West Branch of the Berkeley Public Library
Achieving zero net energy status helped this library become the first certified Living Building Challenge public library in California.
As part of a bond program to renew its four public branch libraries, the City of Berkeley sought to update its undersized West Branch Library and to enhance its role as a community hub for its culturally diverse neighborhood.
The first design challenge was to build consensus on whether to expand and upgrade or replace the existing library building. After extensive assessments and a series of architect-led community workshops, the city embraced the creation of a new library, with a strong civic presence to draw in the neighborhood’s diverse populations.
To achieve zero net energy status, the design team minimized the building’s energy footprint through integrated passive and active strategies for a high performance building envelope, daylighting and natural ventilation. Despite the limited budget of the public bid project, the design team achieved zero net energy performance, with spacious, daylit interiors, building the first certified Living Building Challenge public library in California. The Library was LEED Platinum certified in 2016.
For more, visit aiatopten.org.