UC Berkley, Lower Sproul Plaza

©2015 Bruce Damonte | All rights reserved.

The redevelopment of Lower Sproul Plaza at the University of California, Berkeley, encompasses 184,000 square feet and includes the replacement of the original Eshleman Hall, renovations and additions to the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and to the plaza deck, and minor renovations to Cesar Chavez Student Center and Anthony Hall. Working closely with Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, we provided a range of services: mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy modeling, sustainable design, vertical transportation, and BIM/Revit.


LEED Gold target


We leveraged Berkeley’s mild climate to maximize daylight and natural ventilation. In addition, we designed a variable refrigerant flow system for energy-efficient cooling, a LED lighting system with integrated daylighting controls, and a rooftop photovoltaic system for renewable generation of power.

Harmony between systems and architecture


We used an integrated design process and building performance modeling to “engineer the architecture.” Our models represented energy simulation, solar shading and daylight, flow networks, and computational fluid dynamics of natural ventilation. Through these models, we were able to optimize the components of the building envelope and associated MEP systems.

Durable vertical transportation systems that are easy to maintain


We selected elevators with regenerative drive systems and without machine rooms for Eshleman Hall and upgraded the antiquated control and drive systems for the existing overhead traction elevators in the MLK Student Union Building.  


The project has received several notable awards. Among them was the 2017 Jury’s Choice Award from the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). SCUP praised the project for “clearly convening how well-conceived planning strategies can be implemented through successful collaboration between planners, designers and college/university faculty, students, and staff.” Another 2017 honor was a Berkeley Design Advocates Award from the AIA East Bay.