Casa Adelante 2060 Folsom

Casa Adelente 2060 Folsom makes the most of its walkable, transit-rich, park-adjacent site to provide infrastructure for social equity and a low-carbon future. A mixed-use building with 127 permanently affordable homes and a rich offering of resident and community-serving spaces on the ground floor, the project is the first large all-electric multi-family housing in San Francisco, exceeds the 2030 Challenge benchmark, and achieves net-zero operational carbon. Located in San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District, the site forgoes parking in favor of ample bike storage and an on-site bikeshare program. A series of overlapping interior and exterior common spaces support the well-being and community life of residents, showcasing the possibilities of integrated design as a vehicle for social equity. The lobby leads to a generous south-facing courtyard that filters stormwater, provides biohabitat and play space, and acts as a ‘town square’ for residents overlooking the park. The interconnected courtyard, second-floor patio and childcare play area draw the park exposure deep into the building, creating a series of dynamic spatial experiences and welcoming residential environment.


From a quality of life and performance point of view, an excellent project. | The well-designed exterior has texture and interest. |  The nice open-air bridge provides good views and naturally ventilated space. | There was a commitment to engaging the occupants.

//framework for design excellence measures
Measure 1: Design for Integration
Casa Adelante 2060 Folsom is a showcase for integrated design that intertwines social and environmental benefits. Solar orientation, energy performance, resident wellness and community benefit generated the building form. The project takes advantage of its park-adjacent site with a south-facing mid-block courtyard at its heart. Flanked by a community room, social service offices, and route from lobby to elevators, the courtyard functions as a town square. The landscape restores ecological function of former Mission Creek and uses pollinators to strengthen native habitat. Residents coming and going meet each other, property management and service providers in an easy daily routine highly supportive to the social life of the complex. Expanding a narrow fire easement between the housing site and the park into an east-west Paseo added much-needed public outdoor social space, an address for the arts and afterschool organizations, permeable area for stormwater management, and biohabitat. The nine-level open-air walkway takes advantage of the mild climate to reduce conditioned space. The playful scrim casts biophilic shadows throughout the day and presents an intriguing form when viewed from afar that forms part of the building’s distinct architectural identity. The energy-efficient, net-zero-ready, all-electric design points the way to a low-carbon future
Measure 2: Design for Equitable Communities
20% of  units were designed to meet the needs of at-risk Transistion-age youth (TAY.) Transit-rich location, ample bike/stroller room, on-site bikeshare in lieu of parking along with contributions to neighborhood mobility infrastructure help lower VMT and GHG emissions. Energy-efficient, net-zero-ready, all-electric design points the way to a low-carbon future. A coalition of neighborhood organizations conducted studies and vulnerability assessments that highlighted public health, environmental, social and economic disparities impacting low-income Mission District residents, small businesses and artist community that strongly influenced design.
Measure 3: Design for Ecosystems
Casa Adelante is located in the once-rich ecological zone of Mission Creek and its associated wetlands. The landscape design responds to this hidden ecology through stormwater design techniques that reconnect drainage with the sandy creekbed soils that lie beneath urban fill. This strategy is combined with native plantings that promote biodiversity, with a focus on pollinator habitat. This ecosystem service attracts native species to support pollination of the adjacent community food garden. Interpretive signage elements throughout the outdoor spaces share the story of the historic ecology and the project’s strategies to re-establish some of the fragmented ecological functions.
Measure 4: Design for Water
The design approach started with a careful unpacking of the pre-development hydrology of the site. That research revealed the history of Mission Creek wetlands on the site and provided clues to highly permeable soils below the contemporary urban infill. The resulting site plan allows stormwater from permeable surfaces to flow into infiltration planting areas and permeable pavers, supporting the ecosystem services provided by those plants, and greatly reducing the taxing of the city’s combined sewer system during rain events. In the building systems, the focus is on low-flow fixtures that greatly reduce the building’s import of potable water.
Measure 5: Design for Economy
The project’s outdoor spaces allow right-sizing of conditioned areas for daily rather than peak use. The generous courtyard serves as an expansion of the community room for popular events. Similarly, the Paseo offers outdoor workshop or pre-function space for ground floor youth arts programs. Exterior circulation minimized conditioned space and maximized connectivity, views and resident’s experience of the outdoors.
Measure 6: Design for Energy
Passive design features that deliver energy demand savings include: an optimized building orientation, a high-performance envelope, low WWR, fixed exterior shading and operable windows oriented to prevailing winds. High-efficiency, all-electric equipment to deliver significant reductions in energy use and operational carbon. Heat recovery ventilators in each unit provide night flush ventilation and heat exchange to mitigate cooling and heating loads, respectively. An all-electric, high-efficiency air-source heat pump greatly reduces hot water energy use. A rooftop PV array is sized to cover common area loads, providing energy stability and resiliency for residents. 
Measure 7: Design for Well-Being
Casa Adelante provides a secure, welcoming environment and on-site supportive programming that fosters inclusion, all fundamental to well-being. Residents enjoy convenient access to transportation options, cultural destinations and an adjacent park with play and exercise equipment for all ages. The central garden courtyard flanked by shared amenities and services is a ‘town square’ geared to social connectivity. Open-air circulation and the roofdeck takes advantage of the mild climate with panoramic views over the neighborhood. Daylight and views at the lobby’s ‘irresistible’ stairs encourage residents to forgo the elevators. Indoor materials and finishes were carefully selected to support resident health.
Measure 8: Design for Resources
Embodied carbon reduction efforts centered around optimizing concrete mixes to limit cement content and maximize substitution rates of supplementary cementitious materials (up to 50%). During design, the project team prioritized enhanced durability through material resiliency and adaptability. An exposed structure and streamlined material concept minimize finishes, and insulation and finish materials are lower carbon relative to the market range. Human health impacts were considered for all surfaces that occupants regularly interact with. Low-emitting materials were used throughout, and material selection avoided chemicals of concern. Construction waste was considered and tracked: 70% of waste was recycled or reused.
Measure 9: Design for Change
Building backup power serves the elevators and water pump for building useability during a power outage, as well as the community room WiFi and refrigerator to create a building resilience hub. Each unit includes a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) with MERV 13 filter for better indoor air quality during wildfire events, and night flush feature supporting resident comfort in prolonged heat events and mitigating rising temperatures from climate change. Located at the lowest invert elevation for the city sewage system and vulnerable to flooding in large storm events, the building was raised two feet from grade to protect ground-floor uses.
Measure 10: Design for Discovery
As the first new large all-electric multi-family housing in San Francisco, the project serves as proof of concept for other project teams and policymakers. The design team completed a POE and in-house R+D initiative analyzing several of the firm’s all-electric, energy-efficient multifamily buildings. The studies found significant benefits and no added cost, helping to dispel myths and allay concerns, advancing electrification. The team shared these findings broadly at conferences, with advisory groups, and directly with governmental energy code policymakers. Project data was shared in an Advocacy Memo submitted to over two dozen jurisdictions seeking public comment on proposed reach codes.
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