BREEAM rating of Very Good for waterfront tech campus in San Francisco

BREEAM rating of Very Good for waterfront tech campus in San Francisco

China Basin was the first building in the San Francisco area to achieve this standard, with a Very Good rating for both asset and management performance.


China Basin is a campus on the waterfront overlooking Mission Bay in San Francisco, California. The flexibility of the BREEAM certification was ideal for this property, which has many unique spaces and uses including labs, clinics and offices. The building achieved a Very Good rating for both asset and management performance.


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China Basin is an office, life science, and technology campus of over 1 million square feet, located on the waterfront at the mouth of Mission Bay and adjacent to Oracle Park in San Francisco, California. It provides access to prime retail, entertainment, downtown living, and public transit.

The campus comprises two structures, the six-story Wharfside Building and the five-story Berry Building. The Wharfside building was constructed by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1922. The Berry Building was constructed in 1991 and two additional floors were added in 2008.

The property team sought BREEAM certification due to its holistic view of sustainability and avenues of improvement that positively impact the ownership, management, and tenants of China Basin.


The client set out to obtain accurate measurements of all building sustainability metrics. Their goal was to be one of the first buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area to achieve certification.

The original 1922 Wharfside building presented a complex starting point when working towards a green building certification, along with the Berry Building which contained more recent building additions and retrofits.

The overall size of the building, intricacy of the systems and large volume of construction documentation all added to this complexity. The building has many different uses, from lab space and patient clinics to traditional office. This required a flexible system for measuring performance, with different metrics for the various industries and types of spaces within the campus.


A brand new building management system was installed to organize and improve the efficiency of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The client catalogued this new building management system, along with its HVAC components, and input the relevant data into the BREEAM online measurement tool.

The measurement tool was able to benchmark the building’s performance and verify the improvement in energy efficiency specifically. Additionally, an environmental management plan identified new targets for reduced utility usage and waste generation by 2030.

The BREEAM framework has provided a clear path to improve the buildings' performance over time.


The BREEAM certification was a good fit for this property due to the flexibility of the methodology to account for the many unique types of spaces within the building.

The structure of the BREEAM scoring system also provided clear avenues for future improvement projects that will increase the overall sustainability of the building and ultimately improve the rating.

The certification also guided the project team to formalise many policies and procedures. For example, the environmental management policy and volatile organic compounds policy will help the property operate more sustainably on a day-to-day basis.

The BREEAM assessment also helped the property management team measure and report on sustainability practices and performance. These included:

Public transit options

The property is located near several modes of public transportation including rail, light rail and several bus routes. China Basin’s location in a central and popular downtown area puts it in close proximity to housing, restaurants and entertainment. This contributed to higher walkability and an overall high transportation score.

Water saving measures

China Basin scored high in the water category due to the use of low flush, low flow plumbing fixtures. These included 0.125 GPF urinals with infra-red sensors and hand washing sinks with 0.5 GPM aerators with automatic sensors. Targets were set for reducing water usage by 2030 and policies were put in place to begin making steps toward these goals.

Waste reduction and recycling

The building scored well in the Waste category earning all points available. An extensive recycling program is in place including full time trash sorters who ensure all recyclable waste is sorted to its appropriate waste stream.

Energy efficiency

The building’s energy efficiency played an important role in achieving a Very Good rating. China Basin has implemented a new building management system to improve the efficiency and accurate measurement of HVAC use. The building also capitalizes on natural light and uses occupancy sensors to reduce lighting demand, which has contributed to the improved energy score.

“The flexibility of the BREEAM rating system was critical in achieving certification on such a complex building with multiple additions from different decades, unique space types, and complex building systems.”
– — Alex Herold, Director of Green Building Certifications, LORD Green Strategies

JP Morgan Asset Management Inc Summary

JP Morgan Asset Management Inc
Lord Green Strategies
Facilities Commissioning Resources LLC & Craig Allen
BREEAM In-use 2016 Parts 1 & 2
BREEAM rating:
Very Good (58.4% and 58.9%)

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