David Brower Center Oxford Plaza
Named after the Sierra Club’s first executive director, David Brower, the project includes 96 apartments, public education space, a restaurant, underground parking, and 50,000 square feet of office and educational space for environmental non-profits. A dramatic public rotunda provides daylight and natural ventilation for the various commercial uses. Important energy and water efficient design strategies included in the project are: optimal siting; daylighting; natural ventilation; a high efficiency HVAC system: photovoltaic panels; and solar hot water.
The low energy HVAC systems include raised floor displacement ventilation and in-slab radiant heating and cooling which can be ‘turned down’ at night by pre-cooling with a cooling tower during periods of warmer weather to store cooling for the next day. Several different daylighting strategies are employed on each of the building’s floors to achieve close to a 100% daylit building. The building also has a high performance skin, designed to both optimize usable daylight for lighting the interior, while reducing solar heat gain and the need for heating and cooling. Light shelves, overhangs and other envelope features were incorporated to achieve an optimized shell. Water saving features of the building include waterless urinals (a landmark milestone: the first installation of these for the City of Berkeley); a rainwater catchment system that provides water for flushing toilets and irrigation; and low-flow fixtures used throughout the building.