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Located in downtown Berkeley, this University of California Facility houses 113,000 sf of laboratories, offices and collaborative workspace for molecular and microbial biology, greenhouses, offices and workrooms for biofuels research and development, including the BP-funded Energy Biosciences Institute. The five story building organizes the offices and workspaces to the south with a high performance facade.  The laboratories are located to the north facing the East Bay hills and greenhouses of the Berkeley campus.  The building is designed as a highly energy efficient laboratory providing high quality workspaces for the university and industry scientists who will work here.

Loisos + Ubbelohde provided lighting design, daylighting performance analysis, glazing specification and lighting and shade controls protocols for the project. The highly efficient lighting design breaks new ground in establishing coordination with daylighting and laboratory lighting controls, including task lighting at the lab benches. The offices and workspaces use controlled south daylight with high performance glass and exterior shading to significantly reduce lighting and thermal loads in the building. Landscape lighting for evenings was designed to work with the dark-sky requirements of LEED. Additionally, Loisos + Ubbelohde designed and constructed mock-ups, and worked with manufacturers to deliver lighting controls and custom light fixtures for the building, including an LED-luminous stairwell and decorative fixtures for the public spaces.

Radiance simulation of light levels in lab space paired with real picture of occupied space.

helios officePrivate offices on South facade.

view up
Detail of Southeast corner with solar shading devices.

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Smithgroup Inc.

Berkeley, CA

Occupied, 2012
Merit Award for Architecture, AIA California Council, 2013

Above: Mock-up for LED-luminous staircase.


Above: Bottom view of staircase.

Below: Meeting space next to luminous stair.


Professional images of finished building by Bruce Damonte.