85 Bluxome Street

USRC Statement

“To create truly sustainable communities, our buildings must not only have a low impact on the environment, but the environment must have a low impact on our buildings. 85 Bluxome Street, which was awarded USRC and LEED Gold Ratings, achieves both.” - Evan Reis, Executive Director of the US Resiliency Council

First Building in San Francisco to Get USRC Rating

85 Bluxome uses high performing steel frame structural system
San Francisco, CA
Building Owner:
Bluxome Partners LLC
USRC Rating:
USRC Gold Rating
Year USRC Rated:
Engineer of Record:
ZFA Engineers
Architect of Record:
RIM Architects
Building Website:
BCCI Builders
Facility Type:
New Design
Structure Type:
Five story steel frame
Structure Material:

ZFA Engineering, Choosing a Resilient Design

The first building in San Francisco to receive a USRC rating is 85 Bluxome Street, a new five-story, 57,000 square-foot, Class A office building in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood. The steel-framed structure was awarded a USRC Gold Rating for achieving five stars for safety and four stars for both damage and recovery. Completed in 2016, the building was developed by Bluxome Partners, LLC, designed by RIM Architects and ZFA Structural Engineers, and constructed by BCCI Construction Company.

“The USRC rating at 85 Bluxome is a long-awaited first step in increasing transparency so that people can be aware of the very real risks that are present in this region.”
 - Mark Moore, Executive Principal at ZFA Structural Engineers

With San Francisco office space hitting record high prices, maximizing leasable area is one of the top priorities of commercial developers after the safety and comfort of occupants. At 85 Bluxome Street, ZFA Structural Engineers, a founding member of the USRC, helped achieve both by using a high-performing proprietary SidePlate moment frame system to provide a stiffer-than-required structural frame that reduced building drift and allowed the footprint of the building to extend as close as possible to property lines. With careful accounting, the return on investment for this strategy was clear; the added square footage was of far greater value than the cost of the additional structural steel used to achieve it.

In addition to maximizing leasable space, the structural system’s high stiffness provides superior performance that exceeds current building code requirements when subjected to earthquake loads, which contributed to the USRC Gold rating. Additional attention to detailing of stairs and anchorage of mechanical equipment means not only that the building was rated in the top category for safety (five stars), but that it is expected to fully recover from a major earthquake in less than one week. This building is a great example of the synergy that can exist when multiple goals are aligned and everyone—owners, tenants, and communities—wins.

The building owners were not only focused on providing a safe, comfortable, flexible, and high-end space for tenants, they also sought out sustainable building materials that would lessen environmental impacts as well as benefit occupants. The building was awarded a LEED Gold rating for green building practices and also received the first Delos WELL Certification in Northern California. WELL is a new performance-based rating system focused on measuring how the built environment impacts human health and wellbeing through the seven categories of air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.

Contact :

Mark Moore, PE, SE
ZFA Engineers