University of California, Berkeley – Engineering Center
Berkeley, California, United States
This campus will be a first-of-its-kind international center for developing solutions to the climate crisis, and its design and master plan embody this mission—targeting net zero in energy, water, and waste.
The New York Climate Exchange is the result of a bold initiative spearheaded by City of New York and The Trust for Governors Island—a vision to reimagine a treasured public space as a local and global hub for climate science. Working with anchor institution Stony Brook University, which will build the campus, SOM, MNLA, Buro Happold, and Langan Engineering are designing a living laboratory for sustainable research that will manifest the mission of The Exchange in its architecture, landscape, and infrastructure.
The Exchange will convene leaders from a variety of academic institutions, industry partners, and nonprofits to collaborate on climate research and deliver actionable solutions for restoring the health of the planet. For New Yorkers, it will also serve as the city’s main hub for green job training—preparing thousands of people for climate-focused professions every year.
The Exchange will create a compelling new public realm on Governors Island, a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. The project will add 4.5 acres of new outdoor public space, create 230,000 square feet of new buildings, and repurpose another 170,000 square feet of the island’s historic architecture. The new buildings will weave sinuous mass timber pavilions, topped with photovoltaic arrays, through the island’s rolling landscape. Visitors reaching the island by ferry at Yankee Pier will arrive directly to this part of the campus, where the buildings will cascade down from eight to four stories to match the scale of Liggett Hall, a centerpiece of the island’s history. A portion of this former military barracks, a McKim, Mead & White-designed masonry building, will be incorporated into The Exchange.
Together, the old and new buildings will provide research labs, classrooms, exhibits, greenhouses, dormitories, community spaces, and areas designed to foster the exchange of ideas. New York City grew around its harbor, and The Exchange will reclaim this maritime history in a new way. The waterfront will become part of the curriculum as a restored ecosystem, and, with the new buildings, will put science and research on display—enabling New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to learn about the climate solutions being developed here.
The Exchange will accelerate progress toward a sustainable future, and its design is part of that story. The use of mass timber for the new architecture, together with the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, will significantly reduce embodied carbon. The first level of each new building is situated above the floodplain to protect against sea level rise for the next century. The site will become one of the first in the country to achieve True Zero Waste certification, meet 100 percent of its non-potable water demand with rainwater and treated wastewater, and run entirely on electricity generated on-site—even creating surplus energy that will flow back into the power grid. Together, these strategies will help The Exchange reach a milestone in sustainable design: each of its buildings, old and new, is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge standards, a goal that no building in New York City has yet achieved.
Berkeley, California, United States
San Jose, California, United States
Merced, California, United States
Los Angeles, California, United States