Case of the month - San Francisco

NOVEMBER 2012
GREEN BUILDING POLICIES - INTERNATIONAL CASES






Policy
San Francisco Green Building Program
City
San Francisco
Promotor
City and County of San Francisco
Establishment   

Adopted in September 2008 and is still in progress
Territorial scope
San Francisco city



Target buildings  



Owner

 Type

 Function

Public buildings

 New buildings    
 Residential

Private buildings
 Existing buildings
 Industrial, services, etc.

Main targets




 
  • Meet the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen);
  • Beat the California energy standards by a minimum of 15%;
  • Requirement for new commercial construction and alterations better higher than 25.000 square feet must meet a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard;
  • Achievement of LEED Gold certification standard for all municipal projects;
  • Perform rigorous stormwater management standards and recycle at least 65% of construction and demolition fragments.

Main results
 
   
  • Attain 35 million square feet of LEED certified buildings;
  • Attain 84 Energy Star labeled commercial buildings which cover 37.649.991 square feet of the city.
Summary



San Francisco city is implementing an innovative and comprehensive group of policy initiatives along with incentive programs to improve the energy and environmental performance of new and existing buildings, denominated Green Building Program.

Under this program, innovative ordinances have imposed green building requirements for residential and commercial buildings newly constructed and for the renovations of the existing buildings. Subsequently, California's Building Standards Commission developed the California Green Building Standards Code designated by "CAL Green". San Francisco Building Code combines the mandatory elements of the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code along with stricter local requirements.

The process
The process started in 2008, when San Francisco City County released a comprehensive set of green building standards jointly with the green building code, and provided a comprehensive guide to the new requirements.


The integrated new green building code combines specific sustainability requirements for new and existing buildings, complements municipal initiatives and encourage incentive programs to improve the energy and environmental performance of the building park.

Standards for new and existing buildings
Based on previous studies and recommendations, San Francisco implemented its pioneering Green Building Ordinance for residential and commercial buildings newly constructed, and major renovations in existing buildings. Consequently California's Building Standards Commission developed the California Green Building Standards Code, denominated "Cal Green". The new version of San Francisco Building Code gathers now both the mandatory elements of the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code and the strictly local requirements into one regulation.


According to the new ordinance, all new construction projects must meet to the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen), beat California's Energy Standards by at least 15%, and provide stringent stormwater management standards and recycle at least 65% of construction and demolition remains. Further, new residential or non-residential buildings must meet either LEED (U.S. certification scheme for the recognition of environmental friendly practices in building constructions) or California-based Green Point Rated standards (label scheme).


The new requirements set for existing commercial buildings will help owners, managers, operators and occupants with the key information to control utility costs, and to know exactly the key areas for energy efficiency improvement. Under this framework, new commercial construction and alterations bigger than 25.000 square feet must meet a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard.

 

Municipal Green Building Task Force
The new municipal task force represents the formal Board of Supervisors composed by one member of the public appointed by the Mayor and a representative with experience in building design, construction and/or finance from the several municipal departments. This Board supervises the environmental performance principles of City construction projects, review municipal construction projects during their design and construction, facilitates the communication about green building issues throughout the City, and act as an educational forum to increase knowledge and to share project successes and lessons learned.

 

San Francisco specific LEED credit requirements for municipal construction projects
Municipal construction projects shall observe the requirements of the San Francisco Green Building Code. As part of the LEED Gold certification requirement for municipal construction projects, the projects must achieve the following LEED credits: stormwater management, indoor water use reduction, energy performance, renewable energy, commissioning, enhanced refrigerant management, construction debris management, IAQ management during construction, IAQ management before occupancy, low emitting materials, and indoor chemical and pollutant source control.


The policy adopted the mandatory measures included in the state green building code (CALGreen) and requires documentation of compliance with either LEED or GreenPoint Rated standards. The environmental code requires LEED Gold certification for all municipal new construction and major alteration projects of 5.000 square feet or more in city-owned facilities and city leaseholds.

 

Incentives and Resources
To assist private building owners with implementing the green building policies, the newly launched Green Finance San Francisco PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy fund) program offers $ 100m in financing capacity for commercial energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water efficiency upgrades, with repayment collected through a property tax assessment. Energy efficiency and solar energy rebate programs are also offered. Another option for property owners, it's the "on bill" financing model, where the applicants are screened for credit through payment history and then can borrow funds to install energy saving equipment and other upgrades.


Other innovations in financing options for commercial owners includes Energy Services, agreements similar to solar power purchase agreements, where a private entity finances, installs, owns, and maintains certain energy installations, through pre-retrofit utility costs.


The California Public Utilities Commission which regulates the States utility companies is planning to launch new programs to offer a wide range of enhanced financing options to residential and commercial customers in 2013.




Links

http://sfenvironment.org/sites/default/files/policy/



http://sfenvironment.org/buildings-environments/green-building