Located in Berkeley, CA, the David Brower Center houses a host of non-profit organizations dedicated to the environment and social justice. But the good work going on in the building goes far beyond what the tenants are doing - the entire center was designed to LEED Platinum standards and includes energy efficient systems, renewable energy generation, use of recycled materials, rainwater collection and even an organic gourmet restaurant located on site. Its unique design serves as a model for both sustainable architecture as well as an operations base for community oriented organizations.
Photo © Tim Griffith
The nonprofit David Brower Center is a 50,000 sq ft mixed-use building, designed specifically for non-profit organizations dedicating their efforts to promoting a just and ecologically sustainable society. Built with the intention of housing like-minded organizations, and providing a space to foster their creativity and spirit, the center was also designed to be equally sustainable, meeting LEED Platinum certification. The center was constructed next to Oxford Plaza, an affordable housing development with retail space on the ground floor and adjacent to a public transit center.
The building is being used as an office space for over 30 national and international groups and activists working on everything from sustainability education in schools to healthy river systems, to ecological diversity and the protection of regional agriculture. Event space is available for rentals, as well as for local art and cultural exhibits. An organic restaurant called Gather is also settled in the space and provides organic vegetarian friendly meals for both lunch and dinner.
Lead Image © David Brower Center
Sustainable building strategies are plentiful, and overall the building is expected to use 60-80% less energy than a typical office building of its size. Included in the building’s design is a solar photovoltaic system that doubles as a sun shade, rainwater collection, use of recycled materials, non-toxic and healthy materials, solar passive design, high-efficiency lighting, natural ventilation, CO2 sensors, 100% daylighting for all offices, and more. The center also has a unique web-based dashboard for the public and tenants to monitor various data feeds, like solar power output, energy use, water use, and natural gas use.
The design team for the David Brower Center includes a large group of building experts, including San Francisco-based Daniel Solomon of Solomon ETC-WRT as the principal architect, Loisos and Ubbelohde, Tipping Mar + associates for structural engineering, and Equity Community Builders as the developer.