The Bloom Berkeley development was originally conceived in the early 2000’s as a flagship project for Green Building in the City of Berkeley. Due to the recession in the mid 2000’s, the project’s original owner decided to shelve it and ultimately sell the property. The project has been revived by Time Space Group, who have honored the commitment to provide the Greenpoint-rated building originally proposed to the City.
What does this mean? Green Building encompasses many aspects of construction. From the initial project design to the selection of finishes and materials, the natural and urban environments are strongly considered. These combine to create exceptional living spaces while minimizing environmental impact.
Bloom Berkeley, when complete, replaces old paving with landscaped space while also using space efficiently. Inside the building’s footprint there will be 39 homes, two live/work spaces, and one commercial space. The project is located near a major transit line, several retailers including a major grocery store and pharmacy, restaurants, and a large park with pedestrian pathways for recreation. To encourage use of other modes of transportation, each home is given one parking space inside the building, as well as a secured bike storage space. Additionally, the presence of on-site parking for residents will help to keep on-street public parking available in the area.
Bloom Berkeley is designed to limit environmental impact. The building is partially constructed with recycled materials and uses engineered lumber and hardwood flooring to reduce the amount of new materials and wood used in construction. Durable flooring, roofing and exterior wall materials reduce maintenance cost and future material usage. Rainwater is used to irrigate the landscape in the rear of the building, while also being filtered through a flow-through planter system that moderates the building’s impact on the local storm drain system during heavy rainfall. The landscape is designed with drought resistant plants and non-invasive species. The homes and the landscape irrigation system have individual water submeters, which encourages water conservation.
Green Building is also about creating a comfortable and efficient interior environment. The homes are well-insulated and outperform Title 24 baseline requirements for energy efficiency. They also feature “whole-house” ventilation, radiant floor heating using closed combustion water boilers, quiet, efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures that help conserve water. Water-resistant materials are used in the bathrooms to prevent maintenance problems and mold. Low-emission materials are used for insulation and flooring to reduce material outgassing. The garage is vented to take exhaust emissions away from living spaces.
So, while it is no longer considered a “flagship” project for Green Building in the City of Berkeley, Bloom Berkeley is a well-designed building with comfortable living spaces that will not only enhance the local area but also deliver the Greenpoint-rated building originally promised to the City of Berkeley by its original project owner.