NZ@Block15. 2015

Client: Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Design Intent

The design strategy for NZ@Block15 is centered on achieving a net zero building as well as extending the lifecycle of the building for UCSF.  Ground spaces are fronting public streets, activating the sidewalk and creating a natural condition for livable streets.  Open spaces are aligned with pedestrian streets and a large plaza creates a natural community theater that is conveniently located next to the shuttle line. The entire building, with its concrete structure, can be easily adapted in the future for another use.  

Passive Technology

The buildings exposure is optimized with an East-West orientation.  The South Façade has large overhangs and recessed windows to provide natural shading for the glass. The large windows in the living rooms are tilted forward to increase the angle of incidence and reduce solar heat gain. Narrow unit dimensions allow for cross ventilation. The corridors are open and have vertical shafts covered with a vented, translucent roof that encourage the ‘stack effect’.  

Active Technology

The south façade of the tower has a perforated metal rainscreen panel that shades the façade and creates a natural convection current. The units themselves have a radiant hydronic heating system. This system is supplemented with a small fan system that is coupled with a heat exchanger to recapture energy for the building.  The systems for the community space/ daycare center are isolated from the residential units; compartmentalizing the design and creating a tight building envelope for energy management.