Working with BOMA San Francisco, the City of San Francisco enacted a Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance in 2009 that requires all commercial property owners to provide certain water conservation measures for their buildings by January 1, 2017. The intent of this law is protect natural resources, address increasing demand for water, and cut greenhouse gas emissions through reduced water use. The required improvements also will reduce water and sewer costs for commercial properties.
It is advantageous for all commercial property owners to comply with the requirements now. Even though the statutory deadline is in 2017, the savings in water and sewer costs typically pay for themselves within one to three years. The following information is a summary of the requirements found in Chapter 13A of the San Francisco Building Code (SFBC).
- Commercial buildings;
- Any portion of a residential building, which is used for commercial purposes;
- Any portion of a residential building converted to a tourist hotel;
- Any portion of a residential building which is occupied as a hotel or motel unit and which has a certificate of use for tourist occupancy;
- Any building or portion thereof which is a live/work occupancy
- Mobile homes.
- Building Additions
- If a building addition will increase the floor area of the building by more than 10 percent, the entire building must comply as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy.
- Building Alterations and Improvements
- If the cost estimated in a building permit for an alternation or improvement is greater than $150,000, compliance is required in all facilities that serve the specific area of alteration or improvement and is a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
- Alternations or Improvements to Rooms with Water Conservation Devices
- If an alteration or improvement of any cost is located in a room that contains a faucet, shower, water closet (toilet), or urinal, compliance is required in that room as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
For more information on financing options, efficient toilet and urinal rebates, and free water-efficient device which can help achieve compliance with the water conservation ordinance, please contact the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission at (415) 551-4730 or click here.