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San Francisco Public Utilities Commission


The new administration building for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission consists of a 13-story, 277,000 sq ft office tower with one subterranean level. The new structure is one of the most energy efficient buildings in the United States and earned an elite LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.


Exterior wrapped in double-glazed, high-performance curtain wall. Interior and exterior shading devices light shelves for daylight harvesting. Heat Island reduction via light colored roofing & site materials

Concrete Structure eliminates the sunlight-blocking beams

  • underside of floor slabs tapered to bounce sun’s rays into largely open floors
  • “rocking mechanism” allows earthquake resilience optimizing sustainability
  • carbon emission of concrete cut in half by use of recycled materials

Renewable Energy through 200 kW roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) array

  • External wind turbines generating wind power energy

“Living Machine” in the lobby acting as onsite blackwater treatment system

  • Over 50% reduction of potable water use for wastewater purposes thanks to the living machine
  • Over 40% reduction of indoor potable water use for daily uses
  • 100% reduction in potable water use for landscaping through Storm water harvesting

Energy Efficiency through photo cells controlling indirect lighting

  • Structure’s mass acts like a thermal battery storing heat
  • Raised access floor distributing conditioned air and purging heat
  • Increased ventilation levels of outside air by over 30%