Raising the Roof: San Francisco Enacts Powerful New Law for Buildings (Video)

Arguably one of the world’s most coveted cities, San Francisco has experienced an identity crisis of sorts in recent years. Long regarded as the headquarters for much of the cultural and social revolutions in the realms of civil rights, LGBTQ equality, and more, it is now mostly thought of as an overpriced haven for only the most privileged. And, while much of that description may be true, it still remains a bastion of progressive thought and values. Despite steadily skyrocketing rent and the high prevalence of dotcom tycoons, many civic and industry leaders are using Frisco as a home base for cutting-edge technologically, particularly as it relates to green energy and alternative forms of power as we continue to combat the harrowing effects of climate change.

Due to its location on the coast and being surrounded by water, the San Francisco Bay Area has found itself at the center of many conversations about global warming. In a video shared on Ambrosia for Heads in January, the very real and present danger of rising sea levels in San Francisco was documented, but organizations like the King Tides Project are helping to develop solutions to what is undoubtedly the single-most important issue facing us today. Other plans of attack are being initiated, including a new citywide rule that will require all new buildings of a certain height to include solar panel roofing. According to NPR, the new mandate that applies to all new buildings under ten stories tall is actually just an add-on to a law already on the books. “The ordinance, which was passed unanimously by the city’s Board of Supervisors, builds on an existing California law requiring new buildings to set aside 15 percent of the roof as ‘solar ready,'” explaining that “[n]ow, instead of just preparing the roof for solar panels, such buildings would need to actually install some form of solar energy — either electricity-generating panels or solar heating units.” The story was also shared by MSN, who published an informative video package detailing the stupendous statistics behind how and why this bold new law will help to address climate change’s ongoing effects.

While the news is a tremendous step forward and an exciting development in the worldwide fight against rising temperatures, the reality is that this new law is but one tiny piece of a much larger initiative. As San Francisco’s city supervisor Scott Weiner has mentioned in earlier statements, the city plans on meeting a goal of relying 100% on renewable energy – setting the bar high for other American cities. Going into effect at the top of next year, Frisco’s latest landmark achievement may just prove to be the first of many to make them the headquarters of the climate revolution, too.

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