A new office building dubbed the “Greenest Urban Office Building in North America” has recently opened in San Francisco, CA. The 13-story building was constructed to LEED Platinum standards and will serve as the new home of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). Fittingly, the centerpiece of the building’s sustainable initiatives is an innovative wastewater treatment system by Living Machine. The building’s wastewater is reclaimed and treated onsite to supply water for the building’s toilets. Combined with a rainwater harvesting system, it is estimated that the building will use about 60% less water than similar office buildings. The building also uses solar panels and wind turbines to reduce its energy usage by almost one third. The SFPUC estimates that their lower operating costs will translate into over $3 billion dollars of savings to Bay Area residents over the estimated 100-year lifespan of the new building.
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– Brandon Blanchard