Plaza Apartments

First Housing Project on West Coast to Obtain LEED Silver Certification.
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San Francisco, CA
December 2005
20 months
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and Paulett Taggart Architects in Association
Public Initiatives Development Corp

Project Summary

When Plaza Apartments opened its doors to tenants in December 2005, it became the largest new construction project entirely dedicated to supportive housing in the South of Market neighborhood. Plaza Apartments is a “first” in several categories. The US Green Building Council (USGBC) approved Plaza as the first residential building in California with a certification in Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED®). It is also the first LEED®-certified building constructed by Nibbi Brothers, the first affordable housing development with a LEED® Silver Certification for both the City and County of San Francisco, the first build-to-suit project for supportive housing in San Francisco and the first project developed by the owner, Public Initiatives Development Corporation (PIDC).

Nibbi Brothers provided construction services for the 9-story concrete building containing 1-level below-ground which houses commercial space for Bindlestiff Studio and the Filipino Community Theater. There are a total of 106 units, a lounge, laundry room, administrative and doctor offices and an exam room.

Plaza Apartments is LEED® Silver Certified and includes the following sustainable building elements:

  • Parklex 1000 exterior wood panels which is a stratified high-density timber panel, consisting of kraft paper or wood fibers treated with phenol thermoset resins and compressed at high pressure and temperatures.
  • 29kw Photovoltaic system installed on the roof
  • Diversion 97.09% of the construction debris away from landfill
  • Extensive training of building residents and staff in proper use of building systems to maximize efficiency. Videos provided to the owner at the end of training.
  • 45% of material cost came from regionally manufactured materials (ie materials travelling less than 500 miles to arrive at the project site.)
  • Over 50% of wood based materials were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council


  • 2010, AIA, Design Merit Award
  • 2007, AIA, Special Housing Award
  • 2007, SF Business Times, Real Estate Deal of the Year, Green Building/Green Space
  • 2006, Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community “Show You’re Green” Award
  • 2006, California Construction, Best of 2006, Best Redevelopment Project
  • Affordable Housing Finance Magazine, Best Special Needs/Single Residence Occupancy