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LEED BD+C: New Construction v2.2

The Matarozzi/Pelsinger Building: 355 11th Street

1060 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
United States
Map

LEED Gold 2009

 

Goals and motivations

Strategies

Outcomes

Lessons learned

 

The below stakeholder perspectives address the following LEED credits:

SSc7.1, SSc7.2, EAc1, EAc2, MRc1.1, EQc6.2, EQc8.1, EQc8.1

 

 

Goals and motivations

What were the top overarching goals and objectives?

Joshua Aidlin

Principal Architect, Aidlin Darling Design

Associated credits EAc1, MRc1.1, EAc8.1, EAc8.2

The primary goal for this project was to adaptively reuse the historic industrial building for multiple uses with modern amenities while retaining the building's industrial character. Another important goal was to provide light and air for 100% of building occupants. With few original window openings and restrictions by the Planning Department on adding more, this was a serious design challenge. Last, the team strived to make the building as energy-independent as possible.

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

View of exterior showing new monolithic zinc skin and minimal punched openings in keeping with historic façade.

 


 

Strategies

What were the most notable strategies used to earn LEED credits?

Joshua Aidlin

Principal Architect, Aidlin Darling Design

Associated credits EAc1, EAc2, EQc6.2, EAc8.1, EAc8.2, SSc7.1, SSc7.2

Because the project site is on the National Register of Historic Places, the San Francisco Planning Department mandated that new siding be an in-kind replacement of the original, unsalvageable, corrugated metal siding, and that overall window area be consistent between old and new. The design team successfully championed a strategy of introducing subtle perforations into the new zinc cladding to allow light and air into the occupied spaces beyond, maintaining the stoic character of the original building without the visual introduction of new fenestration.

Photo by Aidlin Darling Design

Photo by Aidlin Darling Design

This diagram illustrates the approach to the adaptive reuse of the existing historic structure, from the restored historic façade and structural frame to the new perforated skin and apertures.

The building's new metal skin is perforated with fields of small holes that allow light and air to pass through new operable windows hidden beyond. The perforated outer skin mitigates solar heat gain while enabling cross ventilation of the interior. This rudimentary double-skin façade becomes a screen for sunlight and air without the visual impact of new fenestration on the historic facade. The new perforated skin results in a generously illuminated and well-ventilated interior, providing a pleasing view from within while simultaneously offering a degree of privacy for occupants. Rather than defaulting to pre-perforated panels, the patterning of the perforations was embraced as a design opportunity. Customized Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) milling allowed the creation of a seamless, building-scale gradient - from opaque to more than 50% open - across the entire façade. This smooth gradient functions to de-materialize the industrial surface of the corrugated metal, gradually revealing the reflections of the glass beyond during the day and the warm glow of the interior at night.

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Night view of facade where perforations allow views into the building, revealing windows beyond. This double skin provides light and air for the interior.

Transforming the parking lot into a communal space

The site's existing parking lot was transformed into a street-front outdoor dining courtyard and garden, both activating the street and bringing the building's open space back into the public realm. The biodynamic garden within the courtyard provides herbs to be used within the restaurant for both food and drink. The use of permeable surfaces throughout the courtyard helps manage stormwater runoff. Both the garden and activity associated with the restaurant are visible from the street through the new fence, a patterned bar-relief of wood panels, recessed light pockets, and view slots. To both those passing by and those accessing the restaurant or workspace, the outdoor courtyard provides a respite from the urban streetscape.

Implementing energy efficiency strategies

All of the building's available roof area was dedicated to either harvesting solar energy or hosting a living roof. All available unshaded roof area supports a photovoltaic array that provides 79% of the building's annual electricity use. The solar panels were purchased by the owner, using significant incentives, with the total array split equally between the three tenants. Incentives included California Solar Initiative's commercial component and the City of San Francisco Solar Rebate Program.

The building incorporates solar power and natural ventilation/passive cooling to achieve overall annual energy savings of more than 50% over a conventional building. All project plantings were specially selected for drought resistance, thereby requiring little to no water.

Because San Francisco has a mild climate, to minimize active HVAC systems, a natural ventilation system was designed. All building spaces were designed with operable windows to allow occupants to directly control airflow, meeting requirements of ASHRAE 62.1 (Standard for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality). On the second floor, a secondary small conference room and kitchen without operable window access have mechanical ventilation ceiling fans. As a result, during the cooling season, all space conditioning is accomplished by natural ventilation. For the heating months, a hydronic radiant floor system is used. All spaces are individually controlled: individual workstations access operable windows while shared multi-occupant spaces rely on a combination of operable windows and thermal controls per zone for adjustment of the radiant heated floors.

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

The steel bridge and window element allows users full visibility to the street beyond while providing natural ventilation.

Energy-minimizing passive systems were also incorporated in the lighting systems design. Numerous windows and skylights allow natural light into the space. During the commissioning process on a clear sunlit afternoon, perimeter zones showed light levels in excess of 200 foot candles (fc) at the work surface, while interior zones exhibited 50 fc. This abundance of natural light reduces reliance on active, artificial lighting systems. The installed daylight harvesting system uses dimmable electronic ballasts on the fluorescent fixtures linked to ceiling photocells that measure available natural lighting, dimming or turning off the fixtures to maintain the required space lighting level of 35 fc. In spaces with large glazing areas, perforated metal panels and manual roll-down shades control excessive direct light and glare. For enclosed spaces with intermittent occupancy - such as the conference room, private offices, restrooms, storage rooms, and stairwells - occupancy sensors adjust lighting based on the presence of occupants.

 


 

Outcomes

Aside from LEED certification, what do you consider key project successes?

Daniel Pelsinger

Owner/General Contractor, Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders

With adaptive reuse, the building has become a meaningful sustainable space that engages the public. The resulting project provides new space for working and dining in San Francisco. The effect of the innovative sustainable approaches is both visible and meaningful to the general public and building inhabitants. For daily users of the building, the unique perforated skin provides a great deal of light and air, allowing 100% of the interior spaces to be naturally lit and ventilated. For the public passing by, the building changes appearance from day to evening. During the day, the skin reads as solid, emphasizing the industrial nature. As day turns to evening, light from the interior glows through the perforated skin, gradually revealing the historic character of the timber frame within.

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

At dusk the punched openings glow, allowing views to the spaces within.

 


 

Lessons Learned

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?

Joshua Aidlin

Principal Architect, Aidlin Darling Design

Associated credits EAc1

Collaboration between all team members - owner/builder, architect, consultants, and fabricators - was the most important factor in creating this project efficiently and affordably. The project team held regular "all hands" meetings to check in with projected LEED status during the design process. These meetings allowed the owner/builder to make necessary provisions ahead of time for various design aspects influenced by LEED, rather than being blindsided by unfamiliar requirements.

One example of the strength of this collaborative process was in the milling process for the exterior metal skin. Collaborative research with the fabricator revealed that four corrugated panels could be stacked and cut simultaneously without increasing milling time or cost. This feedback sponsored an optimization of the panel design, resulting in 12 unique panel types that repeat four times each. Maintaining consistent panel size and hole spacing allowed the gradient to be flipped about the horizontal midpoint of the façade, creating a visual shear that both amplifies the impact of the graduating hole sizes and provides a subtle break in scale for the front façade.

Photo by Aidlin Darling Design

Photo by Aidlin Darling Design

This diagram illustrates the way the designers optimized the panel design through flipping the panels along the horizontal midpoint of the façade, creating a dynamically gradated façade while reducing manufacturing costs.

The owner's original intention was to adapt the existing warehouse located in the industrial SOMA area of San Francisco into a multi-tenant office building. In evaluating the building and its relationship to the site and neighborhood, the architects advocated for the inclusion of a restaurant within the building to bring a more public use to the area. Reinterpreting zoning codes for the area, they further suggested that the parking area in front of the building be reduced significantly for the creation of an urban street-front courtyard. Gaining planning approvals for these changes within the fast-track project was challenging, but necessary. It would be hard to know how to have handled this process differently. These approvals substantially helped the project, allowing it to connect to the public in a meaningful way.

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

The existing courtyard was transformed into an urban street-front courtyard, activating the street.

 

What was the value of applying LEED to this project?

Daniel Pelsinger

Owner/General Contractor, Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders

Associated credits MRc1.1

Viewing the project through the lens of LEED enabled the team to define project goals and continually refine the project. From the start, the team used the LEED checklist to inform the project and provide a pathway toward evaluating sustainable approaches. For example, with salvaging the existing structural system as a goal, the structural engineer was able to think creatively about the building and what was needed to seismically brace and strengthen the existing systems. For the mechanical systems, a number of approaches were vetted and reviewed for lifecycle costs before determining the most energy-efficient approach. At the commencement of design, the team performed a detailed energy analysis that included the architectural envelope, mechanical systems, plumbing systems, and lighting. Using DOE-2 software and reviewing building systems options on an energy cost basis, an energy-efficient and cost-effective system was identified. Through this analysis, the team focused on the use of passive systems as a first stage, followed by transition to active systems. The use of LEED as a metric for this evaluation was critical.

Lastly, it was the original goal of the owner/builder, a general contractor specializing in green building, to use the project to showcase its commitment to sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Applying LEED to this project did just that.

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

Within the building, the existing wood structure has been carefully sandblasted to review the warmth and texture of the original materials.

 

 

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Project details
Size
13,770 sf
Use
Major Renovation
Setting
Urban
Certified
20 Jul 2009