Sustainable San Francisco: Ecocenter at Heron’s Head

Sustainable San Francisco: Ecocenter at Heron’s Head

The ClimatePro team has a vested interest in what’s happening around the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s been our home for decades and we love the amazing amount of talent here, especially when it comes to architecture.

Recently, we reached out to Toby Long, founder of Clever Homes, an Oakland-based architecture, planning and design company focused on the construction of affordable green buildings. Clever Homes has a great portfolio, not only of pre-fab homes, but also of some pretty amazing green building projects in the Bay Area. Today, we’re going to focus on one of our favorites: The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head.

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Completed in 2009, the LEED Platinum EcoCenter is the first truly off-the-grid building in San Francisco and features a number innovative features, including an eco-machine waste water filtration system, a living roof, and a passive heating and ventilation system.

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The 1,500 sq. ft. center is powered by solar energy and was designed to be a teaching tool for sustainable living for the rest of the community. What really stood out to us is the unique eco-machine water filtration system.

Designed using constructed wetlands that are located inside the building, the filtration system also employs biological treatment, and ultraviolet sterilization lamps. It’s a marvel of forward-thinking and sustainability that has to be seen to be appreciated.

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Another feature of the EcoCenter that is worth noting is its living roof. On their website, the Center notes these advantages to having a living roof:

  • Absorption of rainwater and reduction of stormwater runoff
  • Insulation of the building interior thus reducing need for heating and cooling
  • Helps mitigate the “heat island” effect
  • Filters pollutants out of the air and water and stores carbon
  • Restores habitat for wildlife if planted with native vegetation
  • Provides sound insulation
  • Prolongs the life of the roof
  • Is aesthetically pleasing

The designer of the garden, Lisa Lee Benjamin of Evocatalyst and Habitat Gardens won a National award for the design of the EcoCenter living roof. There’s more to see at the EcoCenter. Why not take a trip out to the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head to see this marvel of modern engineering yourself? Learn more here.


ecocenter at heron's head park