Mayor to Introduce Green Building Ordinance

(December 12, 2007)

MAYOR NEWSOM PROPOSES GROUND-BREAKING GREEN BUILDING ORDINANCE TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Building on his recent proposals for a local carbon tax, solar rebate and loan programs, and a grease recycling initiative, Mayor Newsom today proposed a ground-breaking green building ordinance that imposes strict new green building requirements on newly constructed residential and commercial buildings, and renovations to existing buildings. The ordinance specifically requires newly constructed commercial buildings over 5,000 sq ft, residential buildings over 75 feet in height, and renovations on buildings over 25,000 sq ft to be subject to an unprecedented level of LEED and green building certifications, which if approved, would make San Francisco the city with the most stringent green building requirements in the nation.

"We've got to stop playing within the margins and get serious about addressing our reliance on fossil fuels," said Mayor Newsom. "A lot of people don't realize that their homes and businesses also create a major carbon footprint, so today, by proposing these strict green building standards for our city, we're saying enough is enough. It's time to tackle global warming and climate change on all fronts."

The City's Climate Action Plan found that energy use in buildings and facilities is responsible for approximately 50 percent of San Francisco's greenhouse gas emissions. In 1990, San Francisco's energy use resulted in a total of approximately 4.5 million tons of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere, making green building a critical component in the fight against climate change.

Some of the significant cumulative benefits this ordinance is expected to achieve through 2012 are: reducing CO2 emissions by 60,000 tons, saving 220,000 megawatt hours of power, saving 100 million gallons of drinking water, reducing waste and storm water by 90 million gallons of water, reducing construction and demolition waste by 700 million pounds, increasing the valuations of recycled materials by $200 million, reducing automobile trips by 540,000, and increasing green power generation by 37,000 megawatt hours.

This ordinance also continues San Francisco's efforts to reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012, a goal established by the City's 2004 Climate Action Plan. In addition, by reducing San Francisco's emissions, this ordinance also furthers the State's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide as mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

In 2007, Mayor Gavin Newsom established a Task Force on Green Buildings for the City comprised of ten members from San Francisco's ownership, developer, financial, architectural, engineering, and construction community.

The mission of the Task Force was to advise and recommend to the City's policy makers mandates, incentives, education, and outreach in order to increase the number and improve the quality of green buildings in San Francisco, and to assess the impacts of the Task Force's recommendations.

The Task Force issued its Report and recommendations in June 2007. This legislation is based upon the Task Force's recommendations.

Today's announcement was made at 555 Mission Street, Tishman Speyer's under-construction, planned LEED silver office building.