By Harriet Blake

Arterra, San Francisco’s first high rise condominium expected to win green certification, has reached the 50 percent mark in sales and should see residents move in by May 2008.


The project, built on reclaimed “brown field” in the Mission Bay area, has won points with the U.S. Green Building Council for using available land, building near public transportation and using a variety of sustainable materials, according to project coordinators.

Seattle-based Intracorp joined forces with the architecture firm Kwan Henmi to design Arterra, a 269-unit residential development at 300 Berry Street.

The building is San Francisco’s first high rise residence on track to be given a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Faraaz Mirza, director of design at Kwan Henmi, notes that although the building is LEED certified, it did not start out that way. (Mirza is pictured above with a model of Arterra. Photo: Courtesy of San Francisco Business Times)

“We designed Arterra using good design,” he says. Making use of sustainable resources an element of good design, he says.

A LEED-certified project, he adds, is not that much more work. “We were already incorporating a lot of LEED points in our design,” says Mirza. “Now that we’ve been through the process, we foresee qualifying for more LEED-certified designs.”

Prices for condos at Arterra range from $449,000 for a studio to $1.3 million for a two-bedroom penthouse, says Davina Poole, project coordinator.

Arterra is a three-part development. It includes a 16-story high-rise; a nine-story apartment portion; as well as townhomes, all of which are completely street accessible.

The walls of Arterra are Trespa panels that are made in part from recycled materials. Trespa, explains Mirza, creates a water-proof membrane insides the walls of the building. It allows vapors to escape, unlike air-tight buildings that sometimes trap moisture inside the walls. It is referred to as a breathable wall system.