Savvy Lifestyle

San Francisco Green Building Ordinance

On August 4th, San Francisco took another huge leap in its effort to lead the world in environmental initiatives by signing into effect a new Green Building Ordinance.  The laws were developed over a 6 month period by a Task force on Green Building set up by Mayor Gavin Newsom.  After long negotiations these new laws have finally been set in motion and I’m excited about the prospects.  New residential, new commercial, and renovation projects will all be affected and the changes will start to take place almost immediately.   It’s all part of a 5 year plan for the city.  The initial requirements will have to be met starting with projects going for permits after November 1st of this year.  The focus is clearly on reducing energy and water use as well as the amount of waste created during demolition and construction.  They’ve broken building types down into several categories.  Here’s a brief synopsis of some of the new requirements:

– Small & Mid-size Residential projects will have to meet an increasing number of Green Point credits (similar to LEED) each year.

-High Rise Residential projects have to be LEED certified begining Nov. 1st and LEED silver by 2011.

– Mid-size commercial projects (5-25,000 SF) will have to fill out LEED checklists (but not necessarily comply) starting in November of this year, with additional requirements for energy & water conservation as well as waste diversion being added through 2011.

-Large commercial projects (25,000 SF or more) will have to be LEED certified beginning in November and LEED Silver by 2009

-Large commercial interiors projects and renovations (25,000 SF or more) must be LEED certified by November, LEED Silver, by 2009, and LEED Gold by 2012. 

This means big changes for architects, developers, and owners.  San Francisco is  hoping to set an example for cities around the world and inspire others to follow suit with their own regulations.   I for one, am very excited to be a part of the efforts. 

Rebecca_ SF