SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, April 13, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on an emergency ordinance that sets ventilation standards for high-rise buildings in the city. The ordinance was introduced by District 11 Supervisor Asha Safaí.
The proposed ordinance would apply to high-rise buildings with 50,000 square feet or more of non-residential floor areas that use mechanical ventilation systems. Buildings that meet this criterion must comply with local ventilation regulations, if the ordinance is passed.
Offices throughout the city have begun re-opening as conditions from the COVID-19 pandemic, as more individuals throughout the country gets vaccinated. According to data from the California Department of Public Health, 35.7 percent of San Francisco’s citizens are fully vaccinated. Facebook, Uber, Salesforce, and other large corporations have announced their offices will reopen either this April or May.
The ordinance also creates a system to file complaints to either the Health Department or the Building Inspection Department to alert of buildings who are not complying to local ventilation regulations.
A total of 700 city janitors walked off the job to protest unfair labor practices, and the ordinance addresses one of their concerns to comply to ventilation regulations and make sure the ventilation systems are running at night when janitors are working. A total of 3,000 city janitors have been laid off during the pandemic, and 26 have died as a result of COVID-19.