Berkeley Public Library’s West Branch Wins Two More Awards

October 15, 2015

Contact: Sarah Dentan
Acting Director, Library Services
Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley Public Library’s West Branch Wins Two More Awards

Berkeley CA. October 15, 2015—Berkeley Public Library is proud to announce that the Library's West Branch is in the news again—this time for winning two awards, one for design and the other for lighting. On Thursday, October 1, 2015, the West Branch Library was honored by the American Institute of Architects East Bay Annual Design Awards. Out of 72 projects that were submitted and out of only 35 projects that submitted energy/ performance and sustainability criteria, West Branch Library scored the highest in sustainability. It also won an AIA EB Citation Design Award. Gerald Lee AIA of HMC Architects said, “I am proud to be associated with the project and everyone here who worked so hard on this project. He finished with, “I think this a great achievement for the City and Library.”

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) also put the spotlight on the West Branch by honoring the branch with its IES Illumination Awards that provide a unique opportunity for public recognition of professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. Max Pierson of Minuscule Lighting Design received the Energy and Environmental Illumination Award, sponsored by OSRAM SYLVANIA to recognize outstanding lighting design.

The bar was set high for the designer, as the Library required an approachable, quasi-residential feel for the library with a minimal lighting footprint to reduce energy use. The design strategy called for high-quality task lighting supplemented by smaller amounts of indirect lighting to manage contrast ratios. Indirect lighting was provided by wall-mounted fixtures that bounce light into the space off the wall, marrying a high-efficiency source with a comfortable diffused appearance. In addition, stack-mounted LED lighting met the demanding IES criteria for library stacks. Finally, controls—including occupancy and daylight sensors, as well as task tuning—proved to have more impact on energy usage than the fixtures themselves. To ease the operational burden on staff, a simple relay panel with onboard dimming was installed.

The Berkeley Public Library’s West Branch has won many other awards for design and sustainability. It is the first Zero Net Energy (ZNE) public library in California and the second ZNE public library in the USA. It is also the second ZNE municipal building in California and the third ZNE municipal building in the USA.

The West Branch is located at 1125 University Avenue, and is open: Monday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm; Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00 am-8:00 pm; Thursday 12 noon -8:00 pm; and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm. For more information about this program, call 510-981-6270.