The historical project of revitalizing Piedmont Avenue was a remarkable journey into the past. Piedmont Avenue’s original design was the work of the visionary Frederick Olmstead in 1864. This historic thoroughfare stretches through Piedmont, Oakland, Berkely, and beyond.
From the beginning, Bellecci made its mission clear in preserving the essence of Olmstead’s original design. However, navigating the intricate landscape of sloping surfaces, obstructing power poles, and dissipated curbs posed difficulties, especially as it pertained to ADA compliancy.
Collaborating closely with the city, we presented six different design options. Among them, one stood out—an innovative approach featuring amphitheater-style stairs that harmoniously integrated with the existing historic wall, which needed to remain. The wall’s height remained unchanged, allowing the sidewalk level to remain at its high level. Additionally, we incorporated dedicated bike lanes and scooter parking, catering to the ever-evolving landscape of transportation preferences.
To further expand on our mission of perseverance, Bellecci carefully recreated Olmstead’s original radius, adding multi-modal improvements and providing the space to accommodate the modernizations of their students. All while incorporating illuminating pedestrian pathway lights and beautifully crafted granite caps for functionality and allure.
Addressing the infrastructure needs, we embarked on the installation of a vital sanitary sewer line. The stadium’s basement, extending deep underground to its locker rooms, necessitated a carefully engineered connection. This new sewer line required specialized piping and meticulous backfilling, ultimately connecting to the Bancroft Way sewer line. Securing the permit for this connection was a momentous achievement, eliminating the need for an extensive pipeline reaching all the way to the campus—a solution that would have overwhelmed the existing infrastructure.
This project was a testament to the harmony between heritage preservation and modernization. Incorporating modern amenities into this historical roadway manifests both timeless design and accessibility for all.
The California Memorial Stadium is a renowned fixture on the UC Berkeley campus. The athletic stadium underwent a massive, multi-faceted $400 million renovation. This planning and design venture required years of joint effort from the designers and the university to meet the challenges presented by this major seismic design and historic upgrade as the Stadium is located directly on the Hayward Fault Line. The project also features the Student-Athlete High Performance Center (SAHPC), which is built three-stories below ground.
The iconic Memorial Stadium’s structural design features independent stadium segments which allow each part of the stadium to move independently during an earthquake. Despite replacing the majority of the stadium, the project preserved the original oval shape (reminiscent of a Roman Coliseum) and restored the historic exterior façade.
With 60,000 seats, the stadium houses extensive amenity spaces for athletes and fans, including a 350-foot long press box. The two-story press box and club levels offer splendid views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate.
The innovative Simpson Center that houses thirteen university teams, blends seamlessly into the hillside with a public plaza atop, that frees up space within the stadium. The project prioritized sustainability, which speaks directly to the core values of Bellecci. Of the total construction debris, 99% was ultimately recycled and the project included the replanting of 134 trees. New bleachers were installed, made from recyclable aluminum.
Bellecci is proud to have been the project civil engineers for utilities, demolition, street improvements, site improvements, and hydrology/hydraulics for this amazing project to ensure a seismically safe, state-of-the-art experience for athletes, students, and fans alike. Bellecci served on the project team for four years and was instrumental member of the design team during both design and construction phase of the project.
This major utility project facilitated the construction of Chou Hall, a beautiful, six-story building at the heart of the Berkeley Haas Business School campus. As a donor project, the biggest issue we faced was the tight deadline provided. With only a few months to design and complete this utility relocation project to ensure the on-time construction of the new six-story building, Bellecci was faced with the difficult task of meeting client expectations within a short period of time.
Bellecci’s task was to provide design for the relocation of major campus utilities, which were directly in conflict with the new campus building. To start with, a small historic house was originally located on the site where Chou Hall was built, which was being used as a daycare center. Because of its historic nature, the house had to be moved and preserved elsewhere to provide space for this project to commence.
The site, however, had other complexities. Strawberry Creek, a stream that carries water from the surrounding areas, runs directly through it. In the past, the creek flowed underneath the parking lot and the California Memorial Stadium. However, we quickly realized the flow of the creek needed to be adjusted and to clear the underground area for the new education building, including underground space and foundations.
To make way, we designed the rerouting of two major storm drainpipes that emptied into the creek. These pipes were known by their nicknames, “big inch,” and “little inch,” after the historic pipelines laid in WWII. Redirecting both pipes involved careful planning, and even a hydraulic jump for big inch. However, Bellecci’s efforts were successful in redirecting all components to maintain the natural flow of the creek, even during construction with no soil and silt contamination of the creek water.
Campus steam and condensate lines and campus water mains were also relocated as part of the five-million-dollar project. Bellecci designed 400 feet of new steam and condensate lines, with four new steam vaults to meet the campus steam system standards.
Overall, Bellecci’s role extended beyond just utility relocations. We worked closely with the architect to determine the correct pipe sizes for the building, to ensure efficient operations and resource allocation. The combination of design and functionality was essential to our approach.
The success of this project was a testament to our dedication to excellence. Despite all challenges, we were able to successfully design and execute all relocations before the deadline, clearing the way for construction to commence.
We have the privilege of working on a groundbreaking project in collaboration with UC Berkeley, and P2S Inc. The primary objective is the development of Switching Station 8 (SS8), which includes a nine -thousand-foot electrical duct bank that will connect the Old Art Gallery at the center of the campus to Grizzly Peak at the top of the hill. This is an innovative initiative that will require an immense amount of coordination and attention to detail.
Our role in this project is vital, as we will be responsible for navigating the complex network of utilities and underground infrastructure on the UC Berkely campus. With our extensive knowledge of the campus utilities and our expertise in joint trenching, we will support P2S Inc. in sorting out cable sizes, power supplies, and loads, and balancing them from Switching Station 1 and Switching Station 2.
The installation of twenty-five vaults, each measuring twelve by ten feet, is expected to be one of the major challenges of this project. For nearly two miles, we will place these vaults at four-hundred-feet intervals; and finding suitable locations for them without causing obstructions will be a daunting task. We are confident, however, that our experience, careful planning, and design will enable us to install the vaults seamlessly, without disrupting the natural beauty of the campus.
We are immensely proud of our contribution to this project, and we believe it will have a transformative impact on the UC Berkeley Campus. It was a true collaboration between our company, UC Berkeley, P2S Inc., and other partners, and we are honored to have been a part of such an important initiative. We are dedicated to ensuring 100% completion of the plans by Summer 2023, ensuring the project has the time to raise funds and continue its development.
At Bellecci, we took on a remarkable endeavor to meet the ambitious objectives set by UC Berkeley East Campus, guaranteeing a seamless integration of the new six-story Haas Business School building Addition. Our commitment to delivering exceptional results and our track record in utility undergrounding and relocation projects made us the trusted choice for UC Berkeley’s East Campus utility improvements.
With precision and expertise, we tackled the challenge of relocating existing utilities to accommodate the new building footprint. This required careful planning and coordination to maintain uninterrupted services while ensuring the safety and functionality of the infrastructure. Our one-of-a-kind design solution comprised constructing a personalized, extensive intersection structure encircling the existing culvert and the complex redirection of water pipelines. By diverting water around critical areas, we paved the way for the construction of the building and preserved the integrity of the natural environment.
Throughout the project, we encountered unexpected challenges that tested our problem-solving abilities. We expertly handled the challenges of managing traffic flow, accommodating fire access, and ensuring pedestrian access points and safety. Our team’s ability to adapt and strategically pivot allowed us to overcome hurdles and deliver exceptional outcomes.
The UC Berkeley East Campus utility improvements project stands as a testament to our dedication to excellence and our ability to deliver transformative solutions even in complex situations. With a focus on efficiency, safety, and sustainability, we are proud to have contributed to the growth and development of this prestigious institution.