Mayor Launchs Task Force to Green Existing Bldgs

(February 13, 2009)

Today Mayor Newsom convened a key taskforce focused on greening existing buildings in San Francisco. This taskforce builds off the work of the City's Green Building Taskforce that Mayor Newsom convened in 2007, which recommended and helped to pass San Francisco's Green Building Ordinance. This landmark ordinance changed local law to create the country's most comprehensive, substantive, and flexible green building requirements for new commercial and residential construction.

The Mayor's new taskforce tackles greening existing buildings in San Francisco. The combination of new construction and major renovation in San Francisco adds up to less than 1 percent of the city's real estate, so greening existing buildings is key to advancing San Francisco's environmental goals. To realize the potential for improving the performance of this remaining 99% of the built environment, Mayor Newsom is convening a task force to recommend how the city, in partnership with the private sector, can accelerate improvements in energy and resource efficiency of existing commercial buildings in San Francisco.

The Existing Buildings Efficiency Initiative task force is comprised of 19 key stakeholders from San Francisco's building ownership, developer, financial, architectural, engineering, legal, utility, and construction communities, who the Mayor selected for their experience, knowledge of the building industry and commitment to San Francisco's long-term sustainability. The task force for will deliver its recommendations by June 15, 2009.

"We successful passed the country's strongest green building standards for new buildings by partnering with environmentalists and developers to advance aggressive but workable building requirements," explained Mayor Newsom. "We now turn our focus toward existing buildings. Simply put, without more energy and resource efficient buildings, San Francisco will not meet the climate challenge by achieving our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets," observed Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The task force is charged with recommending practical solutions to improve the energy, water, and resource efficiency of commercial buildings in San Francisco, while contributing to the success of the local economy. The task force will address opportunities for training, incentives, information sharing, and financing, and identify available resources within the public and private sectors to realize their recommendations.

Mayor Newsom explained: "I convened the Existing Buildings Efficiency Initiative to challenge the experts who actually manage, retrofit and finance buildings to bring their creative solutions to achieving the highest levels of environmental performance in San Francisco and beyond."

The group's suggestions will inform new legislation and partnerships to improve the performance of the built environment in San Francisco, wholly or substantially contributing to the elimination of development of non-renewable energy sources in the city.

Task Force members are Alexander Hamilton of the law firm MBV; property manager Angelica Steinmeier; Barry Giles of Building Wise; Greg Cunningham, Enovity; Jeff Palmer, Able Engineering; Jim Smith, Cushman & Wakefield; Jim Cantrell, Cantrell Harris & Associates engineers; Kari Aycock, Hines; Kathy Diehl, US EPA; Laura Rodormer, Swinerton Management & Consulting; Lisa Galley, Galley Eco Capital; Panama Bartholomy, California Energy Commission; Peter Turnbull, PG&E, Peter Liu, New Resource Bank; Phil Williams, Webcor Builders; Raphael Sperry, Simon & Associates; Robin Bass, Hunstman Architectural Group; Steven Ring, Cushman & Wakefield; and William Young, Shorenstein Realty Services.