The EcoCenter represents one of San Francisco’s best examples of sustainable solutions to adverse human impacts on the environment. On?site energy generation and water conservation and management strategies reduce input from, and output to, San Francisco’s electrical grid and sewage systems. In fact, the building has no connection to the City’s storm and wastewater treatment systems. All water that falls on the site is managed through an array of low-impact design features including a living roof, rainwater harvesting, on?site wastewater treatment (including a constructed wetland), native landscaping, and permeable paving. The EcoCenter also features sustainable building materials incorporating as many reused and recycled materials as possible, along with energy and resource efficient devices and fixtures. In July 2013, the EcoCenter was certified by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building. It is the first LEED Platinum – Zero Net Energy Building in San Francisco and the first LEED certified building in Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP).
The EcoCenter was designed by Toby Long Design and was a collaborative project between Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), the Port of San Francisco, the San Francisco Department of the Environment, and the California Coastal Conservancy. Below is an overview of the building’s sustainable design features. Click on the headings to learn even more.
The EcoCenter produces and stores its own electrical energy via 24 solar photovoltaic panels (4.6 kilowatts) and a battery storage bank.
All water used at the EcoCenter is treated onsite. The processes involve irradiation of effluent and incorporation of a constructed wetland for further purification.
The EcoCenter captures rainwater that falls on the roof in three 4,800?gallon tanks. These tanks supply water to the living roof and surrounding landscaping.
Only native plants are used for the living roof at the EcoCenter. Because native plants evolved over thousands to millions of years, they are adapted to our climate and soils.
All pathways are made of permeable materials that permit the movement of stormwater through its surfaces into the ground below. This is important since there is no tie-in to the City’s sewer system.
SUSTAINABLE BUILDING MATERIALS
The EcoCenter was created using an extensive array of sustainably harvested, sourced, reused, and recycled materials, as well as energy- and resource-efficient design features and fixtures.
Covered with native plants, the EcoCenter’s living (or green) roof absorbs rainwater, thus reducing stormwater runoff from the building that could cause erosion.