Friday, December 5, 2008

New Building Requirements in San Francisco

Hotel developers planning to build new properties in San Francisco will have to pay close attention to a new GreenPoints rating system run by Build It Green (BIG), a Bay area nonprofit dedicated to “healthy, energy and resource-efficient buildings in California.” Effective beginning in 2009, all new buildings and renovation projects in San Francisco will be held to environmental regulation under the GreedPoints system.

Paralleling LEED Certification, the GreenPoints system will increase restrictions each successive year until 2012, when all projects must have 75 GreenPoints, equivalent to a LEED Silver certification. In four years, the code is expected to eliminate 60,000 tons of CO2, save 220,000 megawatt hours of power, conserve 100 million gallons of drinking water, reduce waste and storm water by 90 million gallons, trim construction and demolition waste by 700 million pounds, increase recycled materials’ value by $200 million, curb auto miles by 540,000, and generate 37,000 megawatt hours with green power.

This July, the California Building Standards Commission adopted minimal green building standards but charged “local government [to] retain their discretion to exceed the standards established by this code.” According to BIG, more than 100 local governments have expanded on the statewide standards, and 30 of those have mandatory environmental requirements. Click here to read more.

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