Intersection of Art and Ecology, LEED Platinum David Brower Center

| Publication: Jetson Green

Named for the father of the modern environmental movement, the David Brower Center reflects its namesake’s commitment to the environment.  The center is expected to receive LEED Platinum certification and hopes to bring together people committed to environmental and social action under one roof.  The 24,000 square feet of office space will house a number of nonprofits, including the Earth Island Institute, which was founded by Brower in 1982.  In addition, ground level retail space will have a public gallery, a state of the art theater, and an organic restaurant with locally sourced California cuisine.

The building was designed to foster community and collaboration and be ecologically sound.  The Brower Center will provide educational programming, lectures, events, and exhibits.  Centrally located in Berkley, tenants can take public transportation or bike commute because of available bicycle parking and showers.  A car-share program is also located in the underground garage.  Other environmental features include:

Photovoltaics on the roof provide shade and solar energy;

53% of the materials used in construction were recycled;

High fly-ash content concrete used in foundation walls;

Gray water system uses runoff water for toilet flushing and irrigation;

Efficient radiant heating and cooling within concrete structural slabs;

Solar shading on all south facing windows;

100% daylighting in all office areas; and

Non-toxic carpet and finishes throughout.

The David Brower Center was designed to be 40% more energy efficient than a similar, traditionally constructed building, but the most fascinating feature is the proposed Interactive Building Dashboard. This will allow tenants and visitors to monitor the building’s current energy consumption.  It uses patterns over time and compares those results with other monitored buildings.

The David Brower Center is located at 2150 Allston Way, at the corner of Oxford Street.  It is walking distance from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.  The cutting-edge building will be open to the public on Sunday, May 10, from 11 – 7:30 pm.

Update 5-6-09: Anneli Rufus, co-author of The Scavengers’ Manifesto, was able to get an insider’s perspective of both the interior and exterior of the David Brower Center.  Check it out.

(original article)