Accoring to the San Francisco Chronicle, the headquarters of San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) hopes to break new ground for energy-saving office buildings with its new "green" government tower.

The building will be outfitted with a variety of energy-efficient design features, including a water recycling system in the basement, solar panels and wind turbines. The project will also include a ventilation system that uses "thermal chimneys" on every floor to circulate hot air out of the building; faucet sensors; on-demand water heaters that cap water use to five gallons a day per occupant; and waterglass urinals. At a cost of approximately $3.1 million, the project is expected to produce 40 percent of the building's energy once completed. The project comes at a time when municipalities and counties throughout the Bay Area are requiring new public structures to integrate U.S. Green Building Council standards into their design. The PUC looks to begin work on the 12-story structure next spring.   EC