San Francisco City Hall & Seven Other Historic Civic Center Buildings File For LEED Certification


Mayor Edwin M. Lee today at the U.S. Green Building Council Greenbuild International Conference and Expo being held at the Moscone Convention Center announced that the City and County of San Francisco has filed for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for eight buildings in San Francisco’s Historic Civic Center District. The LEED application for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance category includes over 2.2 million square feet of civic real estate for San Francisco City Hall, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco Main Library, Asian Art Museum, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Department of Public Health Headquarters, War Memorial Opera House and War Memorial Veterans Building.


“San Francisco is pioneering sustainability for the rest of the world by demonstrating how cities can transform historic areas like our own Civic Center into sustainable resource districts through the use of advanced energy efficiency and water conservation technologies,” said Mayor Lee. “This investment in the first-of-its-kind Civic Center Sustainability District will create a model for the nation in building greener cities.”


Once LEED certified, the Civic Center retrofit strategies and technologies will showcase San Francisco’s environmental stewardship and innovative leadership while providing real results for other cities to replicate across the world. Three buildings – City Hall, Main Library and Davies Symphony Hall – have a goal of achieving LEED Gold certification. The other remaining Civic Center buildings need to complete retrofits before LEED certification goals can be determined.


San Francisco’s already impressive track record within the Civic Center Historic District includes 525 Golden Gate, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) new headquarters. 525 Golden Gate is one of the greenest office buildings in North America and it will be one of the few San Francisco buildings to earn LEED Platinum status for new building construction and design.


As the City’s municipal water, power and wastewater service provider, the SFPUC funded and managed the energy efficiency retrofits and water conservation upgrades within the Civic Center Sustainability District, making the LEED application filings possible. The SFPUC also will fund and manage the LEED certification process on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco


“San Francisco has overcome the limitations and challenges of a historic Civic Center district and paved the way for cities like ours to continue addressing global climate change,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr.


Realizing San Francisco’s Vision for a Civic Center Sustainability District
The new LEED filings represent a significant step towards fulfilling the partnership that San Francisco forged with the former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to transform San Francisco’s Civic Center into a first-of-its-kind sustainable resource district.


To that end, San Francisco built one of the greenest office buildings in North America in Civic Center Plaza at 525 Golden Gate Avenue. San Francisco is also conducting ongoing energy efficiency upgrades for many of the buildings throughout Civic Center Plaza; water conservation upgrades are also being implemented for the same buildings. Additionally, the City has completed initial physical improvements to the Civic Center Sustainability District while promoting resource efficiencies, such as electric vehicle charging stations, free Wi-Fi, and art installations; partnered with a national organization to establish a community urban agriculture garden; created cultural corridors and economic development; utilized federal stimulus funding for a green transformation of an existing key building on the United Nations Plaza, all while providing jobs locally.

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