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Pro Portfolio: Belles Townhomes, LEED platinum housing in San Francisco's Presidio

February 7, 2011 |  8:00 am

Every Monday, we post a new home whose design is presented in the designer's or the builder's own words. This week:

Presidio3Architect: KieranTimberlake for LivingHomes. Project manager: Karen Bragg, LivingHomes. Construction: Plant Construction

Project location: San Francisco

LivingHomes' description: Belles Townhomes are the only newly constructed residential buildings in the Presidio, the first to be designed in the modern vernacular there, and the first multifamily homes in San Francisco to receive platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program. The three-story, seven-unit attached townhomes were developed by Forest City and built in partnership with the Presidio Trust, adjacent to Presidio Landmark, an adaptive re-use of the largest historical building within the Presidio.

 The Presidio is an incredible wilderness in the middle of San Francisco, and it's critical to build new buildings there in a way that minimizes the impact on natural resources. We hope Belles Townhomes set the bar for future projects there. It's also our first foray into multifamily housing, which is arguably the most responsible kind of housing. 

For a look inside the town homes and more details on the project, please keep reading ...


The kitchens have Energy Star-rated stainless steel Bosch appliances, water efficient Kohler fixtures, custom cabinetry and Caesarstone quartz countertops.


Living room

Belles Townhomes recently received LEED platinum certification, the highest possible rating in a program that reviews building performance in energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, sustainable site development and water savings.



The town homes are also GreenPoint rated with a score of 158; 50 points are required for a green rating. The system was developed by the nonprofit Build It Green to promote the building of new green homes in California that maximize energy savings and water efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and improve indoor air quality. 


Presidio5The bathroom has recycled porcelain Eco-Gres tile, classic mosaic glass tiles and IceStone countertops.



The Belles Townhomes building has a total of 11,770 square feet. Units are 1,655 to 1,687 square feet; each has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.



Each town home has Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood flooring, radiant heat and photovoltaic panels.



Patios at ground level overlook the shared central green, and a terrace sits at the main level off the living room. Each unit also has a garage and private entrance from the street.


Each unit has a rooftop deck, which includes a grill.



Belles are custom-designed LivingHomes developed by Forest City as part of the Presidio Landmark adaptive re-use project, which includes not only the town homes but also the renovation of a former hospital into more than 200 rental units.

-- Compiled by Lisa Boone

Photo credit: LivingHomes


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