Two-Story, Fifty-Nine Ton Home Sailed on Barge to New Location

(July 7, 2005)


Model Home to be Turned into a Community Center in the Southeast Sector

San Francisco – The Mayor's Office of Community Development (MOCD) paved the way for a new community center at Alice Griffith Park. The center, once a green demonstration home, set sail on a barge to its new location where it will be converted into a resource for residents in the community and surrounding neighborhood. The Alice Griffith Opportunity Center will provide a variety of services including medical screening, educational and vocational programs, youth activities, and used as a community/meeting/learning facility.

"The Alice Griffith Opportunity Center project speaks volume about the partnerships that were created to establish a valuable source for our community," explains Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The unique center will serve the hundreds of residents who do not have adequate services and is a working example of how we can practice the idea of reuse during stringent economical times."

The home will take approximately four days to relocate. On the first day, the home was moved onto a barge at Pier 48. On the second day, it sailed down the bay for two hours and was docked along Candlestick Point State Recreational Area. From there, it will take another two days to transport the building to its new home at Alice Griffith Park. The structure of the home will be intact throughout the duration of the move.

Through Project Connect, MOCD surveyed thousands of low-income residents to access the needs of the community. The results of the surveys showed that a community center was needed to address the lack of services in the area. Meanwhile, the future of the "Nowhouse" was unknown until MOCD expressed interest in converting the display home into a community center.

The home was originally the "Nowhouse" green building demonstration project. It was built on SBC Parking Lot A to showcase energy efficient and environmentally friendly features to homeowners, architects, developers, engineers, and to the public. The 2,700 square foot, fifty-nine ton, two-story building included features maximizing the use of daylight (reducing energy consumption and potential for mold and mildew), utilizing an insulation system that reduces noise, and a ventilation system that brings in cool air when indoor temperatures rise. In addition, the home consisted of less toxic products and renewable materials including bamboo and cork – applied to create a healthier indoor environment. Altogether, the creation of the home helped turn away 310,000 pounds of waste from the landfill. The environmental features of the home will continue be used as an educational tool when it transforms into a community center.

The Alice Griffith Opportunity Center is scheduled to open in August. The project is a collaboration with MOCD, the Housing Authority, Department of the Environment, Department of Public Works and other city agencies. Private partners include Clever Homes, Alternative Building Concepts, Premier Building Systems, Toby Long Design, Trost Trucking and Drayage, Westar Marine Services, and area residents.



Mayor's Office of Communication


Department of the Environment

415-355- 3733


Department of the Environment

City and County of San Francisco

11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone: (415) 355-3700 • Fax: (415) 554-6393

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