Larkin Street Substation Expansion, San Francisco Building, Californian Architecture, USA, SF Photos

Larkin Street Substation Expansion in San Francisco

May 10, 2022

Architecture: TEF Design

Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Larkin Street Substation Expansion San Francisco

Photos: Bruce Damonte

Larkin Street Substation Expansion, California

Larkin Street Substation Expansion
The newly completed electrical switchgear building is the first Net Zero Energy (NZE) targeted electrical substation building in the United States. Tucked midblock on Eddy Street between Larkin and Hyde, the steel frame concrete structure is a modern addition to the existing historic 1962 substation building designed by PG&E to supply power to the northeastern part of the city.

Larkin Street Substation Expansion San Francisco

Larkin Street Substation Expansion CA

The constrained property and need to accommodate crane and equipment lift access prescribed the expansion’s perpendicular orientation to the existing substation. The utilitarian structure features street-facing façades that integrate three types of GFRP panels – sloped, perforated, and ribbed – to form a faceted surface that belies its otherwise modest materiality. Each panel is individually crafted and unique, with ribs that cast linear shadow patterns in sunlight, creating an ever-changing surface throughout the day and year.

Larkin Street Substation Expansion San Francisco

Larkin Street Substation Expansion San Francisco

Sloped panels embedded with lighting fixtures pulsate across the building at night, expressing the City’s dynamic electrical power grid. The west-facing green wall, planted in a geometric pattern that echoes the faceted concrete walls, provides biophilic relief to the urban block while asserting its contribution to green values. A fine-grained metal mesh provides a transition between the existing and new addition and is also used to bookend the façade.

Larkin Street Substation Expansion SF

On top, 60 kW solar panel arrays offset the building’s energy consumption. Large vents at the base of the building exploit the City’s cool temperatures through natural ventilation that help eliminate the need for artificial cooling and reduce the building’s energy load by nearly 40 percent. Inside, supplemental fans, triggered only at high temperatures, help to cool the building only when needed. A comprehensive deep dive to understand the electrical needs of each discreet piece of equipment – from mechanical systems to the hand dryer in the restrooms – led to an incremental load reduction.

The PG&E Larkin Substation addition is the first targeted net-zero electrical switchgear utility building to get a rating from the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge. The design team collaborated with ILFI in order to establish a rating system for registering the unprecedented building type.

Larkin Street Substation Expansion SF Larkin Street Substation Expansion CA

Larkin Street Substation Expansion in San Francisco, USA – Building Information

Architecture: TEF Design team –

TEF Design team
Andrew Wolfram, AIA (Principal-In-Charge)
Paul Cooper, AIA (Project Manager)
Justin Blinn, AIA (Project Designer)

Project team
TEF Design (architecture)
Plant Construction Company, LP (general contractor)
Creo Landscape (landscape architecture)
BFK Engineers (civil engineering)
Rutherford + Chekene (structural engineering)
MHC Engineers, Inc. (MEP engineering)
Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (lighting)
Urb-in (utility consultant/owner’s representative)
Thornton Tomasetti (sustainability consultant)

Structural System
Foundation System: 3’ thick concrete mat slab designed to resist high ground water level
Lateral System: Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames with moment resisting beam-column connections; designed under Risk Category IV with Importance factor of I=1.5 with anticipation facility will be operational after a major earthquake

Exterior Cladding
Masonry: Basalite Concrete Products
Rainscreen: Nvelope
Moisture barrier: Vaproshield
Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Panels: Kreysler & Associates
Decorative Metal Screen: Cambridge Architectural

Built-up roofing: Johns Manville
Traffic Coatings: Kemper System

Metal doors: Stiles Custom Metal
Fire-control doors, security grilles: Cornell Iron
Special doors: The Smith Company

Locksets: Schlage
Closers: LCN
Exit devices: Von Duprin

Interior Finishes
Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore
Floor and wall tile: Crossville, Heath Ceramics

Interior ambient lighting: Lithonia, ALW
Exterior: Ecosense, Luminii, iLight, Bega, Hydrel, Cree
Lighting controls: Acuity Controls
Exterior facade lighting controls: ETC

Elevators/escalators: Pflow Industries

Exhaust Fans – General Room: Greenheck
Exhaust Fans – Restrooms: Panasonic

Larkin Street Substation Expansion SF

Sump Pump: Weil
Water Heater: Chronomite
Water Closet: Kohler
Urinal: Kohler
Lavatory: Kohler
Water Closet Flush Valve: Sloan
Urinal Flush Valve: Sloan
Lavatory Faucet: Kohler
Roof Drain: Zurn
Backflow Preventer: Watts

Larkin Street Substation Expansion SF Larkin Street Substation Expansion San Francisco

Photovoltaic system: Sun Light & Power
Landscape Wall: GSky

Larkin Street Substation Expansion SF

Photography: Mikiko Kikuyama

Larkin Street Substation Expansion, San Francisco images / information received 100522

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States of America

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