PG&E substation to maximize energy efficiency and design sustainability

San Francisco substation will comply with Zero Energy Certification requirements by meeting optimal thermal efficiency goals and relying on precast concrete construction and other sustainability strategies, such as utilizing photovoltaic materials and natural ventilation. Photo courtesy Tatiana Bilbao Estudio

San Francisco substation will comply with Zero Energy Certification requirements by meeting optimal thermal efficiency goals and relying on precast concrete construction and other sustainability strategies, such as utilizing photovoltaic materials and natural ventilation.

TEF Design (Architect-of-Record) has collaborated with Tatiana Bilbao Estudio (Design Architect), to devise the “stacked bars” design of the PG&E substation, which is based on computational fluid dynamics to gain maximum thermal efficiency of the equipment and produce sustainable energy. Moreover, the building’s façade, to be built from precast concrete, a green product, will achieve a rich layered material depth, reminding one of rammed earth. It will also employ several unique geometric shapes to support natural ventilation, including on plaza pavers and façade perforations.

Rising from the site of the former military base in the Hunters Point neighborhood, the new three-story substation will house critical electrical infrastructure to replace an existing substation just across the street. This net-zero energy targeted landmark will also provide public amenities—in the form of an outdoor plaza at the intersection of Evans Avenue and Jennings Street—and architectural richness to support the revitalization of an area long-neglected by investment. The project is part of a broader development that includes several planned parks and trails.

Project completion is estimated for Fall 2023.

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