Packard Foundation HQ reflects mission to restore planet & revitalize communities

Note from Storm: Below are several websites featuring the new headquarters of the David and Lucille Packard Foundation in Los Gatos, California.

I include it here in REVITALIZATION because this green building is a redevelopment project, not sprawl, even though none of the websites mention that. This is a common blind spot among architects: they want to focus of the building itself, when the location of the building is often more important to its “greenness” in the long run. What’s the use of saving a few kilowatts of energy via photovoltaic panels if employees have to drive their cars 30 miles to Sprawlville to get to work?

In this case, the new headquarters replaced some old offices and a health club. All of the materials from those demolished buildings were recycled. My thanks to Tom McCarter of the Packard Foundation for supplying that information.
The headquarters for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, California brings staff, grantees and partners together to solve the world’s most intractable problems. Passive, bioclimatic design strategies support the core philanthropic mission while serving as the basis of LEED Platinum building certification and Net Zero Energy performance.

The building supports a vital downtown in the community which has been the Foundation’s home for nearly 50 years. It uses 90% California native plants in our landscape to eliminate pesticides needed by foreign plants, and to provide food and shelter for local birds and insects and attract native pollinators. Rain gardens and permeable paving reduce runoff and filter pollutants to help restore the watershed.

The Packard Foundation’s connection to the Los Altos community dates back to its inception in 1964. For the two decades, as the Foundation’s grant making programs expanded locally and around the world, staff and operations have been scattered in buildings throughout the town. This project enhances proximity and collaboration while renewing the Foundation’s commitment to their local community by investing in a downtown project intended to last through the end of 21st century.

The project’s focus on sustainability brings their facilities into alignment with their core work of conserving and restoring the Earth’s natural systems. Their new home, the largest Net Zero Energy office building in California, is the cornerstone of their effort to demonstrate how an organization can improve its effectiveness and the quality of life for its employees while emitting carbon at the rate needed to keep global temperature rise below 2°C.

For more than 50 years, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has worked with partners around the world to improve the lives of children, families, and communities—and to restore and protect our planet.

Our new green headquarters building was designed with a net zero energy goal of producing at least as much power as it consumes each year. Its technological and structural features come together with a beautiful, functional design to create a workspace that is good for the planet and for our employees. Through its energy-, water- and resource-conserving characteristics, the building has achieved Net Zero Energy BuildingTM and LEED® Platinum certifications.

About the David and Lucille Packard Foundation

Packard Foundation page describing their new headquarters building

AIA Top Ten Buildings 2014 profile

Living Building Challenge feature

You must be logged in to post a comment