Posted by: BayAreaComRE | March 16, 2010

Green Initiative: Bay Area ‘Pioneer’ in Green Building – Mayor Gavin Newsom leads Task Force

“Going Green” is now being propagated by the public sector both nationally and locally, and the private sector is responding emphatically. Bay Area local governments are at the forefront of this movement, it’s not just a trend or individual effort by well-capitalized, institutional owners. There is a competition brewing in the Bay Area, leading to more LEED EB (Existing Building) ratings in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area every month.

Like we said it’s not just owners and tenants but the city of San Francisco is proactively pushing forward the green initiative through existing commercial properties.  Mayor Newsom convened the San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Task Force (ECBTF) to identify the policies, partnerships, and actions necessary to maximize energy efficiency in commercial buildings. The goal of the process is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve resources, enhance electricity reliability, and improve the competitiveness of commercial buildings in the City.

San Francisco (far right) earns dramatically more LEED-EB certifications than any other major US market. Here are some experpts from the Mayor’s task force directive.

At least 75% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are attributable to urban centers and the activities that support urban life. As such, cities need to work with state, national, and international institutions in minimizing climate change, the effects of which are already being felt locally,iii,iv,v particularly as it affects the clean water, hydroelectric generation, and the agriculture that support our city.vi Similarly, electricity reliability in San Francisco presents a complex long-term challenge for the local economy and public health.

The ECB Task Force recommends that the City and County of San Francisco adopt a voluntary goal: Cut total energy use in existing commercial buildings 50% by 2030, or an average net reduction of 2.5% per year (Figure 2.) This target is based on San Francisco’s established greenhouse gas reduction goals, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), President Obama, Architecture 2030, and the California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan goal for existing buildings.

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