the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Laboratory
  4. United States
  5. SmithGroup
  6. 2015
  7. Chu Hall - Solar Energy Research Center / SmithGroup

Chu Hall - Solar Energy Research Center / SmithGroup

  • 13:00 - 16 October, 2015
Chu Hall - Solar Energy Research Center / SmithGroup
Chu Hall - Solar Energy Research Center / SmithGroup, © Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

© Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte © Bruce Damonte + 26

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • General Contractor

    McCarthy Building Companies
  • Area

    39000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Text description provided by the architects. The recently completed $59 million Solar Energy Research Center has opened at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Officially renamed Chu Hall after former U.S. Department of Energy Secretary and Berkeley Lab director Steven Chu, the building was designed by SmithGroupJJR.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Chu Hall is Berkeley Lab’s latest addition to a collection of buildings that create a hub of interactive and collaborative research. Situated in its Old Town neighborhood, the new 39,000-square-foot, three-story building is the new home for 100 researchers, most from the Department of Energy-funded Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), the nation’s largest research program dedicated to the development of an artificial solar-fuel generation technology. Previously, the JCAP researchers worked in a leased space in West Berkeley. In addition to JCAP researchers, the building also houses the administrative offices of the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute, which explores energy science and nanomaterials.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Chu Hall has three architectural components, each situated on one of the building’s three levels.

Level 1 is the subsurface “Plinth,”which takes up more than 50 percent of the overall square footage and designed to be an ultra-low vibration space to house laboratories sensitive to light and vibration.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte
Underground Floor Plan
Underground Floor Plan

Level 2, located on the ground level, is the “Breezeway.” Designed to foster interdisciplinary interaction, it is the location for the main door and entrance lobby, shared office space for principal investigators, cubicles for Theory researchers and small and large conference rooms.  

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte
Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan

Level 3 is the “Corona,” a simple rectangular form that houses wet lab spaces as well as research to develop technology needed to assemble nanoscale components into active systems.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte
Second Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan

Outside, a new courtyard space serves as a central meeting point used by Chu Hall researchers as well as those from nearby labs in the Old Town neighborhood.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

“Activity areas and an open, flexible office environment at the center of the facility create opportunities for scientific collaboration and interaction both in and outside of the laboratory environment. The new building provides a state-of-the-art facility that meets all of the specialized laboratory requirements needed to support the development of artificial solar-fuel generation technology,” said Suzanne Napier, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, SmithGroupJJR principal in charge and leader of the firm’s Science & Technology Studio in San Francisco.

Section
Section

Following Chu Hall’s mission to “create sustainable, carbon-neutral sources of energy,” the design and construction of the building voluntarily responded to the Department of Energy’s mandate of 30% energy savings based on ASHRAE 90.1. LEED Gold certification is targeted.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Mechanical energy-efficient features and sustainable design elements include runaround heat recovery, which in the winter utilizes the building’s waste heat energy to heat the outside air brought into the building and in the summer cools it; high-efficiency condensing boilers; high-efficiency chillers with variable frequency drives; evaporative pre-cooling hybrid system; and individual office VAV terminals with switch for window interlock – essentially, a mechanical systems that knows when a window is open in the office floor.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Lighting energy and water conservation measures are significant at Chu Hall. A narrow building footprint on levels 2 and 3 with abundant windows and skylights allows for daylight to enter and minimizes lighting consumption. LED lighting and energy efficient lighting, lighting controls-light sensors for occupancy and daylight sensors are used, along with daylight harvesting with lights that dim when sufficient daylight is available. Water consumption is reduced 30% with energy-saver plumbing fixtures, water efficient landscaping with an efficient, drip irrigation system, and drought resistant plant selection.

Section
Section

Other sustainability features of Chu Hall include a green roof at the north and south portions of level 1 to provide thermal insulating qualities and minimize heat gain, along with an east-west axis with the smallest façade facing south. Energy efficient, low-E glazing is used on the exterior. Onsite development was reduced by using adjacent parking, allowing minimized paved areas and more native plantings.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

Renewable energy sources include solar hot water panels for domestic, hot water heating. Photovoltaic panels power electrical outlets in offices on level 3.

© Bruce Damonte
© Bruce Damonte

The $59 million construction project was funded by the University of California, the California Public Utilities Commission and appropriations from the State of California, along with private support.

View the complete gallery

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
SmithGroup
Office
Cite: "Chu Hall - Solar Energy Research Center / SmithGroup" 16 Oct 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/775388/chu-hall-solar-energy-research-center-smithgroupjjr/> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.