Issue 500 February 2011

Greening Apartment Buildings

What will it take to green the buildings we already have?

SPUR Report

New green construction codes are important, but in a built-out city like San Francisco, retrofitting our existing built environment is key to creating a truly sustainable city. Multifamily apartment buildings account for more than two-thirds of the city’s housing units and represent an important target for reducing our use of water, energy and materials. The challenges to widespread green upgrades are many: low awareness, lack of capital and a confusing, ever-changing slate of incentive programs. SPUR’s study Greening Apartment Buildings recommends creating a web-based tool that will educate property owners and increase awareness of the many free incentive and rebate programs currently available in San Francisco.

In addition to our report, we provide a complete listing of green rebate programs and related tools for apartment owners and tenants.

This report was reviewed, debated and adopted as official SPUR policy by the Board of Directors on January 19, 2011.

SPUR staff: Laura Tam

SPUR interns: Alexis Smith, Timothea Tway

Task force members: Ron Miguel (chair), Linda Corso, Lowell Chu, Papia Gambelin, Paul Giusti, Barry Hooper, Whitney Jones, John Legnitto, John Madden, Mike Martin, Gabriel Metcalf, Janan New, Jennifer Rakowski, Bill Rosetti, Todd Rydstrom, Raphael Sperry, Brook Turner