Hearst Avenue. The five-story state-of-the-art structure will offer 113,000 square feet of space. Construction on the property began after the demolition of an abandoned state health building in 2010 and carried on to eventually being completed ahead of schedule.

The total budget available for the development of the property was $130 million, $40 million of which was obtained through state lease-revenue bonds. The rest of the financing was provided through external financing and gifts.

The development team was headed by UC Berkeley Capital Projects and contractor Rudolph & Sletten, with architectural duties handled by The Smith Group. The building’s design and features mimic the highly technological nature of the tenants’ work with automated outside window shades, a lighting control system with building sensors and an auto-adjusting air exchange system.

The building’s green sensibilities have earned it a LEED Gold certification, as well as an Overall Sustainable Design Award by the Higher Education Energy Partnership Program of California. It is in this eco-friendly environment that the Energy Biosciences Institute will go on researching non-food-sourced, renewable cellulosic biofuels and test their applicability to existing technologies.

Rendering courtesy of berkeley.edu

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