Science Market Update

Major New Biomed and Biofuel Research Buildings Open at UC Berkeley

Posted by Jaimee Saliba on Wed, Oct 24, 2012

It used to be, once upon a time, that the northwest corner of the UC Berkeley campus was a bit sleepy, bordering as it did an older downtown that hadn't yet been revitalized. The important buildings on campus were located more centrally, or along the busy southside, or up in the hills. In the year 2012 all that has changed, and not one but two important life science lab buildings have been completed and opened their doors in the past year along Oxford Street, built to mesh comfortably with the now-fashionable and vibrant Downtown Berkeley scene at their doorsteps and to contribute to a growing life science research hub in that campus corner.

The two science buildings we're refering to are the just-completed Energy Biosciences Building (EBB) and the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences. Together with UCB's Barker Hall (Molecular & Cell Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute), Koshland Hall (Plant & Microbial Biology, Molecular & Cell Biology), and the Genetics and Plant Biology Building (Molecular & Cell Biology, Plant Biology), all within a block from each other, this once-sleepy corner is a hotbed of life science research and innovation.

 new science research buildings

[The Energy Biosciences Building located in the top-left block between Hearst Ave. and Berkeley Way is so new that Google has yet to update its map to include it; the Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences is at the bottom-right, on the campus side of Oxford Street in Berkeley]

The Energy Biosciences Building houses the Energy Biosciences Institute's west coast lab research facilities, as well as research labs from UCB's Department of Bioengineering. The Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) is a public-private research collaborative devoted to the multidisciplinary exploration of total-system solutions to global energy problems. The just-completed building boasts these specs:

  • 113,200ft2
  • 5-story
  • $133M
  • 2 open, 8-bay wet laboratories on each floor
  • lobby, reception area, 80-seat auditorium, and auxiliary conference and gathering spaces at ground level
  • likely to receive LEED Gold certification
  • almost 300 researchers, students and staff moving from buildings on campus
  • research groups in feedstock development, biomass depolymerization, biofuels production, ecological and social impacts, and fossil fuel bioprocessing
  • strong financial backing by BP Energy

biofuels research lab

[New biofuels research lab in the Energy Biosciences Building just opened, photo by Bruce Damonte, Smith Group Architects]


The other, even more momentous life science building opening and move-in this year took place in the spring at the impressive Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences on the UC Berkeley campus. Constructed on the site of the former Warren Hall (a public health science building ironically riddled with serious asbestos problems) and anchoring a group of biomedical and health science research facilities, the Li Ka Shing Building completes this stage of a vision for the NW corner that began with a multi-building construction boom in 1990. Here's what the new biomedical research building has to offer:

  • 6 levels
  • 200,000sf in an L-shape
  • 30+ labs for around 400 researchers
  • LEED Gold certified, including a green roof
  • winner Best New R&D building by SF Business Times magazine
  • includes a brain imaging center and a 300-seat auditorium
  • will house research labs for cancer biology, stem cell biology, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases


Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. looks forward each to greeting researchers from these UCB life science facilities and the many others on campus at its annual Berkeley BioResearch Product Faire tradeshow event, held next on June 5, 2013. For information on exhibiting, and to receive a free funding report for UCB, click here:

ucb research

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus life science research tradeshows nationwide for going on 21 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to the best research campuses across the country. Life science researchers, purchasing agents, and lab managers are actively invited to attend to see the latest products and equipment and discuss their laboratory tool and service needs. See our Nationwide Show Schedule for 2013.

Tags: CA, University of California Berkeley, biofuels, California, 2012, Berkeley, BioResearch Product Faire Event, new facilities, new construction, UC Berkeley, bio medical research, San Francisco Bay Area

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