LEED O+M: Existing Buildings v2009
Boys & Girls Club of SF - Mission Clubhouse
LEED Gold 2012
The below stakeholder perspectives address the following LEED credits:
EAc4, MRp1, MRp2, MRc1, MRc2.7, EQp1, EQc2.4
Goals and motivations
What were the top overarching goals and objectives?
The Mission Clubhouse's top sustainability goals were to create a safe and healthy environment for the children and staff, use the renovated building's sustainability tactics as educational tools, and lower energy costs to invest money in other programs.
What were the most notable strategies used to earn LEED credits?
Notable strategies used to increase energy efficiency and decrease operational costs included installation of a photovoltaic array, 100% passive cooling, hydronic heating, preservation of historical site features, integration of sustainable learning into the curriculum, and careful materials selection.
BCGSF received about $75,000 in rebates from GoSolarSF and the State of California for its solar array. The rebates offset about 50% of the total system cost, making it affordable to purchase outright and immediately begin reaping energy savings. The building achieves 100% passive cooling by providing operable windows in all exterior spaces and by designing these exterior spaces to move natural air to the few interior spaces. The building was configured so that almost all occupied spaces are located near the building perimeter with access to operable windows. Two heating-only 100% outside air make-up air units to supplement airflow to interior spaces. The required level of thermal comfort was achieved with zero mechanical cooling and minimal mechanical ventilation by integrating a radiant hydronic floor heating system to efficiently distribute heat. Additionally, natural ventilation and lighting via windows and skylights helps lower energy costs on an ongoing basis.
Photo by Nibbi Brothers
Boys & Girls Clubs children at play in the renovated, spacious, and well-lit game room.
Another notable aspect is that a portion of the building was salvaged and re-used to reduce construction waste and debris, which also helped retain the existing character of the historical building. In addition to materials reduction, careful materials selection has helped to ensure healthy indoor air quality. Low-VOC paints and finishes were used in all spaces to minimize off-gassing into the air. Real linoleum was used on the floors because it is a natural product, unlike sheet vinyl, which requires fossil fuels to produce. Acoustic panels with high recycled content were installed in the gym; these panels reduce noise reverberation, making the space more pleasant to occupy. The team also completely revamped its approach to cleaning the building, adopting a green cleaning program that focuses on eliminating hazardous and toxic chemicals. To adopt this policy, new vendors were identified who had experience implementing green cleaning programs and using sustainable cleaning materials, chemicals, equipment, and processes.
To reduce ongoing waste production, the Club revamped its existing purchasing decisions, switching to compostable plates, utensils, and cups. The Club has also integrated the children into many sustainable operational elements, including designating a "Green Team" to ensure that recycling, compost, and waste are placed into the correct bins. It also brought in local waste experts, SF Environment, to teach the importance of proper waste diversion techniques. In leveraging the building as an educational tool, the staff highlights the sustainable strategies used to construct the building in classes and activities. A powerful educational tool, the use of a solar photovoltaic production display helps teach children the value of renewable energy, as well as its impact on the environment and building operations costs. A flat screen display in the club shows real-time data from the solar array, adding visual value to this exercise.
Aside from LEED certification, what do you consider key project successes?
The project restored a local Boys & Girls Club for this underserved, low-income residential neighborhood. The existing building was rendered unusable over the years prior to the reconstruction, but now it serves hundreds of young people each week in a safe, comfortable environment.
Photo by Nibbi Brothers
Boys & Girls Clubs children now have the opportunity to learn about sustainability from their LEED Gold educational facility.
What one thing saved you or the project team the most time, money, or helped avoid an obstacle during the LEED process? What one thing cost you the most?
Implementing and documenting a green purchasing policy took a significant amount of work since no comprehensive policy had been in place before the LEED process. Purchases were being made at a variety of vendors without the ability to clearly track which products were being chosen. A policy was created at this and the rest of BGCSF's sites to purchase disposable goods only through Office Depot using a specific shopping list of green items meeting LEED standards. This policy simplified purchasing and tracking since reports can be generated through Office Depot's website and staff can only choose from pre-approved items. It also saved time and money since orders can be placed online and delivered for free if over $50.
While the switch to the new policy was not entirely complete in time for the project to earn MRc1, the new policy is achieving great success for the Club's current and future operations.
Both a success and a challenge, reinventing the Club's purchasing process - previously disjointed and unregulated - proved a difficult task. Now that the policies have been reviewed, updated, and implemented, the Club is working on a written purchasing policy to ensure that all staff is trained to purchase the correct products and track them accordingly. Although the purchasing changes that came with the policy could not be adopted by this project in time to achieve MRc1, it is hoped that the policy adopted for this building will be met by all BGCSF facilities.
As such, this building will serve as a precedent for the rest of the Boys and Girls Clubs in the San Francisco area. The lessons learned from this project will shape the final city-wide policy that will be adopted in the near future.
What was the value of applying LEED to this project?
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco has a Green Initiative focused on three areas: conserve, explore, and recycle. LEED certification has been a great way to document and publicize BGCSF's commitment to these values, and it provides an opportunity to educate the children about their impact on the environment. The LEED certification process was also a huge catalyst for creating organization-wide policies, such as those for cleaning and purchasing, and implementing change at the eight other Boys & Girls Clubs within San Francisco. One example is an internal green facility audit that gets conducted quarterly at all of the Clubs, mirroring many of the credits on the LEED scorecard.
Photo by Nibbi Brothers
This historical building renovation incorporates energy, waste, and water efficiency education.
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