As the first new development in San Francisco’s Transbay Redevelopment Area, Rene Cazenave Apartments (RCA) provides 120 mini studio apartments with comprehensive supportive services as permanent homes for formerly chronically homeless individuals. A gateway building to the future new neighborhood, RCA demonstrates the city’s commitment to creating a community based on social, financial and environmental sustainability and integration.
Rene Cazenave Apartments combines environmental, financial and social sustainability. The design team focused on strategies that simultaneously addressed these goals by reducing long term energy use and costs, creating healthy living environments, and maximizing seismic resilience. In spite of the budgetary pressures associated with subsidized housing for a low income population, the design team gave a high priority to investments in a wide range of sustainable design strategies that aligned with the long term operation and inhabitation. Integrated sustainable design strategies include energy efficient exterior cladding and windows, enhanced air quality ventilation systems, a roof top solar renewable energy canopy and resilient post-tensioned shear walls. The project received GreenPoint certification under the Build It Green program. This project demonstrates how a sustainable design should be integral to providing healthy and nurturing residences and services for disadvantaged citizens that are integrated into the local community.