A four-year $3.8M effort funded by the California Energy Commission will convert the William Penn Hotel (a historic, mixed-use building with low-income housing) into a showcase of innovative Zero Net Energy (ZNE) building design. The site includes a theater, offices and housing for ninety-one, low-income residents — including many formerly homeless and at-risk adults. The project is seeking innovative solutions and products to address a high-density urban housing environment in a high performance building. Project partners include Chinatown Community Development Center, RMW Architects, Integral Group, National Renewables and Energy Laboratory, and the San Francisco 2030 District.
Additional Detail on InnovateNetZero
- Building: William Penn Hotel
- Location: San Francisco, CA
- Building Area: 41,836 sq. ft.
- Number of Units: 94 Single-Room Occupancy units (SROs)
- Background Information: The William Penn Hotel houses a Direct Access to Housing (DAH) program for chronic inebriates, providing permanent housing for many formerly homeless and at-risk adults. In addition, the building features a five-theater, 300-seat community theater and office for a non-profit that serves the Southeast Asian community in San Francisco.
- Preliminary Systems Description (additional details to be provided in September):
- Space heating to each unit is provided by a natural-gas fired boiler and distributed through in-room radiators.
- Ventilation and natural lighting are provided by operable windows which face internal light shafts.
- The common space areas are illuminated by T8 linear fluorescent lighting.
- Special constraints:
- The William Penn Hotel is part of the Upper Tenderloin Historic District, a registered national historic place since 2009. Renovations must limit modifications to the building’s façade.
- Renovations must limit length of resident displacement and disruption to the building.
Project media coverage
- Govtech: “Going Green Can Help the Poor – and So Much More“
- Fast Company Co.Exist: “An SRO In San Francisco’s Tenderloin Is Getting A $3 Million Zero Net Energy Redesign“
- CleanTeachnica: “Zero Net Energy Projects To Transform Affordable Housing & Grocery Industry“