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UC Berkeley Expands Bechtel Engineering Center

Published 5/26/2023
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The University of California, Berkeley broke ground on a $95 million expansion of the Bechtel Engineering Center in April of 2023. Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 35,570-sf project will add two new floors to the 43-year-old structure to create a vibrant nexus for multidisciplinary innovation. A transparent steel and glass pavilion will leverage floor-to-ceiling windows, exterior terraces, and a central skylight to provide enhanced access to natural light and views, with an extended canopy porch minimizing direct solar exposure.

Funded entirely through philanthropy, the transformative project will include partial demolition and the renovation of 15,000 sf of existing space to create a four-story, 55,000-sf facility. A flexible three-story atrium called The Forum will be available for lectures, poster sessions, and industry events, complemented by numerous venues for informal interaction and collaboration. Featuring exposed structural systems for immersive learning, the development will accommodate classrooms, offices, the Berkeley Center for New Media, and the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. 

The sustainably designed addition is targeting LEED Gold certification, with the adaptive reuse of the base building significantly reducing carbon emissions. XL Construction is acting as general contractor with completion slated for early 2025.

Organization Project Role
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
XL Construction
General Contractor