Forell | Elsesser Structural Engineers is providing structural engineering services for the historic landmark building that formerly housed the Berkeley Art Museum. The existing building is a cast-in-place, three-story concrete structure with two sub-grade levels, and encompasses approximately 92,000 sq. ft. The restored building will be used for biomedical research for the University of California, Berkeley, and QB3. The goal for the space is to bridge the gap between UC graduate students, life science startups, and established biotech companies by providing well-equipped research space, which is typically cost-prohibitive for young companies.
- The seismic retrofit of this incredibly complicated structure used a non-linear response history analysis to incorporate actual earthquake ground motions and non-linear properties of the existing structural elements into the design.
- This retrofit includes new buckling restrained braced frames and foundations while utilizing as many existing building elements as possible, including the steel braced frames added in our 2001 temporary seismic upgrade project.
- Very careful coordination was required with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades to provide the necessary utilities for life science labs in an existing concrete building.
- The project also includes a one-story 8,000 sq. ft. expansion to increase the amount of usable square footage.