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DCD Design Cost Data

Beneficial State Bank Headquarters

Gelfand Partners Architects

Posted: January 27, 2021 | Projects

Beneficial State Bank aspires to finance community-based businesses, build the long-term prosperity of responsible consumers, and support companies that have a commitment to the environment. For their new headquarters in Oakland, California, the bank commissioned Gelfand Partners Architects to remodel an office suite in an existing downtown building, with the goal of realizing the bank’s mission of community enrichment and sustainable practice.

Photo Courtesy of Rien Van Rijthoven

The 6,680-square-foot project was driven – from concept to completion – by the bank’s idealism and pragmatism. It advances their goal of achieving permanent sustainability while being a working model of how that can be done – beautifully.

To meet this goal, the project took as objectives the standards of the Living Building Challenge – the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. To meet this challenge, the office was designed as a Net Zero operation. Major energy savings were realized through efficient lighting and daylighting design, as well as an underfloor HVAC system. In looking at the California 2030 goals of zero net energy for all new commercial buildings, the bank is doing its part right now and, in addition, providing a road map for others to follow in the future.

Design focused on overall health and wellness. The circulation, daylighting, and furniture reinforce a public-to-private spectrum. At an open collaborative station or in any acoustically private office, all stations and bank rooms offer individual comfort control, sit/stand desks, task lighting, and floor air vents.

Addressing the client’s desire to host a variety of meetings and community events, the architects used a sequence of movable walls to allow for multiple meeting room configurations, ranging from intimate to expansive spaces.

The old HVAC system was a typical overhead system that was noisy and intrusive. To achieve a more comfortable office environment the design team replaced the existing system with a 100% outdoor air ventilation system with under-floor air distribution. Dedicated outdoor air systems bring in only the required amount of air for ventilation, saving energy on heating or cooling larger volumes of air.

Removing overhead ducting maximized room height and allowed use of a floating wood ceiling that is not only beautiful, but allows energy transfer with the thermal mass of the slab above.

In compliance with the Living Building Challenge’s “Red List,” none of the specified materials contain any of the worst class materials that pollute the environment or bio-accumulate up the food chain. And, as a direct reflection of the bank’s larger mission to expand economic opportunity to underserved communities, locally manufactured goods were utilized whenever possible, such as salvaged Pacific Bigleaf Maple tables. Strict waste management and use of locally salvaged materials reduces the overall carbon footprint.

Both Gelfand Partners Architects and Beneficial State Bank are B Corporations, for-profit companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. These standards were translated in every aspect of the design for the bank, making the final product a reflection of both teams’ dedication to the mission of building something beautiful and enriching for the community for many years to come.


Entrances & Storefronts: Commercial Glass & Aluminum
Flooring: Tandus
Lighting: Peerless, Mark Lighting
*All materials are Red List Compliant

Gelfand Partners Architects
165 10th Street, #100
San Francisco, CA 94103

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Integral Group
427 12th Street
Oakland, CA 94612

General Contractor
GCI General Contractor
875 Battery Street, Fl 1
San Francisco, CA 94111

Consultant & Project Manager
Studio Perez
2325 3rd Street, #322
San Francisco, CA 94107

Location: Oakland, California
Date Bid: Sep 2015
Construction Period: Sep 2015 to Dec 2016          
Total Square Feet: 6,680
Site: N/A
Number of Buildings: One, 3rd floor tenant improvement. 
Building Sizes: Third floor, 6,680; total, 6,680 square feet.  
Building Height: Third floor, 11′8″; total, 11′8″.  
Basic Construction Type: Tenant Improvement
Foundation: N/A 
Exterior Walls: N/A
Roof: N/A 
Floors: Raised floor system. 
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall, aluminum storefronts.
KBTU/SF/yr: 24

Click here to view the full cost details for this project in the January/February 2021 issue of DCD