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San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters
525 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, California, LEED® Platinum Certification

ABLA was responsible for all site work, landscape and streetscape design including:  building entry hardscape design, sidewalk paving layout, lighting layout, bike parking, streetscape planting and irrigation, urban amenities, and all construction documentation and coordination.  Also included in the scope of work was a 1,500 sf outdoor area for an on-site day care facility.  To achieve the LEED® Platinum Certification, the design process involved rigorous coordination among all team disciplines: architectural, mechanical, electrical, civil and structural.  The design documentation  and approvals processes involved extensive reviews by the SFPUC, SFDPW and MTA.  ABLA was instrumental in developing the landscape design for the Living Machine and collaborated with Living Machine® Systems in the development of the on-site waste water treatment.  Streetscape landscaped planters which contributed to achieving a LEED®  score for open space development, design and also function as part of the tidal action processes of the Living Machine. ABLA developed the palette of plant materials used within the four stages of the Living Machine process for interior and exterior streetscape planters.

From its inception, the SFPUC Administration Office Building at 525 Golden Gate Avenue was intended to set the standard for “Green Buildings” in San Francisco. The progressive building practices utilized in this design will serve as a model for future resource-efficient projects. The building incorporates energy efficient systems and environmentally sensitive practices to achieve a LEED® Platinum Certification.  Key sustainability features include: on-site clean energy generation, through photo voltaic, 45 percent daylight harvesting, an innovative structural system with post tensioned cores, consumption of 55 percent less energy, a 32 percent less electricity demand from the main power grid, 100 percent of grey and black water treated on site in the “Living Machine.” 


As well, the building’s contemporary design vocabulary provides a unique addition to San Francisco’s historic Civic Center. One of the design goals for the building façade’s design and streetscape was to align with the scale of the street and to harmonize and balance within the context of the Civic Center, thereby enhancing the feeling of the “urban room.

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