San Francisco’s Moscone Center Achieves LEED Gold after $56 Million Renovation

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced the Moscone Center has received LEED Gold certification, the first convention center on the West Coast to attain the green-building honor. The LEED rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

“Moscone Center is a vital hub for our convention and tourism economy, and we are very proud to have the first convention center on the West Coast to earn LEED Gold for an existing building,” says Mayor Lee. “This is now our city’s largest municipally owned green building. Receiving LEED Gold on the Moscone Center demonstrates once again that San Francisco is at the center of sustainability and innovation.”

“We are proud to offer our customers the advanced level of sustainability that makes San Francisco stand out as a leading destination,” says San Francisco Travel Association President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro. “We know that meeting planners and attendees care about reducing the environmental impact of their events. The LEED Gold certification shows our commitment to the environment and the future.”

The Moscone Center achieved LEED Gold for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The renovation team including project managers Jones Lang LaSalle, architects HOK, general contractor Webcor Builders, project management team at Department of Public Works, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the San Francisco Department of Environment, convention center management SMG and the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District.

“The certification comes as a result of a $56 million renovation recently completed at the convention center. After an extensive study on building systems, over 250 corrective actions were employed,” says Director of Convention Facilities John Noguchi. “LEED Gold certification was our goal from the very beginning of the project.”

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” says USGBC President, CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi. “The Moscone Center project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit generations to come.”

The Moscone Center’s sustainable renovation and design features and practices include:

Sustainable Sites

  • Nearly three quarters of all Moscone Center employees regularly commute using alternative transportation, reflecting San Francisco’s extensive and accessible public transit system.
  • The Moscone Center is within a short distance of more than 30,000 hotel rooms, giving show attendees the option to walk.
  • The unique below-ground location with parks and other facilities above helps on heating and cooling costs.

Water Efficiency

  • The installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures will reduce indoor water usage by more than 40 percent.
  • Moscone Center promotes “on the go” access to San Francisco’s great-tasting Hetch Hetchy Reservoir tap water with water-bottle refilling stations, which also reduces waste from plastic bottles.

Energy Efficiency and Atmosphere

  • The 60,000-square-foot solar array comprised of 5,400 photovoltaic modules on the rooftop of Moscone South generates 5 percent of the total building energy and reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by an amount equivalent to annually planting 62 acres of trees.
  • Intelligent wireless lighting controls technology in lobbies are able to sense occupants and daylighting levels and adjust accordingly.
  • The unique below-ground design with parks and other facilities above helps reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Energy efficiency is 33 percent above the national average for comparable facilities.
  • Use of CFC-based refrigerants has been eliminated.
  • Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates and Green-e Climate Verified Carbon Offsets equal to 50 percent of the building’s annual energy consumption were purchased and will save the equivalent of 5,385 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year or the equivalent of removing 1,056 passenger vehicles from the road or preventing the burning of 29.3 railcars of coal.
  • In addition, the San Francisco Public Utility Commissions’ power used to serve San Francisco’s municipal facilities, including Moscone Center, is sourced primarily from 100 percent clean, green hydropower from the Hetch Hetchy system, as well as from small solar and biogas facilities.

Materials and Resources

  • Renovations diverted 150 tons of construction and demolition debris with an overall diversion rate of 76 percent attained.
  • Carpet, ceiling and restroom tile are all made from recycled-content materials.
  • One hundred percent of furniture purchased during the renovation meets sustainable purchasing criteria.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • An improved green-cleaning program documented that 94 percent of LEED-compliant cleaning products and chemicals purchased meet green-cleaning criteria by dollars spent.
  • All paints and sealants are low in volatile organic compound-emitting materials. VOCs are known to damage the earth’s ozone layer and contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions.

Innovation in Operations

  • Moscone Center’s exemplary education materials are made available to meeting planners of upcoming conventions. Information is available online at Moscone Center’s website.

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