Folsom Street Offices

The renovation of this building in downtown San Francisco represents an ideal opportunity to address "green" design in an urban context. Located within short walking distance of museums, transit centers, and the financial district, the site is in one of the most active urban centers on the West Coast. The adaptive re-use of this 19th Century (cir. 1890) building preserves a historic structure that formerly served as a firehouse.

For their mosaic studio, gallery and related offices, the Owner’s goal was to create a healthy, resource-efficient space with a primary emphasis on energy security.

As an adaptive re-use, much of the building was preserved. Most of the existing redwood frame and siding was left intact, and the Douglas fir flooring on the upper level was repaired and refinished. Full ADA and seismic upgrades brought the building up to code, while large operable windows and skylights dramatically increased the daylight in the interior spaces. Materials were chosen with special consideration for good indoor air quality (IAQ) as well as resource efficiency. The gem of this project however, is the "photovoltaic" (PV) solar energy system that silently provides more than enough electricity for the entire building.