Designing an Environmental Showcase: The San Francisco Presidio

Publication Type

Conference Proceedings



The San Francisco Presidio is one of the most exciting environmental showcase projects in the U.S. today. However, shrinking government funding support and conflicting priorities across the various players makes it one of the most challenging as well. The Presidio is literally a city within a city, with buildings built before the Civil War located adjacent to modern laboratory facilities. Despite these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Park Service are currently converting this former army base into a showcase of sustainable design. Our work to date has focused on both the technical and the financial aspects. On the technical side we have conducted energy audits, reviewed retrofit design strategies and renovation plans and recommended numerous strategies for energy-efficiency improvements, keeping within the constraints of historic preservation and often modest budgets. On the financial side we have successfully negotiated a ten-year pay-for-measured-performance contract with the local utility's DSM program. Towards this goal we have been working to set up an energy savings performance contract that will create partnerships with the private sector in project implementation. The importance of the Presidio project is that it not only will be a large scale model for other public and private sector activities, but it will also have high-visibility, with over eight million visitors per year.


Proceedings of the 1996 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Pacific Grove, CA



Year of Publication



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