`Green Building' Law Ensures S.F.'s Eco-Friendly Future (San Francisco Chronicle)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Sustainable Business & Living iForum : One Thread
`Green Building' Law Ensures S.F.'s Eco-Friendly Future
Every new city facility must have environmental thrust
Edward Epstein, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, April 22, 2000
)2000 San Francisco Chronicle
[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]
San Francisco -- From this Earth Day forward and forever more, San Francisco's new civic buildings all will be green.
The green wave will take many forms, from the ice plant that will sprout from the roof of a new pavilion in Golden Gate Park to the installation of office furniture made completely from recycled material in the Department of the Environment's new offices.
Every new city building has to be environment-friendly, thanks to passage last year of a ``green building'' ordinance sponsored by Supervisor Tom Ammiano. Among other things, that means they have to conserve energy and water, be healthier for workers and visitors and go all out to encourage recycling.
``When you believe in your hearts that green buildings are the buildings of the future, . . . then we as architects will have moved very far forward,'' City Architect Tony Irons told an audience of his fellow architects and environmentalists yesterday at the city's annual Earth Day breakfast.
Irons, who oversaw the $300 million reconstruction of City Hall, listed several projects that will try to work with their external environment, instead of shutting it out.
The new Laguna Honda Hospital, which was originally envisioned as one vast seven-story structure, will instead be a collection of pods, each surrounded by greenery and containing interior gardens. ``People's psychological relation with the environment is the most important element of green buildings,'' Irons said.
The new $500,000 pavilion that the Friends of Recreation and Parks is building at the west end of Golden Gate Park will literally be green. The roof of the 2,000-square-foot building, designed by Sausalito architect Sim Van Der Ryn, will be a 3-inch-thick layer of soil in which miniature ice plant, known as sedum, will be planted.
The resilient greenery will nourish the environment. ``It reduces the urban heat effect and produces more oxygen,'' said Van Der Ryn, who was state architect under former Gov. Jerry Brown.
The walls of his building will not be pure cement, either. Instead, the cement will be mixed with fly ash, the residue from burnt coal. Why? ``Cement manufacturing accounts for 8 percent of global warming,'' said Van Der Ryn, so any opportunity to cut the use of cement helps the environment.
Perhaps the first major result of the green building ordinance will be the Department of the Environment's new office space at 11 Grove St. near City Hall. The building could be finished in the next several months.
Francesca Vietor, the department's executive director, said if the supervisors supply enough money, she will stock the 3,700-square-foot building with energy-efficient lighting, recycled carpeting and furniture made from recylables.
The windows should all open, the paint should be nontoxic, and all the wood in the building should be harvested from sustainable forests, Vietor said. She also wants a place for bicycle storage.
Other city projects to be built soon, including the Moscone Center expansion, the new San Bruno Jail, park renovations and a possible new San Francisco General Hospital, will all follow the green building ordinance.
Mayor Willie Brown, who wants to acquire the closed state office building at Polk Street and Golden Gate Avenue, demolish it and replace it with a 14-story city office building, said he hopes that structure will be the greenest yet.
Construction is still way off, but Vietor said her department wants the envisioned 300,000-square-foot structure to have its own built-in solar heating and a biomass heating system.
)2000 San Francisco Chronicle
-- Anonymous, April 26, 2000