San Francisco Federal Building

Designed by Morphosis architects, this project incorporates LEED sustainable design goals, is part of the Design Excellence Program, and conforms to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) security standards of a Level C criterion.

The project consolidated government agencies scattered in leased spaces and it has become the cornerstone for development in the Mid-Market/Civic Center area of San Francisco. The new facility is comprised of four sections containing 575,000 square feet of usable space. The building’s four sections are comprised of an 18-floor reinforced concrete shear wall structure; a one-story childcare center; a five-story structural steel braced frame Bar Building; and a freestanding Pavilion café made of reinforced concrete.

Blast-mitigating design of the buildings was performed for each section, loading scenario, and structural type.

Hinman and the design team collaborated from the earliest design stages to implement ‘transparent’ security. Important protection was provided through architectural measures. For example the massing of the building distanced critical and occupied areas from high-risk locations, and the site architecture and plaza furniture provided an innate anti-ram perimeter protection. Blast resistant design of the building was performed for each section, loading scenario, and structural type. Balancing the requirements of the GSA’s Design Excellence Program, including the cutting-edge sustainable design features, resulted in GreenBlast™ design. GreenBlast™ design is the integration of blast resistant design and sustainable concepts—providing protection for both the built and natural environment. An example of this innovative approach was used in the operable window design; by modeling the shock-front wave on the building face, Hinman developed a way to control the response and failure of open windows.