SFPUC Headquarters earns LEED Platinum certification
The 13-story, 278,000-square-foot headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, a half block away from San Francisco City Hall, offers Class A office space for roughly 900 workers. SFPUC provides water and waste services to San Francisco, wholesale water to three bay area counties, and hydroelectric and solar power to San Francisco’s municipal departments. It's estimated the super-efficient building will dole out $3.7 billion in ratepayer savings (or $500 million in 2011 dollars) over a 100-year lifespan.
Delayed and nearly derailed several times, the SFPUC Headquarters project took over a decade from conception to completion. The City of San Francisco acquired the site 12 years ago, when it contained a vacant state office building damaged by the Bay Area's 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The intention was to build a new tower for several city departments. But in 2002, with design development well underway, the dot-com bust stalled progress, according to Architectural Record.
In 2006, SFPUC resuscitated the project, which was then targeting a LEED Silver rating. Before construction got underway, the project was almost halted again when solicited estimates came in several million dollars over budget. That led to what Architectural Record describes as a "rigorous value-engineering exercise."
Project partners include Webcor Builders, KMD Architects, Stevens + Associates, Thornton Tomasetti, Antonia Bava Landscape Architects, Tipping Mar, Tom Eliot Fisch, Jensen Landscape, S J Engineers and http://www.arup.comArup. It was the second certified LEED Platinum project announced in the past week for Webcor (the other was at the U.S. Marine Corps Emergency Services Fire Station in Camp Pendleton, CA).
How did the project earn the U.S. Green Building Council's highest rating for new construction? Following is an executive summary of project highlights:
- Consumes 60 percent less water than other buildings its size.
- Building-integrated “living machine” reclaims and treats all of the wastewater to satisfy 100 percent of water for lavatory units; and treats 5,000 gallons of wastewater per day, reducing per-person water consumption to five gallons.
- A 25,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system provides water for irrigation uses around the building.
- Consumes 32% less energy than similarly sized office buildings.
- Renewable energy including façade-integrated wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels generate 227,000 kilowatt hours per year – up to 7% of the building’s energy.
- Raised flooring system incorporates the building’s data and ventilation infrastructure and reduces HVAC energy costs by 51%.
- Maximized daylight harvesting and controllable shading devices.
- Individual air comfort controls at workstations; lighting and work station equipment automatically shut off after hours.