Cushman & Wakefield Helps SF Highrise Attain Record-Setting LEED-Gold Certification

Cushman & Wakefield Helps SF Highrise Attain Record-Setting LEED-Gold Certification

With help from property management firm Cushman & Wakefield, the 38-story First Market Tower in San Francisco has earned LEED-Gold certification and become the largest existing building on the U.S. West Coast to receive such a rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Constructed more than 35 years ago, the highrise at 525 Market Street in San Francisco has a gross square footage of 1,161,736.

It is one of two well-known San Francisco buildings to receive a gold rating this month as an existing structure under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. The other was the Transamerica Pyramid, which is managed and leased by Cushman & Wakefield and owned by Transamerica Pyramid Properties, LLC, a member of the AEGON companies.

Improvements at the building at 525 Market Street, an Energy Star structure for nine years, included a major lighting retrofit of lamps and ballasts in areas occupied by tenants, common spaces, the garage and the mechanical portion of the building. The building's operating systems, including chillers, boilers and water heaters, were either upgraded for efficiency or replaced.

Other green elements at the building that were taken into account to attain LEED certification include:

  • Retrofits of indoor water fixtures and fittings, which yielded a 20 percent reduction in water consumption.
  • The purchase of certified offsite renewable energy equivalent that's equivalent to half the annual energy use of the building..
  • The reuse, recycling and composting of more than 70 percent of the ongoing consumable waste stream produced by the building and its tenants.
  • The diversion of more than 70 percent of the waste generated during construction.
  • Outdoor air ventilation rates involving occupied spaces that are at least 30 percent above the minimum rates required.
  • A custodial program that received the highest rating in its category as a result of green cleaning practices that include use of HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaners and microfiber dust cloths. In addition, 90 percent of the cleaning products purchased for the building contain high recycled content or meet the EPA and Green Seal standards for sustainability.
  • More than 87 percent of occupants use public transportation and alternative means of transportation to get to work.
  • Major efforts to educate building occupants about sustainability.

{related_content}Cushman & Wakefield also had a leading role in preparing the report released this week (pdf) of recommendations for the Mayor's Task Force on Existing Commercial Buildings in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom hailed the green building certifications as well as the report, which backs a proposal for a Sustainable Financing Loan Program to provide building owners with access to affordable, city-sponsored financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements.

Under the plan, which Newsom introduced this week with city Supervisor Eric Mar, the repayment obligation would be attached to the property, rather than the individual, and will be paid back through property taxes over the life of the financing.

The report cites both the need to ramp up the greening of existing buildings -- and the opportunities presented by doing so.

Image CC licensed by Danjahner.