San Francisco Public Safety Building

San Francisco, California
Architect: HOK and Mark Cavagnero Associates
Contractor: Pankow Construction

Project Overview:

Situated in San Francisco’s Mission Bay Development Area, the new San Francisco Public Safety Building houses several civic offices including the SFPD Police Command Center and a SFFD Fire Station. Designed by HOK in collaboration with Mark Cavagrero Associates, the plan wrapped two entire buildings in a screen wall comprised of over 14,000 folded zinc slats.

The design documents called for field-applied fasteners, attaching each slat onto individual aluminum clips. ELEMENT simplified this by designing a unitized cassette frame system allowing complete frames to be hung on the structure via pre-set pins and then secured with a snap clip. The zinc slats were redesigned to snap onto the ladders, allowing the slats and frames to be shipped and installed separately, and simplifying sequencing requirements.

With all attachments made via snap clips and locating pins, the new design eliminated over 63,000 field fasteners, greatly reducing field labor and installation time. This design met all architectural and engineering requirements, as well as strict budget constraints. Final pricing was less than outsourcing to Asia and allowed the entire shade system to be fabricated domestically on the west coast of the U.S. Production in the U.S. also facilitated rapid replacement of parts to suit unexpected field conditions discovered on site during installation.

LEED Certification:
  • Built to Achieve Gold Certification
Key Contribution by ELEMENT:
  • Materials: Zinc sheet, aluminum, stainless steel.
ELEMENT Services:
  • Design Review
  • Preliminary materials, manufacturing, engineering, scheduling and budget estimation
  • Presentation of options and solutions, including schedule, scope and budgeting aspects of various options
  • Engineering analysis, calculations and submittals
  • 3D Modeling
  • Scheduling
  • Prototyping and Samples
  • Mockups for visual and performance testing
  • Fabrication
  • Just in Time Delivery
  • Citation Award, 2016, Design Awards for Architecture, AIA San Francisco
  • Excellence in Business Ebbie Award, 2015, The Building San Francisco Awards, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
  • Award of Merit and Government/Public Building Category, 2015, ENR California
Select Publications:
  • “Public Safety Campus”, 3 May 2016, Architect Magazine
  • “Public officials celebrate opening of state-of-the-art Public Safety Building in Mission Bay”, 16 April 2015, The Examiner
  • “At San Francisco Safety Center, Something Old, Something New”, 28 April 2015, Civil Engineering
  • “New S.F. police headquarters commands respect, if not love”, 26 May 2015, San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Designers Share Plans for Public Safety Building”, 13 Feb. 2013, Green Building News