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US Green Building Council Awards San Francisco Department of the Environment LEED Platinum Certification

The San Francisco Department of the Environment has announced that its office has achieved LEED Platinum certification, the top green building certifica...

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|Jul 2|magazine13 min read

The San Francisco Department of the Environment has announced that its office has achieved LEED Platinum certification, the top green building certification by the US Green Building Council. The project serves as a municipal model for creating an economical, environmentally sound, healthy workplace. The department’s office is San Francisco’s first municipal tenant improvement project certified as LEED Platinum for Commercial Interiors.

Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair of the US Green Building Council, said: "The San Francisco Department of the Environment’s new LEED Platinum offices are a remarkable achievement and a prime example of positive change made possible by the City of San Francisco's leadership.

“Healthier, more resource efficient places to work are proving to be smart investments for developers and tenants alike. I look forward to seeing more transformational projects like this in San Francisco and in other cities across the nation.”

"Designing and constructing sustainable buildings is the right thing to do for our environment and protects human health," said Mayor Ed Lee. "I am proud that the San Francisco Department of the Environment is leading by example and proving that building greener can be both economical and efficient."​

In May, the department was recognised for this achievement at Acterra’s 2014 Business Environmental Awards Reception. The department and its contractor, RMW Architecture and Interiors, were presented with the Sustainable Built Environment award.

In 2013, an expired lease and the need for more space created the opportunity for the department to seek a new office that could better support its programs and 120 staff members. When 1455 Market Street was identified as the location for the new office, the department, which is the agency responsible for implementing the City’s green building policy, made LEED Platinum certification a priority.

While City code requires all municipal buildings to achieve LEED Gold certification, LEED Platinum provided the opportunity to achieve a higher level of environmental performance and health standards.

 Early integration of budgets, schedules, and environmental goals was critical in helping the department focus on efficient design and maximise sustainable features. “The Department of the Environment has shown how LEED Platinum certification is a cost-effective, viable option for City departments,” said John Updike, San Francisco’s Director of Real Estate.

“This office space adds to San Francisco’s growing list of 366 LEED certified projects, and exemplifies how green building is now business as usual in San Francisco.” 

The new space at 1455 Market Street started as a blank slate, which allowed the department to design its offices with the optimal use of space. Most of the enclosed spaces such as conference rooms and private offices are centralised in the core of the floor with low-profile workstations around the perimeter, allowing more equitable access to natural light and views.

The heart of the office is the EcoCenter, a multipurpose, flexible area that serves as a demonstration area and event space. Users and visitors gain a greater understanding of sustainable design practices such as the open floor plan, advanced lighting controls and high-performance bathroom fixtures through educational signage in the EcoCenter and throughout the office.

Key features include:

·         Water – 47 percent more efficient than a conventional office

·         Energy – 30 percent more efficient that a conventional office

·         Light & Views  93 percent of all occupied spaces have access to natural light & views

·         Materials – 37 percent of office materials were manufactured using recycled   material, 70 percent of the wood is certified sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council, 57 percent of the furniture and furnishings were re-used or salvaged, 98 percent of all construction waste was diverted from landfill to recycling.

·         Transportation – Easy access to City Hall, transit and bike infrastructure - plus ample bike parking

·         Low/No VOCs – paints, coatings, sealants, adhesives, flooring, furniture

 Josh Hatfield, Hudson Pacific Properties' Senior Vice President, Northern California, said that  collaborating with the building’s property manager, Hudson Pacific Properties, was critical to make the LEED build-out successful:

“Hudson Pacific Properties embraces and incorporates sustainable building practices across our portfolio. We applaud the department’s team on this major accomplishment. Achieving LEED Platinum certification for its 24,000 square-foot, full-floor office in the 1455 Market building tower demonstrates how integrating sustainable practices in space design and build-out can result in a highly efficient and pleasant space for collaboration and increased productivity.”