University of California Northern Regional Library Facility

Richmond, California

The Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) at UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station is one of two Regional Library Facilities that provide storage and access services for the 10 University of California campus libraries. The expansion of the NRLF addresses the need for additional storage to accommodate new and archival library collections as both facilities were reaching their capacity.

The project adds three million volume-equivalents affordably to the NRLF’s existing storage via 30’ tall shelving and accommodates new related administrative spaces. The design of the 27,700 SF addition is based on function and efficiency while also allowing for flexibility for future expansion. In addition, the building affords natural lighting and views for staff areas and will remain in operation after the largest earthquakes expected in the Bay Area.

For a unique and meaningful touch, the pattern on the exterior siding of the large archive block is a nod to ISBN bar codes of book titles selected by the client, such as “Mountains of California,” “Brief History of the University of California,” and “It’s a Book.”

Due to the energy-intensive nature of the building program with low space temperature and relative humidity setpoint demands, the project emphasizes sustainability. By using efficient mechanical systems, improving insulation and vapor performance, and prioritizing the protection of the surrounding habitat into the design the project achieved LEED Gold certification.


The Regents of the University of California


27,684 SF


Marco Zecchin/Image Center


New Construction