Adobe’s San Francisco Facility Gets Re-Certified

Sept. 23, 2013
This project brings energy-efficient solutions to a historic building.

The structure at 601 Townsend Street in San Francisco’s South-of-Market district has survived much during its 100-plus years of existence, including the catastrophic earthquake of 1906 and several waves of redevelopment.

When Macromedia Associates purchased the facility in 2004, the building was given an extra life and remodeled for the computer age. In 2005, Macromedia become part of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Cushman & Wakefield, Adobe’s facilities management partner, decided to take the next step in modernization and convert the building into a more sustainable operation.

In 2008, 601 Townsend Street became the first LEED-EBOM Platinum structure in the city. The building recently received its second re-certification, again at the Platinum level. It also boasts an ENERGY STAR score of 100, the highest possible.

Energy Management
Cutting energy use in a plant with 900 workers, 1,800 personal computers, and batteries of data servers operating 24/7 is a challenge. Because of this, the team used a web-based monitoring system that permits energy and water use to be tracked and adjusted in detail. The program also reports total CO2 emissions. Energy consumption has been reduced by 63%.

Water Conservation
Water use has been reduced by more than 62% through various conservation efforts, including:

  • Faucet and shower head aerators reduce maximum water flow to just two quarts per minute.
  • High-efficiency flush toilets in the men’s rooms are complemented by water-free urinals.
  • Women’s rooms feature high-efficiency, dual-flush toilets.

Solid Waste Diversion
The diversion of solid waste from landfills through composting and recycling has risen from 23% to 98%. Every desk has a second side-saddle wastebasket to keep compostable and recyclable items separated. Janitors clean during the day to minimize the need for lights to be on at night.

Other improvements include implementation of bio-gas energized fuel cells and installation of EV charging stations.

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