First Ever Installation of BioBasedTiles® at Dropbox in San Francisco, CA

First Ever Installation of BioBasedTiles® at Dropbox in San Francisco, CA

Unique Outdoor Paving

The Brannans is a collection of buildings totalling 480,000 square feet of mixed-use space over four buildings. Prominently located in the heart of SoMa (San Francisco’s technology hub), they are just minutes away from South Park, an urban outdoor community space.

At 333 Brannan, William McDonough + Partners installed the BioBasedTiles® (previously: BioLith®) by Biomason® as paving in the exterior courtyard of cloud storage and file-syncing company Dropbox, which fully leases the building.

The BioBasedTiles® are the first ever bio-based tile that grows with the help of bacteria. They are produced in a lab in a process similar to how coral reefs grow, each paver formed in a mould where sand is mixed with nutrient-rich liquids. This is your solution to lower your carbon footprint: the Biocement® in the product has 95% less CO₂ emission than traditional cement, yet it’s 3x stronger and 20x lighter than concrete block.

This is the first commercial application of the patented process by Biomason® in America and founders Ginger and Michael Dosier packed and personally drove the order from their headquarters in Durham, NC to San Francisco, CA.

San Francisco, California, USA
Swinerton Builders
Pepper Honed
Sustainability Credentials

LEED® Platinum

CO₂ saved
740.13 kg


Waste upcycled with this project 15.816 kg
Sustainable Building Materials: BioCement BioBasedTiles®Salt & Pepper - StoneCycling® X Biomason®

Historic character. Modern design.

William McDonough + Partners is an architecture and principles-driven design firm with offices in Charlottesville, Virginia, and San Francisco. The firm brings to each project foundational principles: a diverse, safe, healthy and just world—with clean air, soil, water and power—economically, equitably, and ecologically.

With their concept of 333 Brannan, inspired by Cradle to Cradle Design™, they aimed to be resource effective to support human and ecological health and to respect the South of Market historic district character.

Sustainable Building Materials: BioCement BioBasedTiles® Salt - StoneCycling® X Biomason®

LEED Platinum Certified

333 Brannan features six stories of large, highly flexible, open-office floors configured around a central court. There is retail on the ground floor, and a garden on the roof of the building.

The design allows for ample natural light into the office areas and for passive ventilation through closely spaced operable exterior windows with 100% outside air capability. Other unique features include onsite power generation and a rainwater reclamation system, which is expected to reduce energy usage by approximately 26% and water usage by 45% compared to a typical building of its size.

The exterior of the building combines brick, high-performance glazing, metal sunshades and exposed concrete which is in visual harmony with the surrounding historically industrial neighbourhood.

The project was completed in 2015 and in 2016, 333 Brannan St became Core & Shell LEED Platinum Certified by the United States Green Building Council, their highest rating.