Lawrence Berkeley National FLEXLAB

Location: Berkeley
Contract Amount: $1,931,849.00
General Contractor: C. Overaa & Company

Project Description: The FLEXLAB (Facility for Low Energy Experiments in Building) is the first of its kind rotating building that tracks the sun from southeast to northeast by rotating 270 degrees. The “Lazy Susan” is a 1,610 square foot turntable with a building mounted upon it that houses three single story, 40 x 30 foot sheds and an extension for mechanical and electrical closets. An adjacent building contains two “living labs”, a 3,274 square foot room for plug-load and lighting tests, and a “smart” room for exploring virtual design and construction.   The stand-alone test beds are completely changeable depending upon the needs of the experiments. The cladding, materials, windows, sunscreens, lighting, HVAC, and even the floors and ceilings can be modified to meet the needs of the experiment. 

The biggest challenge was determining how to install the cables feeding a building that was turning 270 degrees during the day, and then returning to its original position. The building has no axle or spindle, no utility chase. It was crucial to install a cable system that would not bind when the table returned to its original position.

Since a project like this had never been built before, Del Monte Electric had to work closely with the general contractor, owner, and the design team in order to determine the best method of installation for the turntable wiring and the numerous sensors to ensure that the buildings would function as intended.

Project Completed: April 2014