SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s new environmentally-friendly headquarters opened on Wednesday just blocks from City Hall.

The 13-story, $201 million building at 525 Golden Gate Avenue is being touted as one the greenest in North America. It features wind turbines and solar panels and reuses water on site in a system that mimics wetlands.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

“The average office worker in San Francisco uses about 12 gallons of water a day,” said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Ed Harrington. “In this building, we’ll use less than five.”

Harrington said that the agency has been renting but will now own its building.

“The building is going to save our ratepayers $500 million over the life of the building,” he said.

The building will also encourage a transit-first policy.

“This building will have over 900 people and there are four parking spaces,” Harrington said.

San Francisco requires that two percent of above ground construction costs must go to art. So at the new PUC building, an installation called “Firefly” scales the entire north side of the building and lights up with low-energy LED lights.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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