Plenty Green But Too Tall?

In what may prove a decisive test to see the political limits of what green building offers developers, a LEED Platinum, 10-story office building is proposed along San Francisco's tightly regulated waterfront - exceeding the height limit by 40 feet.

The "city's Planning Commission supported the plan on a 4-3 vote, but city planners, architecture critics and some neighbors say they wish the 123-foot, 10-story building could conform to the waterfront's 84-foot height limits. They say the building is too tall for the city's majestic shoreline and might set a bad precedent for future development along the boulevard."

"Project developers say a big chunk of the structure's estimated $58 million price tag is the result of its predicted Platinum environmental rating - the best score granted by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building would replace a long vacant two-story structure.

According to one developer, "only five commercial buildings exist in the United States with a Platinum rating, and none is on the West Coast."

"As it stands, 110 The Embarcadero would include a host of green characteristics, including solar panels, recycled wood and a wastewater recycling system.

Chronicle architecture critic John King said the building could be "the most exquisite addition to the waterfront since the Embarcadero Freeway came down in 1991." But King described its height as "clumsy," recommending that it be lowered one or two stories."

Full Story: Debate on plan for greenest West Coast building

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