The University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco-based developer SKS Partners are planning to build a 36-acre "green" research campus at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. The estimated $2-billion hub, called the Berkeley Space Center, is intended as a place where faculty and students can collaborate with NASA personnel and private tech companies.

The development still lacks federal and state environmental approvals. A spokesperson for the developers says they have not yet hired a contractor and do not know when they will call for bids. If construction does begin as planned in 2026, UC Berkeley expects to have some of the buildings completed in 2027.

HOK and Field Operations are master planners for the project, which would include about 1.4 million sq ft of offices, laboratory, research and development and academic space; student and faculty residences; and a conference center, according to UC Berkeley. HOK is ranked No. 44 on ENR’s 2023 Top 500 Design Firms

The campus is designed to incorporate solar power, diversion of most waste, retention, treatment and recycling of stormwater and phytoremediation—a tactic for cleaning contaminated sites by using plants that can break down harmful chemicals in the ground or aquifer. 

The team “aspires to establish new standards for how buildings are designed, constructed and operated to minimize the carbon impact,” says Dan Kingsley, co-founder and managing partner of SKS, in a statement.

Ames Research Center is located at Moffett Field, a former naval air station in Silicon Valley. Its facilities include supercomputers, the world’s largest wind tunnel and a plasma wind tunnel used for testing atmospheric reentry and thermal protection systems for spacecraft and satellites. The site also is home to NASA Research Park, where various tech companies have offices, including Google’s Bay View Campus. Carnegie Mellon University also has its Silicon Valley campus at Ames.