Mission Rock Becomes LEED-Gold certified for Neighborhood Development (ND)

Mission Rock, San Francisco, San Francisco Giants, Tishman Speyer, Rubenstein, Port of San Francisco, Perkins + Will
Courtesy of Perkins + Will, rendering by Steelblue

Mission Rock, the waterfront neighborhood under construction just south of Oracle Park, received LEED-Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) program. 

“The Port of San Francisco is proud to be home to Mission Rock, a game changing development that meets the most challenging issues of our time – housing, jobs and climate change,” said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco.  “Mission Rock’s bold approach to intentionally creating an affordable and inclusive community, while meeting pressing climate change and sustainability goals, sets a new high bar for planning and design excellence.”  

With Phase one of the project currently under construction, Mission Rock represents 15 years of community planning led by a unique public-private partnership between the Port of San Francisco, the San Francisco Giants, and Tishman Speyer.  The project was designed with sustainability and climate resilience at the forefront of its planning process.  Once completed the new neighborhood will feature 1,200 units of residential housing — 40% of which is affordable, 1.4M square feet of office and life sciences space, public parks and open space, pedestrian-friendly walkways, restaurants and retail. 

An innovative neighborhood starts with a visionary design team fiercely devoted to collaboration. Perkins and Will, a global design leader, shepherded the master-planning effort to create the vision for the Mission Rock neighborhood.  Environmental design consultants at Atelier Ten and ARUP shaped a sustainability strategy that weaves together high-performance technologies and human-focused design strategies.  Transportation consultant Nelson Nygaard shaped the project’s mobility approach, which emphasizes transit, biking and walking. BKF Engineers, CMG Landscape Architecture, and Scape Landscape Architecture are bringing the first phase of the Mission Rock project to life through their design of the infrastructure – utilities, streets and parks – that are foundational to the sustainable neighborhood.  Evergreen Energy has led development of the district energy and blackwater systems that will service the neighborhood.

“The foundation of Mission Rock incorporated forward thinking environmental goals designed to foster sustainability and healthier living for residents, workers, and visitors alike. We continually ask ourselves what buildings of the future will look like, and whether our strategies for black water treatment, district energy systems, and climate change adaptation are setting the highest bar for an environmental framework for the next generation,” said Fran Weld, San Francisco Giants Senior Vice President of Development and Strategy.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the work we’re doing at Mission Rock. LEED certification is one of many sustainable aspirations for our team. It takes a unique collaboration to create such an environmentally inspired neighborhood like Mission Rock,” stated Carl Shannon, Tishman Speyer Senior Managing Director and Regional Director.

 For more than 25 years, the U.S. Green Building Council has provided a vision to build more sustainable, socially responsible and connected neighborhoods. Through the LEED Neighborhood Development program project teams are encouraged to pursue the implementation of these values during design and construction.

Strategies implemented at Mission Rock that led to the LEED Gold certification include:

  • Long-term adaptation and resiliency planning, including a raised site and strengthened shoreline using terracing and natural buffers that mitigate effects of projected sea level rise to the year 2100. 
  • District scale energy systems that will run off of 100% renewable energy sources.
  • Includes a blackwater treatment plant that will provide 100% of the site’s irrigation with recycled water will offset 100% of the projects non-potable water needs of individual buildings. Coupled with the selection of low flow and flush fixtures, this effort will result in an indoor water use reduction of 61%.
  • A Transportation Demand Management Plan that encourages alternative transportation through incentives such as bicycle valet for events, on-site bike-share stations, adequate storage for bike trailers, car-seats, and strollers, and participation in San Francisco’s guaranteed ride home program.
  • Safe, pedestrian-friendly access, including continuous sidewalks, functional entries that connect to sidewalks, limited building set-backs, ground level retail to activate the street, and reduced at-grade crossings for driveways.
  • An inclusive retail plan that encourages walking and biking, and ensures that each dwelling unit is within ¼ mile of at least 12 diverse retail options that focus on neighborhood serving needs.
  • Includes at least 4 acres of open public space in the first phase to improve physical and mental health of users, and to facilitate social connection and time spent outdoors. This includes an expanded China Basin Park that incorporates an extensive Bay Trail bike and pedestrian path.
  • Reduces impacts of single-occupancy vehicles by being located adjacent to a major public transit corridor – all proposed buildings within the project site are located within walking distance of a bus stop and/or MUNI light rail station and Caltrain.
  • Reduces the site’s outdoor water demand by 50% from baseline by incorporating native/adaptive landscaping and irrigation controls.
  • Reduces the urban heat island effect by installing vegetation and high-reflectance, light-colored roofing.
  • Includes infrastructure to encourage a high level of recycling and composting, reducing the amount of landfill waste.
  • Encourages green building practices by pursuing LEED certifications for all buildings constructed in the neighborhood.

“Mission Rock is a shining example of urban natural habitat restoration bringing city dwellers closer to nature along the water’s edge,” said Chris Forney, Principal at Brightworks Sustainability. “LEED ND Certification recognizes the great innovation in low-carbon living with energy efficient buildings, multi-modal transportation choices and responsible use of building materials throughout. Mission Rock scores at a high level because of the many smart growth, social equity and green building practices successfully integrated into its public spaces and interconnected services.”

Mission Rock’s project sponsors have a long history of sustainable development. Tishman Speyer, global development and property managers, built the first LEED Gold certified New Construction Building in New York City and has40,860,179SqFt of owned & operated LEED, Fitwel, HQE, BREEAM, DGNB and GreenStar certified square footage in the US, EU, Brazil and China. The San Francisco Giants, owners and operators of Oracle Park, have earned numerous awards for building and operating an environmentally responsible ballpark – including a record twelve Green Gloves awards presented annually by Major League Baseball to the most environmentally innovative team. In 2019, Oracle Park became the first Major League ballpark to receive LEED Platinum Certification for an existing building. 

“The iconic waterfront location of Oracle Park and Mission Rock provides not only breathtaking views, but also unique environmental challenges such as mitigating against sea level rise.  Environmental sustainability has been a top priority of the organization for decades, so it was only fitting for these priorities to be integrated early on into Mission Rock’s design and planning process,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer.

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