Shared: S.F. building aims to produce as much energy as it consumes (SFGate)

By David R. Baker

The skylights' "dynamic glass" tints in the sun, letting in light while minimizing heat. Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

The skylights' "dynamic glass" tints in the sun, letting in light while minimizing heat. Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

On a rare sweltering day in San Francisco, the new office of DPR Construction stays cool and pleasant.

But don't credit the air conditioning. It isn't on.

Large fans circulate air. Skylights turn dark when the sun beats down, letting in light while minimizing heat. Tilted rows of solar panels shield the roof while producing a steady stream of electricity.

Recently renovated by DPR, the North Beach building should generate as much energy as it uses in any given year. If all its systems work as planned, it will be San Francisco's first "zero net energy" office, and possibly a glimpse into California's future.

"It's a little jewel box that we're turning into something pretty special," said Ted van der Linden, DPR's director of sustainability.

 

Please click here to read the rest of the article from SFGate.

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