Commonwealth Club Headquarters – San Francisco

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects completed the LEED gold certified design of the Commonwealth Club headquarters located in San Francisco, California.

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, open to all for the impartial discussion of public issues ranging across politics, culture, the environment and the economy. Over 450 forums are presented annually at the Club and heard across the nation through their weekly radio broadcast, the oldest in the United States, dating back to 1924.

The Commonwealth Club’s new headquarters is located at 110 Embarcadero, on the San Francisco waterfront, in an historic two story structure built in 1910 that served as the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Union Hall and was the site of the 1934 labor strike (Bloody Thursday). The historic façade has been preserved, the building has been completely renovated and a new floor added to accommodate the program requirements of the Club. The new headquarters includes two auditoriums, meeting rooms, library, gallery, boardroom, roof terrace, catering facilities, workspace for staff and volunteers, as well as a state-of-the-art audio/broadcast system and high-tech communications platform.

The building is designed and constructed for optimum energy efficiency, targeting USGBC LEED gold certification, to support the Commonwealth Club’s  commitment to environmental stewardship.

Sustainable strategies include:
● Transit based​: The Club’s central location is served by all local and regional public transit modes
● Recycling of Resources:​ The landmark building, abandoned for ten years, has been seismically
upgraded and the historic resource preserved and rehabilitated. The original Douglas Fir floor
joists and beams were carefully removed for the construction of the additional floor and
repurposed throughout the building as acoustical wood paneling and casework.
● Energy efficiency​: Key components include high-performance glazing, external solar shading,
high-performance envelope, natural ventilation to reduce fan and cooling energy, displacement
ventilation, and high-performance lighting.
● Healthy Indoor Air Quality​: Systems and materials were selected to promote healthy indoor air
quality including natural ventilation, low/no VOC materials, paints and finishes, and IAQ
program during construction and project commissioning.
● Water efficiency​: Reduced flow fixtures throughout , high efficiency irrigation at the roof
garden, and building systems results in a 30% reduction in water use.
● Regional/Recycled Building Materials​: In addition to the reuse of the existing historic wood
joists and beams in the interior, the design team selected materials with high recycle content,
such as recycled cotton insulation, rapidly renewable materials, such as bamboo casework, and
locally sourced regional materials.

ArchitectLeddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Project Team: Marsha Maytum, FAIA, Gregg Novicoff, AIA
Contractor: Oliver & Company
Photography: Bruce Damonte