Uber World Headquarters San Francisco – Merit Award

UBER Exterior JasonORear

The Uber World Headquarters in San Francisco, their first ground-up buildings, are designed to encourage vibrant life on the streets of San Francisco and provide a workplace and amenities filled with natural air and light. In addition to supporting responsible development by locating it in the city near public transportation, the project’s key goal is to bring this developing area in step with the successful, human-scaled environments for which San Francisco is so famous. The 453,000 square foot project includes an eleven-story tower at 1455 Third Street and a six-story structure at 1515 Third Street, each with active facades that are part of a comprehensive approach to sustainability.

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The innovative facade with beautiful proportions pushes the boundaries. The varied section, with a stack of collective open spaces between the facade and the work zones, is dynamic and the materiality of the project reinforces the expression of an elegant and contemporary office building that positively impacts the cityscape.

Noteworthy performance features include:

1. LEED Gold Certified

2. Computer controlled natural ventilation system

//framework for design excellence measures
Measure 1: Design for Integration
Taking advantage of San Francisco’s temperate climate, the sustainability features of the Uber buildings center on their innovative “breathing” façades—a computer-controlled system of operable windows that greatly reduce the need for mechanical ventilation. The full-building-height indoor/outdoor spaces of the Commons serve as a buffer between the unconditioned exterior and the conditioned interior office environment. That feature is an integral part of a whole-building environmental strategy that also includes on-site water collection and solar harvesting, with green space both on the roof and in the public park at ground level.
Measure 2: Design for Equitable Communities
Measure 3: Design for Ecosystems
Measure 4: Design for Water
Measure 5: Design for Economy
While this building was designed pre-pandemic, it capitlaizes on many post-pandemic princiapls relating to flexibility of space and value. Spaces that are variable in size, scale, and task orientation link the Commons atrium to the genereal working space, and a large, engaging auditorium has the technology to adapt to everything from interactive trainings, to guest lectures, to reception space.
Measure 6: Design for Energy
Measure 7: Design for Well-Being
By nature, the mechanically-operated double-façade acts as a vehicle for natural ventilation for the large atrium common-spaces within. Construction was completed in 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fresh air became even more important as a strategy for user safety and well-being.
Measure 8: Design for Resources
Measure 9: Design for Change
In response to current fire season smoke pressures and their anticipated increase over the lifespan of the buildings, the BMU overrides the automated “breathing” facade action in the event of poor air quality conditions.
Measure 10: Design for Discovery
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