Pasadena, CA – 01, September 2021 – Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world’s brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. The independent, privately supported institution is constantly modifying its 124-acre campus in Pasadena, California to stay on the cutting edge of its scientific research.
In November of 2017, Bergelectric began design-build preconstruction services on Caltech’s new Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Neuroscience Research Building consisting of an approximately 150,000 square-foot, five-level cross-disciplinary research facility that includes communal lab spaces, centralized working and lounging areas, and a mix of outdoor environments. The new building now consolidates existing multiple administrative, educational, and support spaces into a single location to become the administrative and knowledge center for the Biology Division of Caltech. In addition, a new pedestrian tunnel connects the sub-basement of the new building to the neighboring Broad Center for the Biological Sciences to strengthen partnerships between the researchers of both buildings. The Chen building will serve as the Institute’s hub for neuroscience research.
Construction at the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Neuroscience Research Building was completed in the fall of 2020. Bergelectric was able to capitalize on their in-house BIM Department and off-site Prefabrication Division to bring an innovative approach to building this state-of-the-art facility. Prefabricated electrical rooms, for instance, were developed and installed by Bergelectric throughout the building. This time-saving practice required exporting enhanced BIM models of each electrical room—provided by Bergelectric’s BIM Department—to their off-site Prefabrication Department. By extracting data in the model and merging it with advanced software, Bergelectric’s Prefabrication Department created all conduit bends and prefabricated each conduit run with precision—from panel to destination. Each electrical room was carefully labeled, packaged, and shipped to the job site for installation.
Similarly, conduit racks were assembled by Bergelectric’s Prefabrication Department based on detailed drawings and rack schedules. Each rack would be carefully labeled and packaged by the correlating “conduit highways.” Assemblies would be delivered to the project ready to install, just as they were needed—making for a convenient on-site installation, saving on-site storage space, as well as reducing installation time.
Light fixtures throughout the facility were assembled and pre-wired by Berg’s Prefabrication Department as well. Not only were the fixtures delivered to the job site ready to install—eliminating the need for on-site storage space—but they were placed into mobile carts that were wheeled around and arranged in locations where installations were taking place. “The light fixture carts were a game-changer,” added DeHaas. “They have been custom made for a variety of fixtures that were installed throughout the building. They made it very easy for our guys to install and prevent potential damage that can happen to fixtures that were in boxes on site.”