McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Breaks Ground on Solar Energy Research Center in Berkeley

Environmentally Efficient and Sustainable Facility to Focus on Solar Energy Research

BERKELEY, CALIF., OCT. 22, 2012 – McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. broke ground on the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC) for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) on Friday. The three-story, 40,000-square-foot facility will be devoted to researching and developing transportation fuels from sunlight using nano-scale photovoltaic and electrochemical solar energy systems.

SERC is being built on a hillside at the Berkeley Lab campus, which overlooks the University of California, Berkeley campus. The exterior skin will consist of aluminum composite metal panels, curtain wall and architectural concrete. The job site is surrounded on all sides by roads, buildings and an adjacent construction project. The limited space requires precise coordination by the construction team. The project also includes modifications to the area surrounding the facility, with the upgrade of an existing service road, reconfiguration of parking spaces and minor utility improvements.

McCarthy has a long history of building educational research facilities in Berkeley, two of which were constructed on campus for the University, including the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences and Stanley Hall, the University’s biosciences and bioengineering facility. “We are happy to expand our work at Berkeley to the lab campus and surrounding area,” said Rich Henry, president of McCarthy’s Northern Pacific Division. “SERC serves as another great example of incorporating efficient and sustainable design and building processes for a research facility.”

SERC will be comprised of renewable or recyclable materials and boast a “green roof.” It will reduce water usage by 20 percent through water efficient landscaping and innovative wastewater technologies. It is expected to earn LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The $54 million project is slated to be completed in late 2014. SmithGroupJJR serves as the architect.

About McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
McCarthy Building Companies is the nation’s 8th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2012), and the largest general contractor in California (ENR California, August 2012). With nearly 150 years of experience, McCarthy is one of the nation’s oldest, privately held construction firms. Committed to the construction of high performance buildings, the company provides general contracting, construction management, program management and design/build services for healthcare, educational, parking structure, entertainment, retail, laboratory, biotechnical, microelectronic, and industrial facilities; office buildings; tenant interiors; mixed-use; multifamily residential and bridges and highways. In addition to Sacramento and San Francisco, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach and San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix; Albuquerque; Las Vegas; Dallas; Houston; St. Louis; Collinsville, Ill.; and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. Visit the company’s website at and follow on Facebook at

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News