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Rebuilt: SF Public Utilities Commission H.Q.

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[From right to left: current San Francisco Public Utilities Commission headquarters; future PUC headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Avenue. Images courtesy Transbay Blog and Flickr user leprello87]

City Hall is going green once more: Plans are well underway for a new 14-story, 221,830 square foot LEED-certified Public Utilities Commission building, designed by green builders Simon & Associates and slated for groundbreaking in March 2008. In the meantime, the existing PUC building at 1155 Mission Street— all 140,000 square feet of it— will be demolished to make way for the new building. As the architects are seeking Platinum LEED certification for this one, expect the usual use of natural light and ventilation, operable windows, and conservative water systems (i.e. non-flushable urinals). Oh, and let us not forget the wind turbines.

We'll be eager to see how the new PUC H.Q. stands in relationship to the Federal Building— based on the rendering, we're seeing a whole hell of a lot of ubiquitous blue-green glass. Several details do hold aesthetic potential though: A photovoltaic system (read: big, blue solar panels) is integrated into the building design to, according to Simon & Associates, "provide power, reduce heat loads on the higher floors, and serve as a work of art." Particularly exciting? Solar greenhouses will be installed on each floor to— get this— replicate the city's natural soil and vegetation conditions at the corresponding elevation. Extra credit: granted.
· Green Headquarters for the Public Utilities Commission [Transbay Blog]