San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters

Named one of the ten most sustainable buildings of 2013 by AIA

Daylighting is a key part of SFPUC’s sustainability strategy, complementing a novel, on site wastewater recycling system, a roof-mounted photovoltaic array, vertical-axis wind turbines, and an earthquake-resilient, concrete structure. The 13-story glass tower requires up to 45% less energy to illuminate its interior than typical Class A office buildings. It welcomes daylight, but also manages it, using SolarTrac® automation. 

Project Solutions

SolarTrac is Mechos’ automated-shade control system. It raises and lowers interior window shades based on the position of the sun and sky conditions. The system harvests the maximum amount of natural light in order to minimize the demand for artificial lighting, saving energy. It also improves occupant comfort by adjusting the shades to control brightness and glare.  

At SFPUC Headquarters, SolarTrac also provides automated control of exterior Venetian blinds (EVBs) on the top two stories. EVBs under automated control reduce the workload of the building’s HVAC system by helping to alleviate solar-heat gain.

Project Results

The PUC Headquarters is expected to consume 32% less energy than similar-size buildings, and is projected to reward taxpayers with $118 million in savings over 75 years.