Historic Bowles Hall Awarded LEED Silver Certification

The eight-story castle-like building underwent a $40 million renovation which, at completion, led to the property's Innovator Award for Best Renovation of Existing University Housing in addition to the LEED certification.

By Anca Gagiuc

The historic residential college on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley recently finalized a $39.5 million renovation. On top of the complete overhaul, which took almost two years to finalize, the property also received LEED Silver certification.

The Bowles Hall Foundation and owner EdR led the historic building renovation that contributed to the property’s Innovator Award for Best Renovation of Existing University Housing along with the LEED Silver certification. The upgrade scored high points for innovation in design and substantial improvements in water use efficiency. Moreover, the renovation had to meet Historic Building Code requirements for life safety and ADA compliance. Bowles Hall performs 20 percent in excess of the California Energy Commission’s Title 24 energy efficiency standards.

Bowles through the years

Bowles Hall Residential College opened in 1929 with 102 male residents. By the mid-1970s, the university abandoned the Hall’s residential college model, including concepts of self-governance and live-in adults, while the admission method changed to lottery. In 1988, Bowles Hall was recognized as a City of Berkeley Landmark building under the jurisdiction of the City’s Landmark Preservation Commission. In 2005, Bowles Hall Alumni Association was formed with the primary objective to restore the Hall to its original purpose as a residential college. Seven years later, the Berkeley Foundation endorsed the Bowles Hall Residential proposal and in March 2014, the UC Board of Regents approved the Bowles Hall Residential College plan. In June 2015 the restoration began and was finalized in August 2016.

“The revitalization of Bowles Hall continues to enrich the lives of students who live and learn there,” John Baker, president of the Bowles Hall Foundation, said in a prepared statement. “This sustainability certification is another drawing card for students interested in pursuing their academic goals as a part of our unique residential college.”

Images courtesy of Bowles Hall


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