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Presidio Neighborhood Is First LEED-ND 2009 Certified Project

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The historic San Francisco redevelopment is the first to earn LEED for Neighborhood Development certification since the rating system was formally launched.

By Tristan Roberts

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This aerial photo shows the LEED-ND certified Presidio district, with the Presidio Landmark (formerly the Public Health Services Hospital) in the center.

The Presidio, a former army base and an urban national park site located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, is home to the world’s first community certified under LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND 2009) since LEED-ND left its pilot phase, as recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Public Health Service District (PHS District), the first “green” neighborhood in the Presidio, is a mixed-use 36-acre site featuring 172 housing units, office space, a preschool, hiking trails, scenic views toward the Pacific, and 25 acres of open space and native habitat.

First to earn Stage 3 certification

LEED-ND certifications have been awarded in the past at the planning stages—Stage 1 and Stage 2, in LEED-ND’s terminology, as well as in the LEED-ND pilot. Stage 1 is a conditional certification designed to help a developer attract partners; Stage 2 is pre-certification based on a more complete plan and partial construction. The Presidio neighborhood is the first Stage 3 certification, signifying full LEED-ND documentation and certificates of occupancy for all buildings.

With 47 points, the project attained the Certified level. It features drought-resistant landscaping, a water recharge system that captures rainwater and reduces runoff, and dark-sky-friendly streetlights. Not all buildings within a LEED-ND project need to be LEED-certified. In this case, the neighborhood includes three individually LEED-certified buildings out of 14 total—including the Presidio’s largest historic building, the former Public Health Service Hospital, which reopened in 2010 as the Presidio Landmark apartments. The nearby Belles Townhomes, the only newly constructed residential buildings in the Presidio, earned LEED Platinum, while the rehabilitation of the historic nurses’ dormitory earned LEED Gold certification as a core and shell project.

A milestone for a former military base

The non-LEED buildings in the neighborhood also contribute to LEED-ND requirements for energy efficiency, water conservation, and other measures. They include seven rehabilitated historic homes on Wyman Avenue, which once housed physicians and their families.

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Homes on Wyman Avenue are part of the LEED-ND Presidio district.

“This is an exciting milestone,” said Craig Middleton, executive director of the Presidio Trust, the federal agency managing the district. “We take great pride in our track record of applying green building and design practices to historic preservation to create welcoming and beautiful contemporary spaces.”

More than 2,700 people live in the park’s former military housing, and more than 200 organizations have located in the formerly dilapidated Presidio buildings, according to the Presidio Trust. Until its closure in 1995, the Presidio was the longest continuously operated military base in the U.S. Congress established the Presidio Trust in 1996 and tasked it with becoming financially self-sufficient by 2013, which it achieved in 2005, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. To learn more, visit Presidio.gov.

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March 26, 2013