Ratcliff Architecture News

Berkeley City College First in its Class with a LEED�® Silver Rating

Peralta Community College District and the architectural firm RATCLIFF (www.ratcliffarch.com) are pleased to announce that Berkeley City College earned a LEED Silver certification rating from the U.S. Green Building Council last week. Berkeley City College is the first building in the City of Berkeley to achieve LEED Silver status and the first California Community College single-building campus constructed on an urban infill site.

Berkeley City College earned this prestigious honor by its promotion of urban redevelopment and incorporation of various energy-efficient design elements. 

Berkeley City's LEED Silver status is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to eliminating greenhouse gases and building a sustainable future, said Nicky González Yuen, a Peralta Community College District trustee and chair of the Chancellors Advisory Committee on Sustainability.

Berkeley City College is the winner of the Community College Facility Coalitions 2007 Professional Design Award of Merit and the East Bay Business Times 2006 Structures Award. In addition to the life-cycle savings of its energy efficient design, the new building has already earned the District $129,000 in cash incentives from Pacific Gas & Electric Companys Savings by Design program.

RATCLIFFs unique design for the six-story, 165,000-square-foot campus incorporates a wide range of environmentally responsible tenets that benefit the Colleges students and faculty, including:

  • Site Selection and Urban Redevelopment-By locating the building in the dense downtown core of Berkeley, the campus maximizes the use of an existing infrastructure and preserves green space in the Bay Area.
  • Energy Efficiency-The building is over 40 percent more energy efficient than the baseline.
  • Water Efficiency- Berkeley City College is 34 percent more water efficient than a comparable building. 
  • Promote Alternative Transportation-The campus is located within one block of BART and local/regional bus services.
  • Indoor Air Quality-Indoor air contaminants were reduced.
  • Maximize Daylight-Natural light is introduced deep into the six-story building through a glass curtain wall, a full-height central atrium with monumental skylight, and a student lounge glass clerestory.
  • Reduce Light Pollution- Lighting fixtures at the exterior, rooftop, and below the atrium skylight are shielded from contributing to night sky light pollution.
  • Construction Waste Diversion-This project diverted 998 tons (77 percent) of construction waste from landfill.
  • Recycled Content and Local/Regional Materials-Ratcliff selected building materials and finishes with high recycled content.

Headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., RATCLIFF is dedicated to designing sustainable building solutions and teamed with Simon & Associates to achieve Berkeley City Colleges LEED Silver certification. RATCLIFF provides architecture, interior design, and planning services to higher education, healthcare and civic clients throughout the Western United States.

Berkeley City College is part of the Peralta Community College District which serves the communities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont.