We knew that there was a reason we focused on San Francisco for our Green building projects!

This week, at the United Nations COP17 Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, the World Green Building Council awarded San Francisco as the city with the best Green building policy.

Why?  Well, you can read the release yourself, but here are the key factors that were called out:

  1. Monetary benefits: Incentives and rebates for retrofits to improve energy and water efficiency, as well as lower operating expenses such as reduced utility costs
  2. Recognition: LEED and Energy Star certifications are now recorded by the city’s Assessor Recorders office; the city’s official record system
  3. Information: Knowing how a building compares to its neighbors, a direct result of the Existing Commercial Building Ordinance
  4. Tools: Collaboration between public and private sectors result in the Green Tenant Tool Kit
  5. Capital: GreenFinanceSF is a commercial PACE program in place to provide secure capital for energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy retrofits
  6. High Standards: The Green Building Ordinance ensures that new building and large renovations are built to be sustainable and that obsolete inefficient equipment is replaced

We can certainly attest that these factors are true…well, mostly true.

The new Green Team in the San Francisco Planning and Building process did approve our 1436 Sanchez project for expedited processing since we were targeting LEED Platinum, saving us perhaps 3-4 months in the Planning process.

We have also benefitted from GoSolarSF‘s incentive programs for offsetting some of the cost of adding photovoltaic solar panels to our projects at 173 Downey and 1566 Sanchez.

And it is gratifying to know that our LEED status for both the 1566 Sanchez and 1436 Sanchez projects will be recorded on their titles when those homes are sold, lending a truly official imprimatur to their Green nature.

At the end of the day, it’s nice to know that we live in a city where the official policies are, in general, driven by trying to do what’s right, both for today and for the future – despite the country’s inability as a whole to get behind strong regulations to drive us towards a less toxic, more sustainable and smaller carbon and water footprint future.