Hesse-O’Brien Seismic Replacement Building


University of California, Berkeley


Geotechnical Engineering Geotechnical Exploration Geophysical Testing Seismic Hazard Analysis Soil-Structure Interaction Evaluation


Berkeley, California

Project Overview

The planned seismic replacement building is envisioned as a modern, state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary hub for the University of California, and will include research and teaching laboratories, offices, classrooms, and collaboration spaces within the existing footprint of Hesse and O’Brien Halls. The new steel-framed structure will include six stories above grade with a small penthouse and two basement levels below grade. ENGEO is actively providing geotechnical and geologic design services on this project and has prepared conclusions and recommendations for concept design.

Engeo's Role

So far ENGEO has completed a full geotechnical exploration for the site that included soil borings and rock coring. Additional geophysical testing included P-S logging, televiewer analysis, and horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) testing. ENGEO’s recommendations addressed variable bedrock and groundwater conditions, excavations and shoring, and the underpinning of existing structures in proximity to the planned excavation. Specific geotechnical recommendations were provided for foundations, retaining walls, seismic lateral earth pressures, and rigid and flexible pavement sections. ENGEO intends to perform a more rigorous non-ergodic seismic hazard analysis to optimize design ground motions and reduce costs concerning the superstructure.


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