The North Academic Building will increase the Haas School’s space by a third and allow for, among other growth, possible expansion of the full-time MBA cohort size from 60 to 70 or even 75, strengthening Berkeley-Haas’ financial model and its partnerships with employers.
Leading Through Innovation Award 2014

Haas Fast-Forward

Learning and community are the hallmarks of Berkeley Haas’ new North Academic Building

By Amy Marcott

Construction has begun on Berkeley Haas’ state-of-the-art learning laboratory that will be devoted entirely to students’ education and interaction. It is slated to be ready for students by Fall 2016.

The six-story, 80,000-square-foot North Academic Building will increase the Haas School’s area by a third—adding 858 classroom seats—and offer the spaces business students need to thrive: flexible as well as tiered classrooms, group study rooms, a sixth-floor event space, and a technology infrastructure to allow for digital education, live streaming, and video conferencing.

Classroom and digital learning will harmonize to foster community and provide a world-class education. “The goal of the new facility is to create the best, most up-to-date learning experience for our students,” says Dean Rich Lyons. “That’s why our North Academic Building will offer different styles and sizes of classrooms and study rooms.”

The building will be truly student-centered—no administrative offices will be housed there—and the space is much needed. Enrollment at the school has nearly doubled over the past 20 years to 2,200+ undergraduate and graduate business students in six degree programs.

The construction site in March. The building is slated to be ready for students in Fall 2016.

The construction site in March. The building is slated to be ready for students in Fall 2016.

Designed by Perkins+Will, the North Academic Building will create a quad around the Robert G. O’Donnell Courtyard and complement the three existing Berkeley Haas buildings. “The North Academic Building is designed to encourage community, both within Haas and within the greater community that surrounds us,” says Lyons. “Overlooking the San Francisco Bay Area from our magnificent event space will give you a sense of the innovation ecosystem of which Haas is a part.”

The $60 million structure will be funded with private donations, with alumni playing a key role. Ned Spieker, BS 66, managing partner of the private real estate firm Spieker Partners, was the school’s lead partner for developing the vision for this building. The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund; Robert G. O’Donnell, BS 65, MBA 66, retired senior VP and director of Capital Research and Management Company; and the late Barclay Simpson, BS 43, founder of Simpson Manufacturing Co., among others, have also contributed significant gifts to the campaign.

Mindful of environmental stewardship, the North Academic Building has been designed to target certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status. Digital displays of real-time energy data will provide accountability and allow for user feedback.

The building will prepare Berkeley Haas for the future so that the community can continue to redefine how we do business. “Over the past 20 years, our school has experienced a spike in visibility and rankings, alumni engagement and giving, and employer engagement,” says Lyons. “This will help ensure we continue on this trajectory.”

Learn more: haas.berkeley.edu/NewBuilding

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The North Academic Building will increase the Haas School’s space by a third and allow for, among other growth, possible expansion of the full-time MBA cohort size from 60 to 70 or even 75, strengthening Berkeley Haas’ financial model and its partnerships with employers.