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Moscone Center To Be Among Most Sustainable San Francisco Buildings

Moscone Center in San Francisco

Once San Francisco's Moscone Center is completed, it will set a high standard for convention centers around the country.

The convention center’s expansion will not only create 509K SF of continuous exhibition space, new meeting rooms and expanding lobbies, but also be one of the most sustainable major convention centers in North America.  

The Moscone Center is targeting LEED Platinum certification. The center will use solar panels, and an on-site wastewater treatment system is expected to save over 5 million gallons of water each year. The system captures grey water and storm runoff and uses it for non-potable uses such as plumbing, irrigation and street-cleaning vehicles.

Moscone Center's water treatment system

The Moscone Center draws more than 20% of the city’s 17 million annual visitors and is a main driver for economic growth, according to Andrew Tranovich, senior project manager at Southland Industries, the firm behind  the installation of Moscone Center’s wastewater treatment system.

Facility operators and the surrounding city benefit from high conservation standards, Tranovich said. The convention center’s sustainability efforts could set an example for other large facilities in the planning stages and provide an example of a highly sustainable building. The convention center also will become a more responsible building within its neighborhood, he said. 

Southland Senior Project Manager Andrew Tranovich

Despite the significant water conservation benefits, more water treatment systems like this one have not been implemented around the Bay Area because of the high cost of entry. A project also needs to be large enough to support a system such as this one, he said.

Retrofitting an existing building can be complicated. Moscone Center was ideal because it had a large underground space that could fit a treatment plant.

Tranovich said he expects a greater focus on water and energy conservation across the Bay Area in the years ahead, especially with more control logic systems being used. These go beyond a thermostat and have sensors that can respond to temperature and CO2 measurement and can sense when a large group of people is in a room to better adjust a room’s HVAC needs.

Tranovich has worked with school districts and municipalities and other companies throughout the Bay Area. 

CORRECTION: DEC. 19, 1:55 P.M. PT: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Southland Industries' name and the company's affiliation with the Moscone Center project. It also incorrectly described Andrew Tranovich's work around the Bay Area. The article has been updated.