Bakar BioEnginuity Hub decided to transform a historical building, the former Berkeley Art Museum, into an up-to-date coworking, life science lab building and meet LEED Gold standards. With a new glass-fronted addition, the design represents Bakar’s modernization efforts while appreciating the facility’s original brutalist style. The project aimed to provide well-equipped, cost-efficient space for local graduate students, young startups, and biotech businesses. That would allow for eliminating the gap between them and promote cooperation. The new life science incubator features private labs for companies needing more dedicated space, open office areas, collaboration spaces, conference rooms, student auditoriums, and public outdoor spaces. When working on this renovation project, VEC found it challenging to design power models that would satisfy all the life science requirements keeping in mind the building’s irregular geometry and historical character. Fortunately, as a reliable BIM & VDC partner, we could provide appropriate BIM deliverables and ensure high-quality coordination.
VEC specialists worked on this 94,081-square-foot facility in 2021, cooperating with Plant Construction as the general contractor and other contractors, particularly electrical. The scope of services we provided to this state-of-the-art life science hub included power, lighting, and telecom systems modeling. Our 3D models were constantly integrated into a federal model, and such an approach allowed all stakeholders to understand the situation better and detect clashes in the early stages. That was vital, especially when considering the building's peculiarities. Since the facility is almost all concrete, it was a bit hard for VEC to upgrade power systems, mainly designing a new modern lighting system. That is because it was crucial to minimize the necessary cutting of the existing structure. But our experts could ensure the robust lighting focused on the building's character-defining features. Also, we met all the requirements related to various spaces within the hub and helped make them aesthetic.