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San Francisco’s sustainable Transbay Tower

picture1-custom.jpgThis sustainable building project is massive – it’s a design proposal from one of three architecture firms vying for the $3.4 billion San Francisco Transbay Tower project.

The 1,375-foot building uses 100% outside air for optimal indoor air quality and energy efficiency and incorporates some of the latest wind and photovoltaic energy production technology.

The folks behind the design, Rockefeller Group Development Corporation and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, claim it “achieves a 74% reduction of annual HVAC-related electric consumption.”


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It has:

BUILDING-INTEGRATED SOLAR PANELS Installed in over 50% of the roof area, panels generate over 12.5% of the building’s energy consumption in clean power.

NATURAL VENTILATION Passenger waiting areas feature a natural ventilation system.

GEOTHERMAL COOLING This system uses the steady, favorable ground water temperature to cool the building’s regularly-occupied space and long-term waiting areas. It is capable of reducing emissions by 843,000 lbs of CO2 each year.

RADIANT COOLING Radiant cooling panels and/or heat pump units complement geothermal walls, optimizing the overall efficiency of the heating /cooling systems.

CARBON-REDUCING POWER GENERATION Integrated, highlyefficient microturbines generate electricity, eliminating long-distance transmission losses, and use waste heat to meet the building’s domestic hot water needs.

SUPER ECONOMIZER COOLING This highly innovative approach maximizes favorable air temperatures and uses 100% fresh air for cooling over 86% of the time. It saves over 50% of the building energy consumption.

ON-SITE POWER GENERATION “Clean” emission-free power generated on-site via renewable energy sources, more than an acre of photovoltaic panels, and wind turbines satisfies approximately 30% of the Tower’s electrical needs.

STACK-ASSISTED VENTILATION / EXHAUST This system uses the building’s natural stack effect to help draw air up through the building, reducing the fan horsepower required to move air.

BICYCLE FRIENDLY FACILITIES The Tower offers 5,000 square feet of easily accessible storage for 1,000 bikes, changing facilities and showers—in addition to 1,800 square feet of storage space in the Terminal.

CULTURAL ELEMENTS The Tower provides a new home for California’s Sutro Library and incorporates digital art, curated in collaboration with SFMOMA.

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