Energy Biosciences Building

University of California, Berkeley

Project Details

Construction Manager at Risk

$100 Million

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA


113,220 Square Feet


Project Description

UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) together initiated a large research effort, the Helios Program, to address basic scientific problems that limit the ability to utilize the energy of the sun.

The 113,000-square-foot facility for the University of California, Berkeley houses wet laboratories for molecular and microbial biology, fermentation, and chemical separation, as well as greenhouses, warm and cold rooms, shared instrumentation space, offices, workrooms, and conference space.

Accommodating biofuels research and development, the building houses the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), a unique collaboration of academia and industry using biotechnology to develop potential carbon-neutral fuels and to test new means of carbon sequestration, in the quest to help reverse global climate change. Researchers in the EBI examine biofuels’ potential environmental, social and economic impacts, asking questions in subjects that include agronomy, microbiology, mechanical and chemical engineering, biochemistry, chemistry, geography, economics, law and policy analysis. When completed, the project will bring together staff members that are currently scattered in different buildings across the campus.

Bounded by Oxford Street and Shattuck Avenue on the east and west and Hearst Avenue and Berkeley Way on the north and south, the six-story lab and office building replaces an abandoned Eisenhower-era institutional building abutted by parking lots. The east half of the property will have been transformed into a modern, accessible space in keeping with the City of Berkeley’s goals for downtown renewal. Among other improvements, it offers neighbors a public park-like area on the south, as well as a wide pedestrian pathway reconnecting Walnut Street.



Honor Award in "Heal" Category - International Interior Design Association

“As the Helios Project winds down, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all of the efforts that Rudolph and Sletten has made in ensuring that this project was constructed with the highest regard for both safety and quality. Once again, R&S has successfully managed a tight University construction schedule balanced with appropriate consideration to the impacts and concerns of the surrounding neighborhood.

Most importantly, I appreciate the ways in which Rudolph and Sletten brings everyone on the project together as a team. There was a union commercial on the radio several months ago which said something like, “When was the last time you got together with your friends and built a high-rise?” It made me smile, because I’m sure that every individual who worked on the project feels a sense of pride and accomplishment when looking at the finished buildings.”
Diana Aikenhead
Engineering Inspector
City of Berkeley