Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical Health

Strong relationships, close coordination keeps sustainable project on schedule

In an environment designed to encourage collaboration, the LEED Gold-certified Li Ka-Shing Center for Biomedical Health at Berkeley provides students and faculty with a vital hub for multidisciplinary research. The Li Ka-Shing facility boasts:

  • Wet and dry laboratories
  • Research support space
  • Faculty offices
  • Office and building support
  • New classrooms
  • Flexible and expandable spaces

Harris & Associates construction management team delivered staff augmentation services, providing recommendations to assigned project manager.

Located on the western edge of campus, the five-story structure incorporates sustainable features throughout. The auditorium features a green roof with vegetation that attracts pollinators, and the building's reclaimed-wood paneling was harvested from a local demolished warehouse.

Fire water testing during construction could have disrupted vehicular and pedestrian traffic and storm drains, but the Harris team quickly reviewed the contractor's initial test plan, performed a field walk with the University EH&S representative and developed a detailed work plan, which the city public works department approved.

Moreover, the main entrance to campus had to be closed during construction. What could have been a hassle became harmless, however, as the Harris project team helped established the appropriate limits of site fencing and ensured public safety.

Expert coordination between the University, capital project staff, the campus fire marshal and agents overseeing lab commissioning and certification kept this hub’s opening on schedule. And in the process, Harris' holistic and measured approach reduced impact on businesses, pedestrians and vehicular traffic while satisfying stakeholders across the board.

Core Elements

  • Satisfaction of all BSL-3 lab certification requirements prior to the scheduled one-day certification test date
  • Construction of a temporary filter to prevent smoke from affecting the adjacent building and classroom during welding
  • Low-emitting office carpeting and rubber lab floors to reduce air contaminants throughout the facility

Beyond the Blueprints

The University and Harris knew the importance of completing the project in time for a speaking engagement by Mr. Li, for whom the building is named. The Harris team's strong relationships with Physical Plant-Customer Service (PP-CS) Customer Service and trades staff expedited necessary shutdowns and greatly contributed to maintaining the project schedule.

For example, during the close-out of the Life Safety Corrections, challenges to securing the chiller room arose. But Harris’ extensive experience and well-developed relationships with PP-CS staff enabled a change of door locks within two days, a task that typically takes two or more weeks.

When Mr. Li arrived, the project—including the building that bears his name—had been completed.

Meet the Team

Jules Feher

Jules Feher

Senior Project Manager / Program + Construction Management


University of California, Berkeley


Berkeley, CA


Higher Education


Construction Management