Seismic Safety & Modernization Project/ Welcome Center

The Seismic Safety and Modernization (SSM) project seeks to create safer conditions for Berkeley Lab’s staff and visitors by demolishing the currently existing, seismically deficient, Cafeteria (Bldg. 54) and replacing it with a new 46,500-square-foot Welcome Center Building in the same location. The second floor of Lab’s on-site firehouse (Bldg. 48) would also be seismically upgraded as part of this project.

The Welcome Center Building would house the Campus Central Cafeteria, Health Services Department, Human Resources Department, Badging Office, and a 250-seat Conference Center. The existing Cafeteria bus stop and parking lot, a key transit area, would be reconfigured to improve efficiency and create safer conditions for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The project would provide campus users with a seismically compliant, user-friendly, new “social heart” to the Berkeley Lab campus; it would also serve as a safe location for “shelter-in-place” emergencies. The building’s (LEED™) Gold certification design would promote safe entry and accessibility, optimize energy conservation with respect to prevailing sun and wind patterns, and minimize excavation and site modification. The building would take maximum advantage of the extraordinary, sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay.

Project demolition and construction is expected to begin in July 2021 and be completed by June 2024. Please find links below to project documentation pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documentation will be added to this page when it becomes available in late August. Please send any questions to


SSM Environmental Analysis and Checklist.pdf

Date Issued: 9/1/20

Document Title: SSM Environmental Analysis and Checklist

CEQA Findings for SSM Welcome Center Building Project.pdf

Date Issued: 9/1/20

Document Title: CEQA Findings for SSM Welcome Center Building Project

SSM NEPA Categorical Exclusion.pdf

Date Issued: 6/25/19

Document Title: SSM NEPA Categorical Exclusion