UC Berkeley Connie & Kevin Chou Hall

1906 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California

  • Architect: Perkins and Will
  • Contractor: Vance Brown Builders
  • Developer: UC Berkeley Real Estate Division
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Chou Hall
Credit: Gina T Phelan for TSE

LEED Platinum Connie and Kevin Chou Hall has increased UC Berkeley's renowned business school’s space by a third, accommodating large tiered lecture halls, flexible teaching spaces, and breakout spaces for small group collaboration, as well as a ground-floor café and a rooftop event space for fundraising and other functions.

The latest addition to UC Berkeley's renowned Haas School of Business is a modern high-performance academic building, which incorporates a number of design innovations that improve seismic resiliency and enhance the architectural program. Owing to an unusual set of challenges and obstacles posed by the program and the site, a conventional structural solution was not viable.

The project is located on a sloping site through which a stream channel originally ran. The shape and configuration of the site led to an irregular, nonorthogonal building geometry. Moreover, owing to constraints on building height and floor plan dimensions, the structure required long spans wi­th limited floor depths. Finally, the design of the structure and foundations had to address the university’s stringent seismic performance requirements for the near-fault site.

A post-tensioned concrete structural system, supported by a hybrid mat slab and micropile foundation system, was identified as the most suitable and effective approach to address the variety of challenges posed by the site and architectural program. A long-span system using post-tensioned beams and thin profile slabs was chosen to provide an optimum assembly. For added resilience, the seismic system comprised a series of recentering post-tensioned concrete shear walls. The walls were arranged in a paired orthogonal configuration resulting in regular structural response, despite the irregular geometry of the building. Owing to site variability, half of the structure was founded on rock using a mat slab, with the other half was supported by deep foundations, through loose fill, incorporating battered piles to stabilize lateral movement.

In early 2019, Chou Hall was certified LEED Platinum and Zero Waste, and was touted the country's greenest academic building.