SPUR Urban Center

Nibbi Finds Innovation Site and Budget Solutions for New Urban Center.
  • SPUR Urban Center_1
  • SPUR Urban Center_2
  • SPUR Urban Center_3
  • spur_urban_ctr_6390
  • spur_urban_ctr_6409
  • Spur Building-1 - Roger Swanson
San Francisco, CA
April 2009
16 months
$8.7 million
Pfau Architecture
San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR)

Project Summary

The creation of the SPUR Urban Center, located at 654 Mission Street incorporated a highly collaborative process, from funding through construction. The project’s unique challenges The creation of the new SPUR Urban Center, located at 654 Mission Street incorporated a highly collaborative process from funding all the way through construction. The project’s unique challenges required a an intensly coordinated and creative construction effort. The logistically difficult infill location was located on a heavily trafficked downtown street, and had a very tight budget.

Because of the projects location on a tight site with a 40-ft.-wide building footprint, Nibbi had to use the back alley and a small bit of sidewalk in front to stage construction materials on site. The rest of the larger materials had to be brought in on Mission Street. During business hours, Mission Street is an extremely busy, fast-paced hub of city pedestrians, mass transit vehicles and business deliveries.

The projects second challenge was its very tight budget. Nibbi’s commitment to SPUR from the very beginning (which began with looking at potential sites) was crucial. Nibbi negotiated with the subcontractors and vendors keeping SPUR’s interests and tight budget in mind. The project was completed on budget and on schedule.

Nibbi provided extensive pre-construction, value engineering and construction services for the new Urban Center. The construction work consisted of demolition of the existing building and constructing the 14,400 SF, 4-story, steel-frame building with a full basement. The first two floors hold the Main Exhibition Gallery and Multipurpose Room. The third floor holds administrative offices, and the fourth floor holds the Urban Affairs Library.


The project is LEED® Silver Certified. Some sustainable building elements include:

Aggressive construction waste recycling program where 95% of the former 654 Mission building was recycled or reused

Cement is 50% fly ash (a by-product of coal fired power plants)

Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints, carpets

Green roof

Doors & lumber products made of FSC certified wood

High efficiency HVAC systems

Carpets partially made with post-industrial recycled materials

Cabinetry made of crushed sunflower seed husks

Operable windows and reflective louvers on the facade reflect direct sunlight, reducing heat load

Carbon dioxide sensors

Dual-level water saving flush toilet, sensor flush urinals, automatic sinks

Florescent, energy saving lights with automatic shut offs, motion sensor activation and multiple level switches and dimmers with a master shut-off