You are hired by the government as an auditor to assess the viability of the LEED citification, and if they should continue or stop using it. Select two similar buildings one is LEED certified and the other is not certified. Compare and contrast their overall environmental performances and end with a paragraph of main recommendations for the building with less environmental compliance as per your assessment.
(Sustainable Development in Cities, USP 514 Class Discussion)
The LEED certified business that I am choosing to focus on is South San Francisco Scavenger. SSFS is a family-owned business that has been providing solid waste and recycling services to local communities around San Francisco since 1914. The building that is not LEED certified that I am choosing to focus on is my previous workplace, Blaze Pizza in Stonestown Galleria.
Just this week I was able to go on a field trip to learn about SSFS facilities and what they do for my Geology of Garbage class. When I was there I noticed that they very proudly had their LEED certification hanging on the front entrance. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED), is an ecology-oriented building certification program run under the backing of the U.S. Green Building Council. SSFS received this certification in 2013, and reflected that its buildings were designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. After receiving the certification, SSFS implemented a variety of improvements, including: upgrading to highly efficient indoor plumbing, landscaping with drought tolerant native plants and installing web-enabled smart irrigation controllers, insulating with blown-in foam, installing an electric vehicle charging station, and reviewing and updating sustainable purchasing and building operations plans and policies. The company has also set goals for the next ten years even though they are already LEED certified. These goals encompass; to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment, supporting the local economy and the communities they serve, and to provide a safe work place and a positive work experience for their employees. They also have a climate action plan with several ambitious and honorable goals. The first is to reduce direct and indirect Greenhouse Gas emissions ahead of the statewide GHG emissions reduction goal. Secondly, to increase recycling and composting to avoid GHG emissions by over 20 times what their operations generate. If I was to write a report on SSFS’s sustainability goals and whether or not they should be LEED certified, they would pass with flying colors. Not only do they meet the standards to be LEED certified, but they exceed it and strive to do better.
I choose to focus on Blaze Pizza for a non LEED certified building because it has no goal on being an ecology-oriented building and never has. Blaze Pizza is a chain of fast fired pizza restaurants that has more than 100 locations across the nation. Even though they serve quality and delicious personal pizzas to your liking, they have yet to make an effort to be a sustainable operation with a focus on their role in ecology. This is just an example of the many businesses out there that don’t make an effort to be sustainable, but don’t stand out because it isn’t really necessary for their business to flourish. When I was working at Blaze Pizza, many of their methods of operations had little regards to sustainability. For example, Blaze’s disposal of waste was completely focused on getting on speed. Even though the dining had options of recycling, waste and compost for the costumers, all of it was disposed in a dumpster in the back of the mall. Also on top of these malpractices, Blaze Pizza does not practice water efficiency and had multiple leaks. In order to be LEED certified a business has to have an overview evaluating total building water use, which Blaze did not have. If Blaze Pizza wishes to be LEED certified I would recommend an energy use audit so they can see where they can afford cutbacks on energy use, as well as be informed on any overuse of energy that might be going on. I would also suggest an overhaul on their current ingredients and material suppliers and look for more eco-friendly components.
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The two buildings I have chosen to conduct this analysis is on San Jose City Hall which; is rated on the LEED-certified scale. Next I have chosen the Hayes Mansion located in South San Jose as my non-LEED certified structure. City hall of San Jose is a relatively new structure that was built in 2005. It cost $343 million USD to construct and stands at 18 stories. The design of the building was inspired as a postmodern theme which; was, designed by Richard Meier and Partners Architect. In 2009 the building received its LEED-certified rating of platinum, by receiving 69 points on the scorecard. This test is conducted on a scale of six categories it is scored on. These categories consist of materials and waste, healthy and safety, energy and emissions, water efficiency, and last its building location and community impact. The green building fact sheet suggests that over 90 percent of the waste generated at city hall is diverted from landfills and to areas where it can be recycled. In terms of health and safety the building is fitted with high quality filters in the heating and cooling system while; it is also mandatory custodians use green seal cleaning products to ensure no harmful chemicals are exposed. The building is also fitted with large windows and skylights to lessen the use of lights but; lights that are fitted are high efficiency and energy conserving. This use of energy and emissions gives it the bulk of its points on the LEED scorecard. Water efficiency is conducted by using recycled water for irrigation and fixtures. This in turn deducts the amount of water consumption of City Hall up to 82 percent less than standard buildings. Its location and community impact were thoughtfully considered when it was built. It is very close to transportation services and accessible bike lanes and parking which; enhances its access for the public in regards to events, meetings, and services.
Hayes Mansion is currently a hotel and resort that was built in 1905. It is located in South San Jose that offers the full Northern California experience to guest. This Mediterranean inspired structure features exotic woods, imported glass and marble in its structure. It is listed as a historical landmark and was originally built as an estate and in 1981 was converted into hotel and resort by Dolce Hotels and Resorts. After conducting much research on this structure it is fair to say that this building was created for visual and lavish activities, with no sense of green building fundamentals in mind. Due to its traditional design in mind, it is a building that is inspired to provide an experience rather then to be environmentally friendly.
To conclude my analysis on Hayes Mansion My recommendation is to perhaps find more efforts in recycling of waste. This could be done by something as small as situating recycling bins around the resort with standard bins. I would also say that to lower the waste of water due to our drought get rid of some of the green space and put drought tolerant plants to conserve more water. They should also invest in creating natural light into the building, which would allow it to be more energy efficient. With light that is used they should look into using energy efficient bulbs as well as applying solar panels to further reduce energy use. I would say energy consumption is the biggest issue facing Hayes Mansion. I think that if these measures could be met Hayes Mansion could get a decent score on the LEED scorecard.
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I have chosen two building to focus on two different museums. I chose de Young Museum as the non-LEED certified building and California Academy of Sciences as my LEED certified. Both museums are located across each other on an area in Golden Gate Park.
California Academy of Sciences was established in 1853 but went through reconstruction on 2005 which costed $488 million. It is the first and only museum to have received “Double Platinum” LEED Award. It features Rainforest Dome, planetarium, aquariums and etc. According to their website, the building uses less energy than typical buildings. Throughout the building, they have installed floor heating which reduces 5%-10% of energy used, roof thermal insulators which reduces the need for air conditions and high performance glass to maintain right temperature. They are also known for their Living Roof, which is 6 inches of soil with native plants and is also a natural insulation. They have photovoltaic cells around the living roof that supply at least 5% of the building standard needs. Their buildings are also made of recycled steel. The California Academy of Sciences is named the most sustainable museums in the world after receiving the “Double Platinum” Award.
On the other hand, we have De Young Museum, founded in 1895 known for its unique use of copper. The copper is said to be oxidized in time which will turn to a greenish color making the museum blend in with the green surrounding. After the Loma Prieta earthquake the museum suffered and needed to rebuilt in order to be stable once again. The city people however did not want to help pay for the city-owned museum. Instead, the director raised enough money privately to help rebuild the museum. It costed a total of $200 million. The building is made of natural materials such as copper, stone, wood and glass. After the construction, the newly built museum was occupied less of the space than the old building making room for more landscapes and trees to be planted. However, the use of copper in the building possess a concern to the neighborhoods around the museum because of the possible copper runoff. Because of this the building is known to be unsustainable as copper runoff from the oxidation process is harmful both to our health and the environment.
In conclusion, the non-LEED certified building, De Young museum is definitely not sustainable compared to the California Academy of Sciences. The use of copper seems to be the only aspect hindering its sustainability since the new building actually required less land to built and made more room for green landscapes. Unless they get rid of the copper in the building, then they most likely not be considered sustainable. However, removing copper will be hard since the museum is known for it’s beautiful copper skin.
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The two buildings I want to compare is Taipei 101 which is LEED certified and the non LEED certified is South-land Boys High School. Taipei 101 is also the world’s third tallest building and the tallest building in the the middle east located in Taipei, Taiwan. Taipei 101 is a platinum certified building which is the highest and best ranking for LEED buildings. The environment LEED buildings have a lot of windows that are powered up by solar panels.Taipei 101 windows absorb energy from the sun and most of the walls are made up of steel. It is made from steel which makes it more environmental safe. Since the environment uses renewable energy over fossil fuels. I think they should continue running this. I think they should because it save the environment and it can help save people’s health and keep the environment save. I also think they should continue using steel as materials because it can conduct heat. Since they conduct heat they don’t have to spend so much on fossil fuels and stop climate change from happening. They should continue making solar panels. They should continue making solar panels because in many cities there are usually a lot of sunlight or light energy. Comparing to Southland Boys High School the environment is not as green. It isn’t because they want to make the High School really historical. Therefore, historical buildings will have to use materials that isn’t as green like brakes. Compare to Taipei 101 the materials they use are really environmental save. The process of the environment for Taipei 101 is that there is body of water outside of the building. Inside the tower there is a mall where people can shop and a really nice coffee shop cafe with many flowers that is really green to the environment. The High School on the other side don’t have a body of water outside of the school and no windows that allow sunlight to be absorbed into the building.
I recommend the high school because it is the one of the oldest high school in the world. I also recommend it because there isn’t a lot of schools in the world that has red brake and really historical place to see. Even though there isn’t any environmental save materials in the high school it is still a good place to see because of the history. It also been a symbol for people in New Zealand. Other than that the high school is home for many High Schooler in New Zealand. I also recommend it if people are interested in history even if is not environmental friendly compare to Taipei 101 which is really environmental save because of steel windows that conduct electricity and solar panel windows that absorb sunlight for energy so people won’t have to waste so much electricity when the sun is out .
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LEED or Mis-LEED-ing?
Today, I will look at two buildings of a similar quality and determine where the non-LEED building can do to improve its environmental impact. First, I will examine the Mills Building in San Francisco, which was recertified Gold in 2012. Most notably, it was officially San Francisco’s second skyscraper built in 1892. It was also one of the few buildings that survived the 1906 earthquake. Based on that, we can see that the building possesses strong “bones” as a foundation. It goes to LEED’s credit that this metric can be used to repurpose old buildings and keep them sustainable in the modern era. For sustainable sites, it includes the following points: building exterior and hardscape management plan 1 / 1, SSc3 Integrated pest management, erosion control, and landscape management … 1 / 1, SSc4 Alternative commuting transportation 15 / 15. Water has also been overhauled clocking out at: Water performance measurement 2 / 2 , WEc2 Additional indoor plumbing fixture and fitting efficiency 5 / 5. The United States Green Building Council defines water efficiency rating as “During the performance period, have in place strategies and systems that in aggregate produce a reduction in indoor plumbing fixture and fitting potable water use from the calculated baseline established in WE Prerequisite 1: Minimum Indoor Plumbing Fixture and Fitting Efficiency.” As far as energy efficiency, it scored an impressive 18 / 18 for optimizing energy efficiency performance. Enhanced refrigerant management scored 1 / 1and also reported emissions reduction of 1 / 1.
Next, I will look at the Big Box Department Store, Walmart, comparatively large in square feet compared (over 50,000) to older skyscrapers. While some big box stores are building an urban presence, the vast majority of them develop in suburban and rural areas because of the huge amounts of space needed to create “superstores.” Because of the size required, they typically (but, to be fair, not always) develop on what was once natural land, paving it over and creating huge infrastructures. At the end of the day, there’s almost always a development cost to be paid by the environment for the construction of a new big box store. Putting aside the cost to produce goods, powering these behemoths requires vast amounts of energy, including shining fluorescent lights to illuminate the merchandise. Again, while this doesn’t apply to all big box stores, a huge number of them are created in suburban or rural environments where you need to drive to get your items. And often, it’s not an incredibly close drive. Since the model for big box stores is a large amount of space, many of them are farther away from populated areas than smaller retailers and stores would be.
To make the big box model more sustainable, I would recommend to the agency that we remove the “big” from the box. We simply cannot continue propping up these huge warehouses selling disposable goods. While not every community is affluent enough to enjoy artisan craftsman boutiques, Walmart will still fit into a niche. Walmart should repurpose its store into a mixed use design in urban areas. Tenants would be able to access the goods without even having to leave the building, reducing emissions. Solar arrays should be positioned over the roof and any parking lots. At least 50 percent of the energy should come from renewable sources. We cannot change the economic model, but we can change its footprint.
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Based on the lecture and video in class I am going to compare and contrast the sustainability of The California Academy of Sciences Museum and The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. I believe that we should continue to have the LEED certification because regardless buildings are going to be built, might as well design them to be sustainable. The California Academy of Sciences sits in the green landscape of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It received the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating making it the world’s first Double Platinum museum. The museum was designed by Renzo Piano and his design characteristic is modern architecture.
The surrounding landscape in Golden Gate Park has many trees, plants, and hills; so Piano designed a living roof on top of the building to match the surrounding landscape. The materials used in the making of the building were recycled from the demolition of the previous museum. There are photovoltaic cells around the perimeter of the roof that provide clean energy for the museum per year. It is a true green building and a masterpiece of sustainable architecture.
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies sits in the hills of La Jolla, California. It is a monumental building in architecture. The building is a scientific research center and has many awards for its research but being LEED certified is not one of them. The building was designed by Louis Kahn and he is known for creating some of the most monumental buildings in the architecture world. Some of the keywords describing Kahn’s design style are: heavy, and bulky. The Salk Institute is made of lots of concrete and no landscaping. Compared to the museum this building does not blend in with its environment, and it is not sustainable whatsoever.
The Salk Institute is going through some repairs currently because the marine environment is damaging the building. Some recommendations I would suggest is to repair the damages with eco-friendly materials. The windows can be energy saving windows to allow enough heat and light as needed. The LEED certification is a good way to design a building with sustainable standards so its footprint is limited on the environment.
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LEED – A Step into the Right Direction
To test the viability of the LEED certification, I chose to asses the LEED certified San Francisco Waldorf School and the uncertified Rio Americano High School. The Waldorf School, a private institution, is located at 470 West Portal Avenue Grade, San Francisco. It was founded in 1979 and based on the Waldorf education, which focuses on imagination on all academic disciplines. Rio Americano High School (Rio), founded in 1963, is located at 4540 American River Drive, Sacramento. It is a public school, that serves the surrounding districts including Arden Park, Arden Oaks and Fair Oaks.
San Francisco Waldorf High School was designed by the 450 architects, that are local to San Francisco. The architects worked closely with the High School to find a new location that will satisfied students needs. They settled for a concrete building that had few rooms and was eligible for renovations. The retrofit was finished in 2007 and cost about $5.6 million. The architects made sure to use most of the materials already available in the building, and added only a few materials such as wood and cork.
Rio Americano High School was build to help deal with the baby boom in 1963. Since then, the school has become a permanent institution for students grades 9 – 12. All buildings were build from the ground up, using steel and wood. None of the buildings are two levels or higher, making the school spread out over a bigger area.
The windows at the Waldorf School are made for high performances, meaning that they are ideal for insolation. Many buildings lose their temperature through badly insulated windows, causing high energy bills. Additionally, the walls were retrofitted and adopted to better deal with temperature insolation. The existing HVAC was renovated in order to avoid additional construction costs and waste.
The building structures at Rio Americano, were meant to be temporary, so very little to none consideration was given to sustainability. Classrooms have very thin windows, meaning that heat can easily escape during the winter, or enter during the summer. Furthermore, walls are made out of thin wood, making the rooms even less insulated. HVAC needs to be constantly running to keep the temperature at a comfortable level.
Low energy fixtures were installed at the Waldorf School Light in order to reduce maintenance costs and the environmental impact of the building. In addition, light sensors optimize sunlight usage, while also turning off light when it is not needed during the night. Low flush toilets were installed in all bathrooms to reduce water usage throughout the whole building.
Rio Americano has no such installations. It has fluorescent light bulbs running throughout most of the day and is not utilizing any of the sun light that is dominant in Sacramento. Regular flushing fixtures are installed in the bathrooms, which further increase Rio’s negative impact on the environment.
Lastly, the Waldorf School offers Environmental Science in its curriculum, which confronts students with the dynamics of Earth and Climate Change. Curriculum are not included in the LEED report, but have major impacts on the environment. The students will eventually grow up, and are mainly responsible for shaping the planet. The Waldorf School building is an excellent example how students learn sustainability through their build environment.
Rio Americano possess no curriculum that includes Environmental Science or other environmental sciences.
In conclusion, San Francisco Waldorf School is much more sustainable than Rio Americano. One of my recommendations for Rio Americano is to install insulation in all rooms in order to reduce heating and cooling costs. I would propose using sustainable materials such as hemp concrete, which is cheap and effective. I don’t recommend demolishing all buildings in order to construct a centralized multi level building. I believe that Rio Americano has a great chance to integrate Sacramento’s vegetation onto their campus, in order to attract some of the native wildlife. This could also be very educational, and Rio should start implementing curriculum that exposes students to local and global environmental issues.
In order to minimize maintenance cost, I recommend installing no flush urinals and low flush toilets, that will greatly reduce Rio’s water usage. Furthermore, buildings could be utilizing Sacramento’s exposure to major sun light by installing skylights that will mitigate the need for artificial light. These are long hanging fruits that Rio Americano could achieve within the next five years. I think a long term goal would be installing solar panels, making Rio less dependable on public utilities for energy.
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Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by US Green Buildings Council is a way for buildings to certify themselves as a varying level of “green”- whether it be silver, gold, or platinum. When searching for projects on the LEED website, the first project that came up under the directory search was a KFC in thailand. I found this humorous because KFC’s aren’t generally thought of as “green”, and when looking at the project information it just looked like a regular (but fancy) KFC in a regular mall – and to be fair it didn’t score that well (44/110) http://www.usgbc.org/projects/kfc-big-c-kanchanaburi?view=scorecard. Anyways, this isn’t a project worth analyzing, but it is interesting to show that literally any building can apply for certification regardless of how “green” the business/owners actually are.
The platinum LEED accredited home being analyzed is the (Almost) All-American Home by Lantz Full Circle. This project is, from a green consumer’s point of view, is incredibly Eco-friendly, but arguably unsustainable as well. The current home was built where an older ranch house once stood, and they claim that they were one of the first in the US to completely deconstruct the former home and donate 99% of the materials to local charities or recycled them, as a way of mitigating landfill use and resource consumption. Little information about the former ranch styled home is available, other than the fact that it was deconstructed, but depending on its condition, wouldn’t renovating the previously existing home to be more “eco-friendly” have been more sustainable since less resources overall would have to be used (and recycling is largely inefficient and realistically actually “down cycling”). Assuming the previous home was in acceptable condition, and that the new home was built primarily for its aesthetics, it is easy to imagine that the same design principles that went into the new home could have been added to the old one. But maybe the older home was in poor condition beyond repair, and the best choice was deconstruction and salvaging of materials, in either case a far better choice than traditional demolition.
Regardless of the previous home’s condition, the new home scored 92.5/110 points, but unfortunately the breakdown of these points I unavailable for this house. Some of its “green” factors include: a drought tolerant front yard (xeriscape), an edible fruit and vegetable garden, a PV array that provides for up to a third of the home’s electricity usage, a solar array for heating water, LED lights and energy efficient appliances, a 1400 rainwater collection tank for irrigation, local material sourcing (500 mile radius), and appears to be oriented to the south with proper overhangs for efficient solar passive heating and cooling. Aside from the possible passivity of the home, all of the other features could have been retrofitted into the previously existing home (assuming it was in ok condition) and most other buildings for that matter.
The 3600 square foot 3 bedroom home has no shortage of luxury features including limestone, a wine cellar, a pool, outdoor rooftop kitchen, and the list goes on. Despite this home having many green practices employed, it is hard to say whether or not such a project is sustainable assuming that it surpasses the financial feasibility for most home-owners to achieve. While an edible garden and home efficiency is something every home should strive for, this home is really a small Eco-luxury-mansion. Comparatively, a similar two story, 3 bedroom home of a similar size in Texas would not necessarily have all of the bells and whistles this home has, but could certainly become “greener” given some renovations.
The second home I will be comparing to this LEED one is a theoretical one because most homes do not provide environmental analysis of them unless they are designed that way. The average home in the US uses close to eleven thousand kWh of electricity in a month, and 400 gallons of water a day (mostly indoor bathroom usage). Due to the fact that most homes do not have any measures to re-use water (gray water), harvest rainwater, or produce their own electricity (solar, geothermal, wind etc.), and hardly have measure to optimize efficiency, the LEED accredited home obviously is less resource intensive from construction to use. However, this particular LEED home is arguable beyond the average person’s grasp and similar results could come about through renovating existing homes (or building other’s more affordably). PV arrays are outside of the economic grasp of many homeowners often costing tens of thousands of dollars, and while cutting down on a third+ of a home’s energy expenditure is commendable, the push should be for all homes to be powered by clean energy on the grid and not an individual burden.
LEED buildings can employ some great strategies for reducing energy and water usage and other clean building practices, but often are beyond the financial reach of most people. The answer to green building and green cities isn’t going to be found by making luxury “Eco” buildings, but for cities to source their energy renewably while having incentives for making homes more efficient. The LEED home studied did have an edible garden, rainwater harvesting, and xeriscape, which is something many buildings can employ relatively cheaply that can help on the local scale. It is hard to say whether or not LEED accreditation is valid because there’s not much to weigh it against, sure it may optimize a building’s efficiency and does a good job at doing so, but it also tends to promote “green” capitalism and luxury “Eco” buildings which are beyond most people’s means and therefore unsustainable. LEED, or some other accreditation, should have a measure for luxury as a sort of negative, how this would be measured (possibly square footage/resource usage per person/inhabitant, building usage, and economic feasibility for lower income people) may be difficult to address, but certainly a factor that is overlooked by LEED.
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Located at 100 Pine Street, coming in at 476’ Ft and holding 34 floors is a building that was built in the early 1970’s and finished by 1972 to be the space of the Continental Insurance Company, as well as rentable Office space. This building was one of the earlier modern buildings in S.F. In July 2008 the building was certified to be maintained as a Green building. Today there is underground space with parking that has rates of each 15mins. This Building has Overall has energy efficiency through digital thermometers, Water efficiency from things such as low after toilets and environmentally friendly cleaning products as well as landscape aspects. They also have been a leader in recycling diverting 75% of waste from landfill. As for this building in itself I don’t think I could have to many recommendations. Although if every single space in not being occupied that is something that could take place and make an effect on essentially our housing issue or even allow more space for a start up company.
As I was skimming through the local paper in Fresno California, I came across something that caught my attention. It was an article about a man who had bought a 2.1million dollar apartment inside of the Millennium Tower of SF. According to Private Structural Engineers the 58-story high-rise Millennium Tower the building has sunk at least 16 inches into the surface and is tilting about 6inches to the northeast. It is said, “Millennium Partners blame the structural issues on the Trans bay Joint powers Authority, which is building the Trans bay Transit Center next door. They say that the Joints Powers is pumping millions of gallons of groundwater from the area to create a dry construction zone. As well as the Engineer choosing a foundation with relatively short 60-90 foot piles instead of going over 200ft to bedrock”. Although it is also stated that is was dropped from .022inches per day in 2008.
This was very interesting to me, it shows that not every single building that look like it is nice and has a lot of money put into it can still have issues of sustainability. Finding out ways to prevent these things before the buildings are complete is a very important key. For this building in particular it seem as if the foundation could vary well play a major part in why it has sunk. Although we will have to wait for further details to see why exactally this building is not being supported right.
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Simon Wannehag Hagene
LEED Certifications in Avalon-communities
Sustainable architecture was invented in order to minimize the environmental impact and achieve energy efficiency for cost-savings. Innovative new practices and creative minds are at the forefront, however, are there other factors to keep in mind? The famous LEED Certification(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) created by U.S. Green Building Council in 1998, was established to push this concept of sustainable living. There are apparently both positive as well as problematic sides to this system.
I have chosen to get an insight to a housing society called Avalon-communities, which offers housing in eleven states so far. My focus will be on two specific communities within San Francisco: Avalon at Mission Bay and Eaves at Diamond Heights.
Avalon at Mission Bay is located at 185 Berry St. near Mission Bay, just across from the AT&T Park. It’s nearby public transportation, grocery stores and other conveniences. It received the LEED 2.2 certification back in 2009, with a score of 26/69. Strongest assets were within sustainable sites, with points for brownfield redevelopment, bike racks, parking capacity, heat-island effect, public transportation access, etc. While it also scores respectably on indoor environmental quality, it scores low on use of resources, water efficiency and especially energy and atmosphere.
Eaves at Diamond Heights is located at 5285 Diamond Heights, and this place does not have the LEED certificate. I currently live here, thereby judge by experience and information received from the management. Strongest assets are their focus on recycling, bike racks, new brownfields, parking capacity and public transportation access. The obvious downsides are indoor air quality(ventilation needs upgrade), the grass fields and energy use. Main reasons for high energy use are the heated swimming pool, low performance windows(heat goes out easily) and lights on in the hallways 24 hours. Further, even though some grass fields have been turned into brownfields or switched to plants with less water usage, most of the areas are pretty green and have considerable maintenance costs.
The Avalon community are proud to promote their environmental efforts on each of their housing options through their websites, the most commonly mentioned being Energy Star appliances, bike racks and public transportation. Overall, their housing scores high on location, whereas in this case Eaves Diamond Heights would be a better choice(in my opinion). Not only is their option pet-friendly, it’s also close to Glen Canyon Park and Noe Valley, among the safest areas of San Francisco. However, due to Avalon at Mission Bay being a newer development, they have managed to adjust enough to earn points and be awarded the LEED.
Conclusively, it is likely more of a strategy for their business rather than being environmentally aware(they ‘game’ the system). It’s great with the encouragement to create more brownfields, and for people to use their bicycles; although none of them commit to renewable energy nor materials reuse, which are among the most important factors. This matches the critique given in the paper ‘Perspectives on the LEED’, whereas proven that only 14% of buildings generate renewable energy. I agree with the statement saying we need to “do more good, instead of less bad,” as lessening our impact is not only vital for our current environment. It is essential to reach a future of sustainable living.
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For this weeks assignment, the two buildings I chose were the AT&T Baseball park where the San Francisco Giants play which is LEED certified. The non LEED certified building I chose the Oakland coliseum which is where the Athletics and Raiders play. They are both professional sport arena that use up large amounts of energy every night that they are used. First looking at the Giant’s stadium it was built in 2000 and in 2010 it was recognized as the first Major League ballpark to receive a LEED certification and is still the only one in the United States. Being located in San Francisco, its not a surprise that the ballpark is considered sustainable. Being green is big thing in the City and its something that is growing. Since its opening there have been different projects that the Giants organization and PG&E have been working on to develop a more sustainable stadium. The stadium looks to be a role model, to other professional teams around the country. Professional stadiums get millions of people every year to visit their fields and having a sustainable arena can inspire those who come and can inspire other surrounding buildings. Professional sports have such a large fan base so promoting environmental friendly infrastructure can play a big role on those who support their teams. Some outstanding features are the installation of solar panels which no other professional stadium has. Along with that they have installed water conservation techniques such as low flow toilets. There are also green concession stands and automatic light controls throughout the stadium. Lastly AT&T park is one of the most transit friendly ball parks promoting those who come to travel by train, ferry, bus or bike.
As far as Oakland’s coliseum, it is not LEED certified, it is similar to the Giant’s stadium because they also play baseball there. It uses just as much energy if not even more than AT&T park. Being located right across the Bay Bridge, it is surprising that it is not LEED certified. But I feel that eventually it will become certified just because of the demand of sustainability in the Bay Area. When visiting the stadium, there seem to be a lot of excess lighting that is not needed and the lights used are not energy efficient. The bathroom has lots of paper towel stands instead of the automatic hand dryers, so there is paper scattered all over the bathrooms. The toilets are not low flow which a good way to conserve water.
In conclusions, the Oakland Athletics organization should work towards similar methods like the ones the Giants are using to earn that LEED certification. Installing solar panels could b the first step, the experience much less cloud coverage compared to the City, so they would gain much more energy. Being LEED certified not only helps the environment but it also can save you large amounts if money over time. With high levels of visitors almost every day you are using lots of energy but buy cutting back on the usage you can lower your out put and increase your income.
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The PwC HQ office, One Embankment Place, located in London is not LEED certified however after its remodeling in 2013, the structure has become one of the leading environmentally conscious buildings in the UK. According to The Guardian, One Embankment Place emits 40% less carbon than a typical building its size, along with generating 20% of its heat and 60% of its energy needs onsite. A huge contributor to the buildings decreased carbon emissions is their huge tri-generation system which provides heat, cools and powers the building and runs on recycled biodiesel made from used cooking oil. One Embankment Place also has extensive LED lighting and sourced all of their remodeling materials responsibly to minimize their environmental impact.
425 California St. in SF is a commercial office building, and is LEED Gold certified. In 2009 it scored a 64/110 on LEED’s scale. In the energy and atmosphere section, they scored an 18 out of 35. They were able to achieve a score of 15/18 on optimizing their energy efficiency performance however scored a 0/6 for onsite and offsite renewable energy. Although their building is somewhat energy efficient, it doe not utilize renewable energy, which is crucial for the future sustainable development of SF. 425 California St. did not meet LEED’s criteria for sustainable purchasing of electric powered equipment or ongoing consumables. However, was still able to achieve LEED certification.
Based off of the comparison above, it seems like LEED inspires mediocrity among buildings. Building owners and firms can do just the minimum to get certified by LEED to look good and then stop there. There seems to be no motivation to push for better environmental and sustainability standards once a building is LEED certified. Also, LEED certified buildings do not need to prove that they are more energy efficient than non certified buildings, they just need to meet a certain standard set by the USGBC. Although some buildings are LEED certified when they are designed or just built, no proof of their efficiency over time is required. This means that these buildings are not held accountable to live up to their promises. Often times, LEED certified buildings are much less environmentally sound and sustainable than non-LEED certified buildings. According to the Environmental Policy Alliance:
The New York Times reviewed a USGBC study of 121 new buildings certified through LEED as of 2006 and found that 53 percent did not qualify for the EPA’s Energy Star label. Another 15 percent used more energy per square foot than at least 70 percent of comparable buildings. Similarly, a 2009 study of LEED buildings by Oberlin College found that there is “no evidence that LEED-certiﬁcation has collectively lowered either site or source energy for ofﬁce buildings.”
The evidence above argues in favor of the government discontinuing the use of LEED citification, due to it being an unviable and unaccountable resource.
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LEED or Not?
As listed in this week’s assignment, list two buildings that is one LEED certification and one that is not. The two commercial spaces I am going to describe is shopping malls. The first, LEED certified shopping area I chose is IKEA in Portland, OR. The other is not currently LEED certified, but in the future this building can become greener and sustainable. This commercial space is Serramonte Shopping Mall in Daly City, CA. For each building, there are some elements within each that make it some way or fashion “sustainable.” Combining two or more factors in my evaluation will bring out alternatives to best restructure Serramonte Mall to make it more LEED equipped for future generations. First, I will discuss the LEED building in Portland, OR.
IKEA in general, have known to support “sustainable living through buying their unique products.” I find that this specific location of IKEA in Portland, OR is definitely LEED certified as this is listed in their home website. The details within their IKEA website in Portland, OR was built with a “62,000 ft solar panel array on the roof.” “Through the use of 2,072 solar panels, consists of a 497.3-kW system and will produce approximately 568,900 kWh of clean electricity annually.” Not only does it have solar panels to support the LEED vision, but every IKEA store like this one should carry charge ports for Electric Vehicles. Although this building is LEED certified, much more can be done to improve the general look and feel of commercial space. Much of IKEA stores lack natural light, but this doesn’t mean that a lack of presence of natural light will make it more sustainable. Rather, the commercial space should invite natural light in addition to green energy already put in place to achieve higher LEED standards.
The commercial space within Serramonte Shopping Mall in Daly City, CA is not LEED certified, but this space does have an interesting character in the years this area were being rebuilt. Daly City, CA is mainly located among suburb-like neighborhoods. Growing up noticing the subtle changes within the community, especially this mall is quite interesting to describe. I remember the old Long Drugs store, now Crunch fitness, the Montgomery Ward store now Target, and the Meryvn’s store now JcPenny. Through the years, the atmosphere still stayed as it was. This commercial space still carried from the past natural lighting from the ceiling windows and the iconic pond within the center of the mall. The natural environment within this mall should preserve the same elements. The LEED certification alters environments that would develop a more efficient and wide scale use for productive sustainability, but not at the cost of damaging a community eco-culture or a community character. I feel small changes to make this space greener or LEED friendly would make this mall a stronger community, but the changes should not come all at once. A small progression of green ideas and green spaces would work for the community.
For recommendations within Serramonte Mall to make it more “sustainable”, solar panels would help sustain their economic development by reducing their electricity costs. High rise parking structures with electric vehicle charge ports would appeal many to visit the mall. Restructuring windows to allow wind flow to ventilate inside during summer months of extreme heat advisories. By installing more water fountains, this can promote drinking more water and less sugary drinks. Also, the idea of “connected small dog parks” should promote healthy lifestyles and dog walking. LEED certification is only part of the issue, but implementing small ideas can make a community happier and healthier in the future.
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In this assignment I have chosen to compare the environmental impact between an LEED certified building and an uncertified LEED building. The LEED certified establishment I chose to do this case study on in Chipotle located in downtown San Francisco on Sutter Street. The uncertified LEED structure I chose was Delicious Dumplings located in Chinatown of San Francisco. These two establishments share the same business of being both restaurants but there are distinct differences between them that affects the environment.
Chipotle in downtown San Francisco has been LEED certified for their influence in sustainability. They have worked hard to reduce energy usage in our restaurants. From their design team that builds with energy-efficiency in mind, to their procurement team that purchases energy-efficient equipment whenever possible, to their facilities team that helps drive down energy by maintaining and fixing equipment, they are constantly looking for ways to be more energy efficient in everything we do. The main component that has helped Chipotle conserve energy is the installation of an energy management system to better understand the use of energy. The energy management system records data of the amount of energy being used such as temperature control and ventilation as well as the energy needed to conserve and prepare food. In their efforts, they were able reduce their overall energy use by approximately 13%.
Unlike Chipotle, Delicious Dumplings in Chinatown of San Francisco is not quite as professionally established. It is a small family-oriented restaurant where consumers can come and buy dumplings to take home or eat on the streets. Because of its small size, it does not have the capacity to have more than a couple consumers inside the vicinity at a time. In fact, there is barely enough room for the staff to comfortably move and prepare food in a healthy fashion. As soon as you walk inside the building you get a thick taste of the smell of their food in the air. This is the cause of their poor ventilation system inside the restaurant. You can literally see steam still coming out from the windows. Even though, there is usually a long line of people waiting to purchase their food, they have earned a health score of only 61 out of 100 which they try not to advertise. I would recommend that this building receive a better system to ventilate their facility because not only is it unhealthy for the food, it is unhealthy for the employees and everyone else close by the restaurant. A good ventilation system that efficiently filter and control the temperature would be ideal for this establishment. Another suggestion would be to reformat the layout or structure of the building to better give people ample space to move around and prepare food in a safe and healthy manner.
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The first building I chose to look at is the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, SF. The building does a great job blending the build environment with the natural environment with its living roof and passive windows. Their living roof critical to the building’s heating and cooling efficiency because they do not rely on traditional HVAC or chemical cooling systems. Their passive windows allow for the building to not use lighting during the day time. I do believe on foggy days; the building is still bright enough to not use lighting thanks to its passive windows. On their website they mentioned that instead of using typical “building materials” such as fiberglass or foam-based insulation, they chose to go down the route of using recycled material from recycled blue jeans that provides an alternative to formaldehyde insulation. Also, instead of using concrete, the building is built with, “15 percent fly ash (a recycled byproduct of coal combustion) and 35 percent slag (the glass-like waste product of extracting metal from ore).” The steel used also comes from recycled steel, so the overall consumption material cost did not do more damage to the environment. In order to receive its LEED Platinum certification, the building actually uses 30 percent less energy than federal code requires. Their website says, “Nearly 100 percent of the Academy’s electricity comes from clean energy sources (the Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric plant, plus an on-site solar array.” This actually begs more questions as to does the building still require fossil fuels to stay afloat? Moreover, their water use is significantly low because waterless urinals and low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads.
The next building, I chose is a hemp home. These buildings are becoming more and more popular as people discover its huge environmental benefits because it has a positive impact on the environment. Currently this type of building is not considered LEED Certified. One evening, I attended a documentary film screening called Bringing It Home: Industrial Hemp, Healthy Houses, and a Greener Future for America. I have always been interested with hemp and its various uses and this documentary really sets the bar on how hemp can change our future. Hemp is healthy for our planet and offers various products to be developed from it. Out of all the industrial products hemp has to offer, I believe the most effective use of hemp can be used to build homes. Hemp offers an environmentally friendly way of building homes by which the building materials are non-toxic than commercial building materials. The construction materials do not require big heavy machinery, which gives this a more sustainable material to build with. The main ingredient is called Hempcrete, which is a mixture of the inner core of the hemp stalk and a hydrated lime combination. Hempcrete is considered to be a carbon-negative material, meaning that hemp removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than what it puts into it―the production of hemp and hydrated lime. When the building is complete, the hemp in the hempcrete continues to sequesters carbon dioxide for the life of the building. Not only does hemp collect a lot of carbon dioxide during its growing cycle, but it even gathers carbon dioxide when it is turned into a home. This is great for the environment and humans because instead of cutting down our forests to build log cabins, we can definitely build cabins out of hemp. These houses will be able to tag team with the forest to sequester carbon dioxide from our atmosphere creating cleaner air and more protection to our ozone. The hempcrete built home will have the ability to regulate the humidity and temperature in a room by having excellent thermal insulating and acoustical properties by using the bast fiber of the hemp stalk. This means that the energy cost of one’s home will be low. This is great considering that we use a lot of energy to use our heaters and air conditioners to regulate our home’s temperature, but with the hemp homes, it provides the thermal insulation through its materials. This building is a great example of traditional building because it only uses natural materials to build a sustainable home. It does not require heavy machinery or heavy cement. Hopefully one day this type of building can be LEED Certified or even some certification beyond it that tackles the issue of environmental justice.
These two buildings both do a great job at its functionality, however, only one of these buildings is certified on paper. Only a piece of certification separates these two buildings and hopefully one-day hemp buildings can get the recognition it deserves. We need to explore new building options because our world does not need more traditional construction processes. It is time to explore more vernacular and indigenous building ides. We should begin to blend out built environment with the natural environment.
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The LEED certifying process can be either beneficial or burdensome to the environment, depending on the perspective you are looking at it. The building that I reviewed, that was awarded the LEED silver certification, was the Venue apartment building in San Francisco’s Mission Bay District. The Venue website claims that the building has low flow toilets and faucets, water wise landscaping, 23% of its hot water is heated by using solar energy, and they use environmentally friendly cleaning products to clean the public areas of the building, (among several other claims). These checklist items are very helpful and necessary in order to have a sustainable building, and they are a good start, but they do not take into account the whole picture. The permitting and inspection in order to get a LEED certificate of any kind be quite expensive. According to greenhome.com “the minimum cost for certifying a building is $2,900, but the price tag quickly jumps for bigger projects. Office buildings and hospitals can cost upwards of $1 million for the certification alone”. This price barrier can limit who can actually become certified to more upscale development projects. The Venue is very upscale, with one bedroom units starting at $3608. Luxury, by nature in not sustainable. This is because the lavish amenities, the large water fountain in the courtyard, the size of the building all use physical resources, no matter how you slice it. Luxury apartments, like Venue are not very environmentally friendly simply because they take so many resources to produce. I cant help but look at a densely populated “slumish” houses in say, Bankok, and compare them to luxury homes in the U.S. and believe that these massive projects are actually sustainable. Venue has no reserved units for low income housing, which is not a sustainable feature. LEED also does not actually audit buildings to monitor their actual energy use like the EPA’s Energy Star program does. So the actual energy usage of a “green building” is not a factor in the certifying process.
Sorry, this is unfinished and unpolished, but I have to turn it in because I procrastinated! (Trying to be honest).
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Assignment # 4
Building #1 is Cathedral Gardens. It is an affordable housing apartments located at 638 21st street in Oakland, CA. It is LEED platinum certified. Cathedral Gardens was built in fall 2014 and consist of 100 apartments, underground garage, outdoor seating, and play area for children. There are 1-3 bedroom units. All apartments have wheelchair accessibility, energy efficient electric appliances and windows, solar panels for office space and community room. One building is a 110 year old historic rehab. These apartments have built in microwaves, dishwasher, granite counter tops, balcony or patio, very spacious, ceiling fan, special fan in hallways to circulate air. There is also secured parking garage and secured parking for bikes and recycling bins. This property cost approximately $50 million to develop. It is located 1 block from 19th street BART station.
Building #2 is Madison at 14th apartments. It is affordable housing apartments located as 16 14th street in Oakland, CA. It is not green certified but has many sustainable features. It was built in spring 2008 and consists of 79 apartments. Apartments range from studios to 3 bedrooms. Solar panels are utilized to light common areas. Apartments have energy star appliances, natural and recycled floor throughout, seismic structural system for earthquakes, and an innovated parking garage with lifts to minimize garage space. It was built with sustainable material, designed using sustainable building methods and cost approximately $31 million to develop. It is located 4 blocks from 12th street BART station.
Both building consist of sustainable material and was built using sustainable methods. Building #1 has more outdoor space. Building #2 has a courtyard but apartments do not have patios or balconies. In my opinion both apartment complex consist of sustainability. Building #2 is considered to be green but lacks certification. I do not recommend the government to required certification in order to be green. My suggestion for building #2 is to incorporate more outdoor space.
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The two building that I choose to analyze and compare is Taipei 101 that is LED certified and a non-certified building I want to analyze is Farolito taqueria building in SF. Taipei 101 is the tallest energy conservation building in the world. It received the highest ranking of Leed platinum which means a huge honor for green building and it’s also top ten in the most green building ever built by LEED across the world. Taipei building is also the tallest green building in the world and also the largest building in the world and most importantly, the highest use of green building ever made with over 90 tendants. Taipei building is the perfect example that even though it was an expensive building, in the end it is worth it because one of the tallest buildings is saving the environment and its earning a lot of money in the near future. Taipei 101 only the greenest building in the world, but it was built to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquakes that happens so often in Taiwan. Taipei was designed to be flexible as well as structural that prevents the building from having structural damage. The resistance of the building assures the comfort of the people that are inside the building and the protection of glass that covers the building. The features make Taipei 101 one the stable buildings ever constructed. The Leed company spent over NT 60 million which 2.08 million of dollars in the U.S. And over 10,000 man hours over the past two years to acquire the Leed certification. Although it’s a lot commitment and investment for a building, Taipei was able to save annually 14.4 million kilowatts hours of electricity, equivalent of spend NT 36 million of the same amount of electricity if it was a building that was not Leed certified. Because Taipei 101 is Leed certified, it was able to save over 18 percent energy over the last 3 years. In addition, the design for the carbon dioxide level of Taipei 101is 600 parts per million, which is lower than the national standard 1,000 parts per million. The 90 tendants of Taipei 101 gives the building easy access to fresh and clean oxygen because of the lower carbon dioxide levels. Overall, a leed certificate building shows that it’s a good building for people to be in and live there, while is really expensive and lots of time commitment, in the near future is estimated that savings from the modifications and energy saving would be payed in 5 years.
I decided to do a non certified building in the district that I’m from in SF and I decided to a a building where I’m always eating at least once a week and it’s also of course my favorite place to eat. The mission district is been dealing with a lot of buildings and restaurants burning down and collapsing. So I decided to do a business building in the food industry in the mission called farolito. They have three locations in the mission that are very similar and have the same design and structure of the building. I notice that all of the buildings are very small to make restaurant that it’s always busy. Farolito is very tiny yet they have hundreds of people coming to their restaurant everyday and to make matters worst they are open all the way until 4am at night and they open again at 9am. A non Leed certified building that is always on the go can waste so much energy and a lot of energy that’s harmful to the environment. All the buildings in the restaurant in farolito are always so deteriorated and that they haven’t been never been clean other then on the inside I suppose. I don’t think it’s not good for a bulding that is not Leed that not is manageable properly and it’s bad when you are not taking care of a building that can cause problems in the near future such as unexpected fires that can burn down and demolish the building.
To conclude, it is obvious that Leed certified building are good for the world. At least the ones that are ranked platinum are making the world a better place. Taipei 101 is a perfect example that so much money in time is put up in a building in the end, all the energy and electrify is saving ends up for the company in saving money and making even more money then what they spend and plus, is reducing the co2 in the building. While a non-led building that even though is really cheap to make , it shows that if its not supervised properly it can lead to place being burn down and demolished like in the mission. Even though is cheap in the end the company will be in debt paying for the demolition and paying the families many owners who loss their homes, and the investments of building that’s cheaper back fires.
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The construction I choose for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificated is a newly two-story office building’s carbon footprint in Anchorage, Alaska which built in 2009. It obtained the Silver level of LEED certifications and contained so many modern design elements. However, the main challenge for the building 11500 C Street was energy saving since Anchorage’s climate could reach from the lowest 10F in winter time to the highest 60F during the summer. Moreover, the area could have up to 10,506 annual heating degree and zero cooling degree days. Therefore, the constructions in Anchorage usually require a lot of energy spending for maintain the indoor temperatures especially during the crucial weathers. However, the appropriated window placements kept the building’s indoor temperature could maintain vary from 5.5F during winter to 52F in summer time by adjusting the sun’s angles. Moreover, seismic requirements are another challenge for the constructions in Anchorage. It was built with all-steel structural frame and completely metal panel covered, so that allows the construction to have a strong foundation to resist unexpected disasters. The 11500 C Street building reflected how constructions and architecture emerged with sustainable designs and ideas.
On the other hand, there still have some seemed to be preserved buildings have not follow the pace of sustainable development even though LEED has influenced the building’s construction broadly since 1994. The Doelger building is located at the Inner Sunset district in San Francisco built in 1932. It has served as the headquarter office of the developer, Henry Doelger. The Inner Sunset district is a very residential neighborhood in San Francisco, so the property is also just as big as other two-story residential apartments. The building has got only one expansion in 1940 since it has established. However, there still was not much aware of sustainability back in the 40s. The building is covered by concrete with two huge glasses windows in the front, but the design of the windows was more for decoration than absorbing the sunshine. Also, the foundations of the building were used of woods and concretes, so the seismic concerns somehow remained since San Francisco also locates at a high frequency of earthquake area. Therefore, both energy saving and seismic requirements of the building were not qualified for the modern standard yet.
The Doelger building would need to do more seismic inspection for the most priority I would say since human’s safety should be always in the first place. The best it could have added more steels element in their foundation, so it could get more protection at the disaster. Also, San Francisco’s climate is very unpredictable as well. Energy saving could be another big challenge of the building. Even the water saving could start to do so since San Francisco would have seasonal water short-cut period. I would suggest the office to contact LEED to access more information in terms of how to transfer to become sustainable because most of the cases already showed LEED has made a huge influence on our new constru
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The LEED certified building that I chose to analyze is One Bush Street Project-also known as the Crown Zellerbach, which was originally constructed in 1959 and renovated in 1990. One Bush Street obtained the highest level of LEED platinum certification, and it has a total size of 313,906 square feet which includes 298,778 square feet as office space and a separate circular retail space. The non-LEED certified project that I chose is the Fuller Building which was completed in 1902 in Manhattan, New York City. Fuller Building is a triangular 22-story multi-tenant building which functions as an office space while also attracts tourists.
One Bush has great environmental performance and it received a high energy star score. One Bush increases water efficiency and also monitors water usage with their energy modeling software. For instance, One Bush would have building staff to check on plants manually and only water them for as much as is needed. Landscape design factors were also taking into account for a more sustainable design. The type of soil and grading determines water efficiency and the run-off to storm water system.
Fuller building is not as sustainable as One Bush because it was constructed with relatively little concerns for environmental impact back in the early 1990s. The building also did not take fireproofing and other safety issues into considerations since they were able to find loop holes in the 1892 New York City’s building codes. The building was also not planned professionally and not in a sustainable way. The “cowcatcher” retail space located at the front of the building was added per the request of the owner in order to maximize the profit. There was also another additional penthouse which was constructed after the completion of the main building. Another example of its unprofessional design is that there were no female bathrooms when it was first opened. All of these unprofessional designs endangers its occupants and not to mention the negative environmental impacts that it has been bringing to the City. There is no greening infrastructure for the property, and its old fixture and lack of maintenance would also mean a waste of energy resources.
These two buildings are relatively incomparable as the level of sustainability. At the very least, both buildings are still actively in use as of today, and there are no serious environmental issues for both constructions. As for the recommendation, the Fuller Building could start to put more greening infrastructure around, and on its property which could help to improve the environment of the City. It is also important to maintain, and to replace new and efficient fixtures in order to conserve out limited energy resources. It is also necessary to renovated and eliminate all non-environmentally friendly constructions which were built after the completion of the building.
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Sustainability has gained popularity in recent years along with the need to make cities and buildings able to accommodate our expected population growth. This has provided the perfect condition for the rise of green architecture and the certifications that allow the public to know that they have meet sufficient standards to gain acknowledgment. LEED is one of those certifications and in modern day a significant number of buildings have met the sustainability standards so reach platinum certification, which is the highest ranking. One of these building is the new sporting arena in Sacramento called the golden one center. This arena is powered by a solar farm, ventilated by the delta breeze, and is committed to sourcing 90% of their food from local producers. However, LEED certifications fails to consider the social impacts of the projects they are assessing and other impacts on the geography of the area the project is in. The LEED standards should consider this amongst the things they already require to meet a certification. On the other end of the spectrum we have architects, like those working at Cal Earth (Nadir Khalil) and Hassan Fathy, that are committed to sustainability by assessing the way in which communities where building their homes centuries ago. They are looking at design techniques that reduce the need for energy for ventilation and heat while making their buildings climate and earthquake resistant. Although the footprint of these projects are considerably smaller because of the resources they use and the smaller need for energy they probably don’t meet the requirements of LEED. I do not believe that LEED and other companies with similar goals should be the only standard for sustainability. Keeping in mind that these companies are private and for profit it encourages the public to see these certifications as the only proof of sustainable design. It is possible for sustainability practices to be more widely applied if the public accepted and demanded different architecture that would eliminate the need using as many resources.
Nicholas B. Evans
October 1st 2016
In these two examples, I will be using the buildings, the California Academy of the Sciences located at 55 Music Concourse Dr. in San Francisco CA and the Heartfield building located at 659 California Dr. in San Francisco. The California Academy of the Sciences was built in 1853, it was given platinum L.E.E.D status in 2008. L.E.E.D (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are buildings that exemplify standards of energy efficiency and structural design.
In 2008, the California Academy of the Sciences operations and maintenance practices were evaluated and earned points across six different categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. The Academy earned a score of 82 which has meet the threshold for a Platinum L.E.E.D Rating. All of the electronics in the Academy are energy star rated. Over 60% of the waste is deposited into compost. One hundred percent of the energy from the academy comes from clean energy (the Hetchy reservoir). In the Academy there is a 98% availability of outdoor views. The Academy’s Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability is a professional development program for Bay Area teachers this program includes green building.
This is in contrast to the Hearfield building has over 120,000 square feet of office space. The building itself does not have any L.E.E.D certification, but on the buildings website; claims to be a “Green” building. The Heartfield, is a giant office building that uses a lot of unnatural light, there is an estimated 45% natural light space with most of the offices inside the center of the building. There is no known composting program other than the one mandated by the city. The Heartfield building is staggeringly different than the Cal Academy in the energy usage and resource allocation,
The Academy beats the Hearfield in every category of L.E.E.Ds. This has a lot to do with the size of the building and the location of the two very different sites. With the Academy being in a park, one could guess that the amount of fresh air that is circulated in the building is increased and that the hearfield building would have much less amounts fresh air and more circulated air, As for water reduction, the Academy uses a lot less water. This comes down to choice in faucets and plumbing that could decrease the amount of water usage over a long period of time.
Some recommendations for the Heartfield building would be to invest in low flow plumbing fixtures. Use less florescent bulbs and try to increase the amount of natural light that is given to each office. The building itself was designed awhile ago, it lacks fresh ventilation and has an circulated air flow inside the building. Somehow they should pump fresher air through the ventilation. Before the Heartfield building can become L.E.E.D certified they must take all of this into account.
The two buildings I have chosen are the LEED certified Park Library and the not LEED certified main branch of the San Francisco public library. Both branches are located in San Francisco, and both are owned by the city. The current main branch of the library was constructed starting in 1994, completed in 1995, and opened to the public in 1996. It cost the city and taxpayers $104.5 million. While we did have a basic understanding of the need for sustainable development in the 1990’s, we didn’t take it as seriously as we should have. That being said, the main branch of the library wasn’t exactly built with 100% sustainability in mind. The building is made of granite, which is notoriously environmentally unfriendly to produce. It is massively energy and water intensive to make. Not to mention, the makers of some granite may have other unsustainable business practices. However, the building was one of the first public buildings in the country to be made with high-indoor air quality as part of the design. With all that being said though, there could have been plenty of other things taken into account to make the building as environmentally friendly as possible. Had it been built today, I’m sure more steps would have been taken in that direction.
Secondly, there is the Park library branch. This branch holds a Gold LEED certification, obtained in October 2011. While this particular building wasn’t built with LEED certifications in mind, it instead went through a serious renovation to become LEED certified. While working to maintain the historic façade and interior, the LEED renovation worked to “improve patron service, staff work areas, and ADA accessibility.” According to the LEED scoreboard, the water efficiency and innovation of this particular renovation were some of the most successful parts. In the current state of severe drought in California, having water efficiency is one of the most important parts of any building, especially public ones. Ultimately, I feel that LEED certifications are a necessary and integral part of getting everyone on the same page when it comes to how to sustainably build. It’s long past time that we build better and smarter, and LEED can help us do that.
Akram Yasin Abdulrahman
1 October 2016
Leed vs Non-Leed building
The two buildings that I have decided to asses are two different coffee shops. One being LEED certified is one of many Starbucks cafeterias while the other one is the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffee shop that is not LEED certified. A rough estimate of 65 % of Starbucks shops are LEED certified specifically the ones that provide drive thru service, and they have been classified by the U.S Green Building Council since 2012. Meanwhile the Coffee Bean chain does not possess LEED certification yet for any of their stores or buildings.
To begin with, the Starbucks stores that are LEED certified consists of multiple resourced elements that build up their interior design. According to their own ‘’Responsibility’’ section of their commitments to be sustainable, Starbucks claim to be using sustainable material that have been recycled to accustom the design of the shops. For instance a store in Hillsboro Oregon, uses recycled coffee grounds in table tops and low emitting materials for components such as painting and flooring. The specific store in Hillsboro has slightly above 10 % of their material manufactured and extracted within a 500 mile distance which helps to prevent vast amount of CO2 emissions. In terms of resource management, Starbucks stores have been able to design a water conservation system which has helped them to reduce their water usage by nearly 25%, which they have been given credit from by the U.S Green Building Council. Starbucks have also been successful with generating an Energy Management System which has enabled their stores to reduce their net ecological footprint through a number of ways. Starbucks stores have an internal insulating system that regulates heating and cooling to a level which is sufficient but does not exceed any energy efficiency limits. Additional tasks that Starbucks have been able to perform which has led them to be given the LEED certification are the ability of reducing their construction waste with more than half and minimize their light usage by a third. Starbucks stores usually conduct light sources that are of low watt strengths making sure that emissions are kept very low.
Coffee Bean, which have not yet been LEED certified for their stores have a different setup. Similar to Peets Coffee and many other Coffee franchises, Coffee Bean buildings are usually part of an exterior building such as a mall or a plaza. The Coffee Bean store in San Francisco located at the Embarcadero center for example, share the same outlets for waste, electricity, and water with the Embarcadero center which makes it more complicated and restrictive in terms of managing their given use of those elements. Compared to Starbucks, Coffee Bean buildings are usually sub-components of an exterior site as already mentioned and they do not offer services such as drive thru which limits their work and production to the hours they’re under service. Although not being certified with LEED, according to The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire; Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf stores have been awarded with many recognitions of being ‘’green’’ and environmentally friendly through sustainable use. The Green Restaurant Association mentions that Coffee Bean has undergone great steps towards approaches including preventing pollution and the use of green power, aspects that Starbucks have not been credited for despite their LEED certification.
To summarize, based on the assessment I would recommend Starbucks and promote their environmental impact as opposed to Coffee Bean and it’s given aspects. Although there are certain elements that Coffee Bean seems to fulfill in a sustainability point of view, I consider the fact that Starbucks through its LEED certification is able to customize the processes to become more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Coffee Bean has been credited for a number of sustainability factors; however they lack the building structures which would enable them to perhaps be even more sustainable. Since Coffee bean for instance share a great amount of their energy use and resources as part of the exterior buildings such as the Embarcadero Center, I therefore conclude that it could be more sustainable to adapt a similar design to Starbucks in order to have a more positive environmental impact.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, San Francisco’s City Hall became, in 2015, the oldest building to earn the LEED Platinum certification across seven categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation and Regional Priority. The Sustainable Sites credits are due to the building’s existing proximity to multiple transit lines and bike lanes. The sites multiple lawn areas, along with trees planted in block-long sand-lots helped the building earn the Sustainable Sites landscape, hardscape and heat island management credits (USGBC). City Hall scored highest in Innovation (5/6), which included hiring a LEED-accredited Professional, and Regional Priority credits (4/4), however, these credits appear to carry over from credits obtained through systemic upgrades in the previous five categories. The city’s War Memorial recently underwent a significant retrofitting as well, but did not apply for the same certification, despite being an existing building that is utilizing similar energy and resource efficiency programs.
Site Analysis: City Hall
LEED’s Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance certifications are granted to awardees which have undergone physical improvements with little to no construction (USGBC). As such, improvement costs totaled little more than the $700,000 the city was awarded from the EPA’s Civic Center Sustainable District Grant. Of that, $430,000 were spent on HVAC mechanical upgrades and building system upgrades, and $250,000 was spent on interior lighting fixtures and lighting management systems upgrades (Cosgrove, 2015).
Water efficiency improvements came with the replacement of 76 toilets, 17 urinals and 200 faucets that are expected to produce an 825,000 gallon-per-year reduction in water consumption; since these were sustainable plumbing and solid waste management supplies, they also fulfilled four of ten Materials and Resources for Sustainable Purchasing credits and two of the four Regional Priority credits for sustainable indoor plumbing and ongoing solid waste management (USGBC).
Energy efficiency and additional Regional Priority credits came once the building switched to receiving 100 percent of its power from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s hydro-electric power plant at the Hetch-Hetchy River Valley Reservoir. An automated ventilation and cooling system, activated when carbon-dioxide detectors are alerted to the presence of people in the hallways and temperature sensors that cool the building when appropriate, earned Indoor Environmental Quality credits. Rooftop solar panels and LED lighting replaced 220 incandescent bulbs. The HVAC and lighting system improvements are expected to reduce the building’s overall energy usage by 20% and are expected to produce an annual energy cost savings of $5.5 million a year (Cosgrove, 2015).
Recommendation: War Memorial
The city’s War Memorial and Performing Arts Center is another cornerstone of San Francisco’s historic Civic Center. Long regarded as one of the country’s finest and most complete examples of Beaux Arts architecture and civic heritage, the LEED Silver building is currently pursuing LEED Gold (2009) certification for Building Design and Construction for its seismic safety retrofitting activities, conducted between 2013 and 2015. This certification does not, however, take into account the ecological and economic costs of overall building and landscape maintenance.
However, since the $99 million dollar retrofit and improvements project on the existing building also included Energy Efficiency upgrades, Mechanical System upgrades, a Central Utility Plant and Water Piping and Drinking Water System upgrades, all of which could produce enough energy cost savings to help the building recover its initial project costs in less than 20 years, it should pursue LEED’s Platinum Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance certifications as well, as this could have the added effect of improving the public’s perception of certification standing to significantly increase recovery of more environmental and economic resources in the long-term operations and maintenance phase than were consumed in its design and construction phases.
Green Business Certification Incorporated (GBCI) is the certification and credentialing body to certify and credential of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED works with owners and developers at all phases of development. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across areas that addresses sustainability issues. Based on the number of points, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. LEED-certified buildings should be resource efficient; by using less water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money for the building owner.
LEED doesn’t actually require buildings to prove that they’re ahead of the curve or compliant with energy and water efficiency. Applicants can acquire LEED status merely by offering computer models that project the building will meet a certain threshold. The LEED certification is dome even before the building is occupied. After completion, buildings don’t have to prove environmental friendliness. The LEED rating can also be considered a gimmick. Installing a bike rack gets a building one point, while adding only the minimum number of parking spaces scores gets two points. Sometimes it isn’t a guarantee that employees or visitors will ride their bike to the building, unless the roads are bike friendly. This gimmick allows the projects to take the easiest and cheapest path to LEED certification without actually doing much for the environment. LEED can sometimes be considered greenwashing.
An example, look at a low flow sink. It takes copious amounts of time to wash hands, while full flow would help make handwashing quicker. Another example, allow a building to be a glass house that absorbs in heat from outside light during the winder to save on heating costs, but it requires more for cooling costs to keep the glass house cool. Another example, less water in the bathroom can be a fallacy, as an example, waterless urinals, they reek of horrid odors, which doesn’t make any sense when it comes to cleanliness. There have been petrol stations that have been LEED certified, but that is an irony when selling petroleum products that spew smog from cars.
To have a Leed certified building there are many aspects of land use planning that are implemented to achieve a sustainable building. There are categories with a point system that is a tallied to see how sustainable their building is. I will be talking about the Eco Center in Heron’s Head Park in San Francisco. The Eco Center as of July 2013 has been certified by the United States Green Building Comission Council as a platinum building. The building has an onsite energy generation facility that creates zero emissions. Their building has an off the grid solar energy system and produces its own electricity. In total they scored a 52/69, giving them a LEED certified building. The building also has no connection to the city’s water treatment facilities. They have a living roof which collects rainwater, and a rain water storage facility on site. The building also hosts a wastewater treatment system. The majority of the building is made out of reclaimed or recycled materials. The countertops are made from recycled plastics and stones, also the majority of the household fixtures were reclaimed from demolition sites where they would have just been sent to the landfill.
The next building I will be talking about is the College of Health and Social Sciences building at San Francisco State University. The building is far beyond its prime and could be renovated and retrofitted to create a more sustainable building. For a building that houses the department of environmental studies, it’s not a very sustainable facility. The bathrooms for intense house a number old fixtures that waste a ton of water, including old toilets and urinals that aren’t up to sustainable water standards that we have today. The building is poorly lit, and the majority of the building has to be illuminated by artificial lighting that creates a very dull atmosphere, and driving up the energy need as well. The use of natural light was obviously not highly considered when they designed the building.
The building has a lot of potential for retrofitting the bathrooms, and lowering its energy consumption from lighting. The building needs to invest in a solar energy system that can power its energy needs like how the Eco Center does. There is also a lot of room for the capability of a water storage facility and a living roof on top of HSS. Also if the building were renovated making it well lit, there wouldn’t be a need for as much energy consumption. The building lacks the natural lighting needed to heat or illuminated a room. It is situated on top of campus as has the capability of receiving a fair amount of lighting if renovated correctly. For this building to achieve a platinum level certification, they need to address the water and energy consumption issue. I truly believe HSS should move towards becoming a more sustainable building, and also renovating it completely. It sits on top of our campus and from 19th avenue that is the first impression you get when you look at the school. If the school had proper funding I think this would be an ideal way of spending it, retrofitting buildings that are already established. It is far cheaper to retrofit buildings to create a more sustainable facility, than to demolish and start a new building.
The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was certified LEED Silver in 2006. It was opened in 1893 and was the largest glasshouse in the US. There was an expansion in the 1990s and LEED certification became a priority. To reach their certification goal they created a 12,465 square foot Welcome Center which includes a café, art gallery, and gift shop. The Welcome Center received a silver level certification because the air conditioning system only operates in densely populated areas of the building, the dome is vented to allow hot air to rise, a glass ceiling allows natural light in, and materials a part of the building are non-toxic.
The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California does not hold a LEED certification. It is the oldest public wood and glass conservatory in the US. It opened in 1879 in Golden Gate Park and became an instant hit for visitors. The building has been rebuilt several times due to a boiler explosion, fire, and structural instabilities. It most recently reopened in 2003 and has since earned 13 awards from both the local and national level.
What is similar about these two buildings is that they are both conservatories that have the specific purpose of housing tropical plants. There is only so much anyone can do to improve the greenhouse structure of a conservatory to make it more sustainable. They are both old structures that are over one hundred years old and have had repairs done to them over time. They also both house a large about of visitors each day.
Because LEED certification was a major priority for the Phipps Conservatory, they had to create a new building that is an offshoot of the original greenhouse. The San Francisco Conservatory already has national recognition and does not seem like it plans to receive additional boosts of recognition from LEED. The way that they welcome their guests is through a modest sized entrance hall that leads to the opening of the greenhouse. I doubt it would be beneficial for the Conservatory to create a new structure unless they created a new educational program that required room to have people gather together.
I believe the LEED system has credibility and I think it should stay. It however should not be a strike against any building that has not received recognition because the application process is long and the assessment is strenuous. The San Francisco Conservatory, despite not having a badge of honor from LEED, but it still finds ways to prove its worth and its credibility as a sustainable structure.