San Francisco raises the bar for green government buildings (with related video)
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) employees begin moving from their previously leased offices into their new energy-efficient headquarters this month. The 277,511-square-foot building near City Hall demonstrates the latest in efficient building technologies and aims to achieve LEED-Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Up to 7 percent of the building’s energy needs are generated onsite by rooftop solar panels and four wind turbines located in a tower on one side. On another side of the building, exterior louvered blinds automatically tilt to block high-intensity sun and open to admit filtered light into workspaces. Inside is an onsite gray-water and black-water treatment system called the Living Machine by Charlottesville, Va.-based Worrell Water Technologies that can treat up to 5,000 gallons of wastewater per day. Additionally, a rainwater harvesting system stores up to 250,000 gallons of water per year for exterior irrigation.
The $190 million building was designed by locally based KMD Architects and Stevens Architects to use 32 percent less energy and 60 percent less water than a typical office building of similar size. Additionally, SFPUC estimates it will exceed the state’s requirements for energy efficiency in new office buildings by 55 percent.
Watch a video below of the kinetic sculpture by Ned Kahn that is installed on the wind turbine tower.