The Sustainability Committee has worked to bring you new resources at Parkmerced

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Parkmerced Sustainable Initiatives

Formation of the Parkmerced Sustainability Committee: a group of Parkmerced Residents, who meet regularly to research, propose and implement sustainable measures both in the short term and for long range planning. Some of the measures that have been implemented include:

Parkmerced Eco-Unit

Parkmerced, the largest, single rental community in San Francisco, is taking the lead in developing sustainable practices on a large scale, now and in the neighborhood’s dramatically changing future. The Parkmerced Eco-Unit is a typical high-rise apartment in one of Parkmerced’s towers that’s been entirely renovated to reflect the latest in environmentally friendly living strategies.

Some highlights of the Eco-Unit:

   • An energy/resource monitoring system that constantly monitors electric, gas and water consumption and provides real-time cost and carbon footprint information
   • Motion sensor lights in the bathrooms, corridors and non-essential areas
   • A “vampire control system” to abate the stand-by power consumption (which comprises 10-15% of total residential electricity.
   • New efficient steam radiators have been installed and centered under the windows to best control heat loss. Radiators direct the heat to the interior of the space and reduce temperatures on outside walls and ceilings. This type of system results in a 10-30% energy savings on a standard apartment.
   • Formaldehyde-free, low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emission insulation has been installed at all exterior walls to help better control the indoor environment.
   • EcoRock has been used for all new sheetrock installation, made of 80% post-industrial recycled waste, including waste from steel and cement plants.
   • No VOC paints were used throughout and Low VOC stains and sealers were used.
   • New 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified bamboo flooring
   • Fluorescent, Xenon and LED light fixtures are used throughout for improved quality of light at less consumption. The average energy savings for the lighting systems will be approximately 65% less energy when compared to a standard apartment.
   • Window coverings are composed of PVC-free, reclaimable, and recyclable material.
   • All cabinetry and millwork is FSC certified.
   • Kitchen and bathroom countertops are made from 100% recycled glass and cement.
   • Ultra low-flow fixtures for the kitchen and bathrooms will save more than 50% of the water usage over a standard apartment.
   • All tile in the kitchen and bathrooms consist of a recycled “green” clay, made of 17% post-consumer glass and 17% post-industrial discarded grinding paste.

Click here or below to view a full slideshow of the Eco-Unit

Maintenance Initiatives

Changing the cleaning products used by the Parkmerced maintenance to Green, completely eliminating toxic cleaning products.  90% Complete

Application of paint products applied at Parkmerced containing low VOC’s Complete

The Parkmerced maintenance vehicle fleet is being transformed from all internal combustion engines to electric carts and hybrid and alternative fuel trucks.  25% Complete

All interior apartment renovations are built with environmentally sensitive products and energy efficient appliances.  Ongoing

Energy /Resource Savings

Resident Water Conservation Campaign. The Committee and Management joined forces to combat the increase in resident water consumption by advertising water conservation tips via CCTV, email and word of mouth. January 2012, ongoing

Eliminating all incandescent light bulbs in the common areas. 95% complete

Installation of Motion Sensor switches in Laundry Rooms , workout rooms and business centers to save energy. Completed August 2009

Installation of Drying racks in the laundry rooms. Completed August 2009

Parkmerced also negotiated a new contract with Web Laundry Service to install new front loading energy saving washers and dryers throughout the entire property.  Completed August 2009

Two fogcatcher units have been built and deployed on site to transform fog into non-potable water for use in the community garden and the study of future long range uses.  Completed February 2009

Three Zipcar stations have been deployed at Parkmerced to promote car sharing.  Completed March 2009

Quality of Life Initiatives

Set up a Native Plant Garden on Block 29 for resident enjoyment as well as to exhibit low-maintenance plants native to the San Francisco region.
Plants include: Digitalis, Bush Monkey, Clarkia, Douglas Iris, Blue Eyed Grass, Seaside Daisy, Long Petal Iris, Potentilla , Coast Buckwheat, Red Elderberry, Pink Currant, California Sage, Lizard Tail, Horkelia, Cow Parsnips, Coast Aster, Beach Strawberry, Bee Plant, Yarrow, Coastal Gumplant, Marsh Gumplant, Black Sage, San Francisco Gumplant, Phaselia, and Purple Needle Grass. For photos check the Members (create link to members page) tab. For more information or to get involved send an e-mail to In progress 2011

Expanding the Concierge Department DVD Lending collection to include movies and documentaries with environmental and sustainable messages. Ongoing

Setting up a Tool lending library for residents’ use reducing demand and consumption of products used infrequently. Completed January 2009

Study of the efficacy of using Photo Voltaic panels at the administration building. Completed Fall 2008

Install a community garden at the Meadow where residents can grow their own vegetables and flowers in their assigned plots. Completed 2003

Waste Management/recycling/Reuse

Taking the lead from the Parkmerced Sustainability Committee, the Parkmerced management team negotiated with Sunset Scavengers and designed a trash collection system using compactors that will eliminate 45 tons of carbon emissions per year. Ongoing 

Expansion of recycling procedures throughout the property to include innovative procedures in the towers, use of blue bins in all offices and laundry rooms.  Ongoing

Initiation of composting  collection program at Parkmerced.  Completed Summer 2009

Installation of book shelves in the laundry rooms to promote book lending and sharing. Completed August 2009


Presented and continued to support the only successful farmers market west of Twin Peaks.  Completed May 2007

The Sustainability Committee along with the Parkmerced Residents Organization and Parkmerced organized and sponsored a Resident Flea Market Day to facilitate a reuse of residents’ belongings rather than disposal. Ongoing 

Along with the Parkmerced Residents Organization and Parkmerced, planned and presented a Sustainable Move Out Day at Parkmerced to donate and reuse furniture and personal items at the end of the school year.