San Francisco’s twisted beauty

Energy efficiency, fire safety and sustainability were top considerations for San Francisco’s latest residential high-rise

The glistening white, twisting façade of the Mira condominium tower is a fitting addition to a city known for its innovation. Its spiralling design gives residents in its 392 apartments more than just access to ample fresh air, natural light and sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay.

For architect Jeanne Gang, high performance was just as important as good looks, with energy efficiency and sustainability being top considerations. Green roofs, a grey-water recycling system and recyclable stone wool insulation materials from ROCKWOOL helped the building meet California’s strict Title 24 building code and earn Mira a LEED Gold certification as well as several design awards.

The Mira’s high performance starts on the outside where a continuous layer of ROCKWOOL exterior insulation completely wraps the 40-story building. This creates an energy-efficient envelope that also improves the acoustics of each apartment’s walls and, compared to using a combustible insulation, makes the façade much safer against fire, a top priority in such a tall building.

Contractors chose ROCKWOOL insulation because it met these performance needs and made an otherwise complicated job much easier, enabling installers to work efficiently and overcome the many angles, gaps and seams on the geometric façade.

The Mira’s high-performance design isn’t just reserved for Silicon Valley’s wealthiest residents either – nearly 40 percent of the units are reserved for people making less than the city’s median income. After two years of watching the iconic tower rise on the San Francisco skyline, proud new owners began moving into the building in July 2020.

Mira Tower, USA

Project location

Mira Tower
San Francisco

Mira, San Francisco, high rise, tower,
“ROCKWOOL’s products were favoured due to the insulation’s density and ease of install. It also had no issues with exposure to the elements, thanks to its high drying potential. It held its integrity, made installation easier and saved on time and costs"

Tony Hughes

JJ Acoustics in San Jose, California

Project Data

Year 2020
Building Type Residential
Application External wall insulation
Product type ROCKWOOL Comfortboard 80 continuous exterior insulation, ROCKWOOL Roxul Safe