Topping Out of Hillside Laboratory: UC Berkeley Computational Research and Theory (CRT) Facility

In December, the UC Berkeley Computational Research and Theory (CRT) Facility team celebrated with a traditional topping out ceremony, where a beam signifying the end of the structural steel erection was put in place.

The team watches the topping out ceremony

Building on the slope of a hill with access on only one side presents many challenges requiring tight coordination and planning from the team. The project began in April 2012 and is slated to be complete in late 2014.

The new $103 million facility builds on the groundwork of Berkeley lab’s tradition of information sharing and expertise while offering an optimal environment to advance research. Key research areas expected to benefit from the CRT Facility include global climate change research, fusion energy research, biological and environmental research, basic energy science and astrophysics.

The team signs the beam

The last beam is lowered into place

The beam lands in place (Photos courtesy of Albert Lee and Brett Thompson)

The building will be approximately 140,000 gross sq. ft. and accommodate approximately a 300 person staff. There will be a computer floor to accommodate two high-performance computing systems, a visualization lab for modeling and viewing simulations, an electric feeder from Grizzly Peak substation to provide 7 megawatts (MW) of power capacity to serve the initial high-performance computing and office loads, and administrative support space with offices, workrooms and conference space.

The project is aiming for LEED Gold certification.