The David Brower Center in Berkeley, California received the Best New Green Building award from the San Francisco Business Times. This is the third award bestowed upon the project in the last year. In May 2009, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)—a regional planning agency incorporating various local governments surrounding San Francisco—gave the David Brower Center and its companion building, Oxford Plaza, a “Building a Better Bay Area-Urban Design” award. In October the project received a Green Building Super Heroes Award from the US Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC).
The project—for which San Francisco-based WRT l Solomon E.T.C. served as the lead firm and provided architectural and landscape architectural services—was enabled through a combination of funding sources assembled by development advisors Equity Community Builders. The David Brower Center and Oxford Plaza builds upon the inherent richness of downtown Berkeley, with a combination of affordable housing, environmental education, and a venue for art and the arts community. This mixed-use project, named for prominent environmentalist David Brower, houses 97 apartments, space for the arts, a restaurant, underground parking, and 29,000 square feet of office and educational space for environmental non-profits. A proposed USGBC LEED Platinum rating for the project is based on environmental technologies and architectural elements related to daylighting, natural ventilation, photovoltaic power generation, and solar hot water, among other criteria.