Master Gardeners of San Mateo & San Francisco Co.
University of California
Master Gardeners of San Mateo & San Francisco Co.

Public Utilities Commission Building (PUC)

SF PUC building entrance with plantings
SF PUC building entrance with plantings
The PUC building utilizes both gray and black water in its onsite ‘Living Machine’ system, making it an ultimate recycler. It is one of the first buildings in the nation with onsite treatment of both gray and black water; with gray water being the portion of household wastewater that comes from showers, bathtubs, sinks and washing machines and black water coming from the toilets.

Outdoor and indoor plantings provide natural water filtration
Outdoor and indoor plantings provide natural water filtration
Planters filled with Bear’s Breech, ferns, callas and carex frame the sidewalk and continue inside for several feet, blurring the line between inside and out. They're designed to filter the building's waste water as would a tidal wetland.

An onsite “Living Machine” system treats 5,000 gallons of wastewater per day and reduces per person water consumption from 12 gallons (normal office building) to 5 gallons. This “Living Machine” reclaims and treats all of the building’s wastewater to satisfy 100% of the water demand for the building’s low-flow toilets and urinals.

Sidewalk planters alongside PUC building
Sidewalk planters alongside PUC building
The building’s 25,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system provides water for irrigation uses around the building – both inside and out.

Learn more about San Francisco’s PUC Sustainable Headquarters at http://www.sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=583

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