Case Study: Salesforce Tower, San Francisco

Salesforce Tower is the tallest building in San Franscisco, at 325 metres, the construction provides scale never before seen in the city. Continuing the theme of scale, Salesforce Tower features the largest in-building water recycling system in the United States; an Aquacell.

The tower has been constructed in alignment with Salesforce’s corporate mantra of sustainability, considering the environment a key stakeholder. As such, the Aquacell system has been designed to reduce the potable water consumption of the building by the equivalent water usage of 16,000 local residents.

The blackwater system at Salesforce Tower is designed to treat 150kL/day of blackwater and utlises a series of processes to treat contaminated wastewater for reuse in toilet flushing, drip irrigation and cooling towers. The onsite non-potable reuse of recycled blackwater fulfils the rigorous sustainability and advanced technology requirements of Salesforce; a global leader in corporate sustainability.

The recent mandate for onsite non-potable reuse of water in new building over 250,000 ft2 in San Francisco seeks to secure the water sources for the city in the future. Despite the mandate, Salesforce have gone above and beyond the legislative requirements of the City of San Francisco, to ensure their new landmark headquarters are at the forefront of sustainability.

Aquacell is responsible for the approvals, design, manufacture and commissioning of the system at Salesforce Tower. This provides a complete beggining-to-end solution for our customer.

The building has been plumbed with a dedicated purple-pipe network, solely for recycled water. This is an important consideration in ensuring there is no possibility for cross-connections in the piping. Along with the purple-pipe network, there are physical air-gaps between potable (drinking) water streams and non-potable (recycled) water streams.

Use of recycled blackwater at Salesforce Tower ‘reinforces the notion that businesses can be powerful platforms for change’. The building has been LEED® Platinum certified, one of the highest standards of environmentally sustainable design.

The project is the first example in the United States of collaboration between a city government, a building owner and a tenant to support blackwater recycling in a high-rise commercial building.

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