San Francisco has always been a trendy city. It has recently been setting trends in regards to green initiatives as well. The Folsom /Dore apartments are a perfect example of this with their ultra-modern architecture. This building is a LEED certified building that has won many awards: 2007 Award of Excellence. Affordable Housing Built Responsibly from Home Depot Foundation, Energy and Sustainability: Honor Award from American Institute of Architects, Exceptional Residential Bay Area Design: Merit Award from American Institute of Architects, National Green Building Award from American Institute of Architects, Best Affordable Project, Gold Nugget Grand Award, Pacific Coast Builders Conference and many more. There is no question that this is the place to live in San Francisco.
In regards to energy consumption, it has lots to offer tenants. One particularly noteworthy feature attention is that the building has on-site electricity generation from solar sources. All Windows are of course ENERGY STAR rated.The windows have a special coating that allows the indoor temperature to remain consistent.The windows are also fully functional for good ventilation. Energy costs are paid by tenants to encourage conservation through the use of an energy metering program. Passive solar design is used, too. There are user-controlled thermostats in each unit to allow for proper climate control. All appliances meet or exceed ENERGY STAR standards, which means that they use less electricity than conventional appliances. Ceiling fans have been installed in many of the rooms so air conditioning use is lessened. For lighting, energy-efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs are used. There are also skylights, strategically placed windows and other lighting features.
When it comes to water consumption, low-flow units are used on toilets and aerators are used on sinks or shower heads to reduce water use. For water heating, a solar heater takes care of the hot water needs. This prevents using grid electricity to power one of the major energy users, the water heater. Other details in the home such as construction materials have been carefully chosen. Low or no-VOC interior paints, no-VOC adhesives/solvents and water-based wood finishes are all used in the interior. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood is used as well as rapidly renewable materials (i.e. bamboo or cork) and natural flooring. All construction materials were purchased locally, with minimal waste produced.
Folsom/Dore is the first building in Northern California to receive LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Citizens Housing Corporation worked with the City of San Francisco to build 98 units of affordable housing for low and very low-income residents with a variety of special needs. The development includes 3,200 square feet of community space that houses on-site supportive services for residents. The building is in a mixed-use neighborhood in San Francisco's South of Market area, which is home to a variety of small businesses. EnviroCitizen.org hopes that other companies and cities will put forth the effort to create equally efficient, green, pleasant residences in communities everywhere.