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LEED Platinum Packard Foundation Building: An Inspiration!


I had the good fortune to be among the first members of the public to tour the new Packard Foundation building at 343 Second Street this morning.  In my opinion, this is without a doubt the most beautiful building in Los Altos and that beauty is more than skin deep.  Not only is the design gorgeous, it’s also smart.  The property will generate 100% of its energy requirements and will harvest 100% of the rainwater that falls on it.  These characteristics, among other design elements, are what has earned the Packard headquarters a platinum level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is one of only 26 buildings in the country to earn this designation so far.  And it’s right here in downtown Los Altos.

Check out this fascinating video showing the deconstruction of the buildings that formerly occupied this space as well as the construction of the new building.  95% of the materials from the demolished buildings were recycled or reused.  All the materials for the construction of the new building were sourced from within a 500-mile radius of the site.  All the interior doors were created from the eucalyptus trees that were downed during the rebuilding of Doyle Drive leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  Most other materials used in the building contained recycled content.

The Packard Foundation will be providing additional information on their 343 Second St. website, including — I am told — a list of the plants they have carefully selected for their native, water-conserving characteristics and beauty.

For a quick overview of some of the design principles, take a look at Margie Suozzo’s blog post from last October and check out this diagram created by the architect, EHDD Architecture, showing the building’s role in fulfilling Packard Foundation’s sustainability goals.

I hope this beautiful, functional and sustainable building will be an inspiration to other builders in our town and elsewhere.

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