The new 277,000-square-foot San Francisco Public Utilities Commission building is slated to achieve a LEED Platinum rating from the USGBC. Key features of the building include photo voltaic solar panels and wind turbines for energy generation.
Through rainwater harvesting for exterior irrigation and an onsite water reclamation system, the building will consume 60 percent less water than similarly sized buildings.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission building design takes advantage of the sun to light working spaces, contributing to the building’s overall 32 percent less electricity demand from the main power grid.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission headquarters is a 277,500-square-foot, $146.5 million, 13-story office building that houses more than 900 employees. Completed in the summer of 2012, the building will use 32% less energy, 60% less water, and have a 50% smaller carbon footprint than similarly sized buildings.
Webcor Builders was the general contractor and self-performed the concrete work on the building. The public bid project sought a design that would remain functional after a large seismic event so the city could run fire and other disaster services out of the location. The owner also desired a building that could achieve LEED Platinum status and attain a 100-year lifespan. Webcor achieved this for not a dollar more or a day longer than other construction methods.
Using concrete as a structural design element helped Webcor achieve the owner’s desires. Webcor used 70% cement replacement mixes in the foundations along with smaller cement replacement mixes where strength gain was a factor. The result was a project-wide 50% cement replacement. Concrete’s long-term durability contributed to the 100-year lifespan. And the use of vertical post-tensioning in the concrete core walls will allow for the flexibility necessary in the case of a severe seismic event.
The building is an example of what can be attained with concrete as a construction material and where the standard for sustainable concrete construction is headed.
Other sustainable features of the building include:
- power from hybrid solar and wind turbine systems
- onsite treatment of gray and black water
- low-flow toilets
- urinals with a building-wide wastewater treatment
- rainwater harvesting system
- extensive use of recycled materials
The owner expects a $3.7 billion in ratepayer savings over the course of the building’s 100-year lifespan.
To read the full story, click here to download the Winter 2012 issue of Sustainable Construction.