Companies Building In Environmentally Friendly Manner

Efficiencies Produce Financial Benefits

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco is aiming to become one of the nation’s first large cities to require that new, privately developed buildings meet rigorous standards of environmental friendliness.

The decision to pursue such standards, which will need Board of Supervisors approval, follows similar actions taken in Boston and Washington. Smaller cities have also adopted such mandatory rules, including several in the Bay Area.

It is part of a nationwide “green building” revolution that experts say is prompted by government incentives and mandates, growing consumer demand and fears of global warming.

“It’s a virtual tsunami of green buildings,” said Charles Lockwood, a real estate consultant in Southern California and New York, who has written articles about green building for the Harvard Business Review and other publications. “Within the last year, the entire debate has shifted, and it’s not a question of can we go green, it’s how do we do it and how quickly.”

Green buildings minimize environmental impacts with features such as natural lighting, solar power, low-flow water fixtures, no-flush urinals that use a chemical trap instead of water, and even use of nontoxic paints, glue, carpets and varnishes. A popular new product is an elevator that produces electricity as it descends.

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