A recent article announces San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee’s introduction of legislation that would update the city’s Municipal Green Building Code to require adherence to LEED Gold certification standards for all municipal construction and major renovation projects over 5,000 square feet after September 1. Currently, only LEED Silver certification is required for municipal buildings, while LEED Gold is required for private sector buildings, beginning in 2012. Lee’s legislation updates green building standards for city building projects, further reinforcing San Francisco’s position as a national leader in green building practices, according to the article.
Now that we have developed high standards for new construction and existing commercial buildings, it is time to turn our attention to municipal building practices,” said Mayor Lee, in the article. “This legislation will make City departments pursue LEED Gold certification ahead of the schedule currently required for the private sector. San Francisco once again is leading by example.”
San Francisco already has the tightest standards for new commercial and residential construction in the country, requiring adherence to LEED standards for new public and private building projects, as well as requiring existing commercial buildings to benchmark energy use and conduct regular energy audits.
The LEED Gold requirement for municipal projects puts San Francisco in an elite club of only nine other municipalities in the country with similarly high standards for new construction. In addition, San Fracisco is one of only three cities in the country that require LEED Gold certification for major renovations, and the only jurisdiction that places LEED requirements on city households.
Other provisions of Lee’s ordinance include date-certain retrofit requirements for energy-efficient lighting and high-efficiency toilets, urinals, and showerheads in city facilities. New and renovated city buildings will reduce energy use by at least 15 percent, and reduce water use by at least 30 percent, compared to conventional buildings.
The city of San Francisco currently has 52 municipal projects seeking LEED certification, including three museums, two hospitals, 10 branch libraries, five recreation centers, a new office building, and an airport terminal, totaling nearly six million square feet, at a value of over $3 billion, according to the article.
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