Moscone Center Captures City Spirit with $56 Million Renovation

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The next generation Moscone Center

Moscone Center is San Francisco’s largest meeting complex, and when the present $56 million renovation of two of the buildings is completed in May, it will also be the most modern and innovative. The buildings under renovation, Moscone North and Moscone South, total 1.2 million sf of function space.

The revamp is a collaborative project between the San Francisco Travel Association, City/County of San Francisco and San Francisco Tourism Improvement District.

A large part of the project is focused on showcasing the city of San Francisco inside the Center through the use of branding, graphics, design elements and colors.

“In its previous state, Moscone Center gave meeting attendees very little sense that they were in San Francisco,” says Dan Kelleher, chairman of the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District. “A major part of this renovation is incorporating recognizable colors like the Golden Gate Bridge’s ‘international orange’ and integrating the city’s iconic images into the buildings’ public spaces and meeting rooms.”

The complex is ideally situated in the heart of the city, within walking distance of more than 20,000 guestrooms and popular sites like Giants Stadium and the California Academy of Sciences.

Another addition is the installation of a $4.5 million wireless system, making it possible to connect up to 60,000 devices to high speed service simultaneously. New carpeting, a fresh coat of paint, upgraded lobbies and elevators, and the introduction of visitor information kiosks are among a few other elements that make up the massive makeover.


Some of the upgrades, including the lobbies, meeting rooms, exhibit halls and ballrooms, are influenced by a new environmentally responsible vision established by the project stakeholders.

“This center is designed to meet LEED Gold green building standards, which will provide long-term benefits for patrons and residents of San Francisco,” says John Noguchi, director of convention facilities for the City of San Francisco. “This is a natural extension of the mayor’s vision of San Francisco as the most environmentally innovative city in the country.”

Upon completion, the Center will optimize energy performance to exceed 20 percent of the former usage. This will drastically reduce the water consumption. And at least half of the building’s roof is covered by either PV panels or the Yerba Buena Gardens, with areas where groups up to 5,000 can rent for outdoor events.

A few other systems that have been adopted include new solid waste management, green cleaning and indoor pest management policies.

The catering department is also undergoing a few changes as they incorporate sustainable purchasing policies and guidelines, including green purchasing, green vendor agreements, and Green Conference Attendee & Exhibitor Guidelines.

The American Thoracic Society will be the first group to experience the new additions to the Center when they host their 2012 International Conference on May 18-23.

Check out San Francisco Wins Greenest City With a Little Glam for more about the city’s leadership at the cutting edge of the sustainability megatrend.