University and Research

Energy Biosciences Building – Berkeley, CA
University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Geotechnical Investigation

Energy Biosciences Building - Berkeley, CAAKA conducted the geotechnical investigation for the University of California, Berkeley Energy Biosciences Building project. Located at the north end of downtown Berkeley across from the UC Campus, the Energy Biosciences Building project included a new five-story, 112,800-square-foot research building and public open space designed to enliven and enhance the community. Researchers within this eco-friendly building will seek solutions to global climate change. AKA’s geotechnical investigation included historical research, borings, and geophysical surveys designed to thoroughly characterize the subsurface conditions, and provided comprehensive geotechnical recommendations for the design of the project. The  State of California Department of Health Services building that occupied the site was demolished as part of the first phase of the project.

Helios Energy Research Facility – Berkeley, CA
University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Geotechnical Investigation

Helios Energy Research Facility - Berkeley, CAAKA conducted a geotechnical investigation for the Helios Energy Research Facility, a joint project for the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The $150 Million Helios project included the construction of a new 160,000 square-foot building, site grading, and access road development in an area of challenging hillside terrain. AKA provided an initial phase of geotechnical services for the project that included compiling and reviewing existing subsurface data, drilling targeted test borings to explore geologic and geotechnical conditions, evaluating the potential for slope hazards, and developing preliminary geotechnical recommendations for the project design.

User Support Building, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Berkeley, CA

Geotechnical Investigation

User Support Building, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Berkeley, CAAKA conducted a geotechnical investigation for a new User Support Building adjacent to the Advanced Light Source Facility at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Advanced Light Source is located high upon a ridge in the Berkeley Hills and the adjacent User Support Building site was created by cutting and filling. AKA’s geotechnical investigation included drilling targeted test borings to augment the existing onsite data and to characterize fill depths across the site. In consultation with the project structural engineer, AKA developed recommendations for a combined foundation system comprised of footings where bedrock is shallow, and drilled piers in areas of deeper fill. The ground floor of the future building is to be structurally-supported to mitigate concerns associated with differential settlement and expansive soils and also to accommodate transient loads from heavy research equipment.

Animal Care Facility, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory –     Berkeley, CA

Geotechnical Investigation
Services during Construction

Animal Care Facility, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Berkeley, CAAKA conducted a geotechnical and geologic investigation for a new Animal Care Facility in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratorys East Canyon. AKA’s initial review of site photographs from the late 1800s and early 1900s revealed historic topography suggestive of landsliding. This working hypothesis was ultimately confirmed by our study which included geologic mapping, a continuously-logged geologic boring, and downhole televiewers. Geologic and engineering analyses were performed to evaluate the extent of the landslide deposits and their stability under both static and seismic conditions. The results of our analyses suggest that although the landslide deposits that underlie the site are stable under static high-groundwater conditions, strong earthquake shaking could result in renewed deep-seated landslide movements. Further engineering analyses were performed to evaluate the sites seismic performance, which included evaluating a likely upper bound magnitude of landslide movement. In consultation with laboratory facilities personnel, AKA developed recommendations for a stiffened mat foundation capable of tolerating anticipated site deformations. Construction of the Animal Care Facility was completed in 2007 and the facility is now in use.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Berkeley, CA

On-call Geotechnical Engineering Services

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Berkeley, CA
  • Building 77 Utility Center
  • Animal Care Facility
  • Advanced Light Source User Support Building
  • Helios Building (in conjunction with UCB)
  • Landslide and slope repairs (various)