The littlest groundbreaker ...

Packard Foundation plans new hyper-green HQ in downtown Los Altos

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation broke ground this morning on a brand-new headquarters building that will pull its local and worldwide grant-making operations into one hyper-green, energy-efficient building.

Dozens of friends, Packard family members, staff and board members joined local civic leaders and town officials for brief comments, a formal three-shovel groundbreaking and a star shoveling performance by Jackson Orr, great grandson of David and Lucile (see video at ...)

The new building will be a two-story, 49,000-square-foot structure at 343 Second St., between Main Street and San Antonio Road in downtown Los Altos. It is designed to be fully self-contained in terms of power usage, water conservation, heating and cooling. It is aiming for a platinum rating from the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) international rating program.

"Our goals with this project are to better accomodate our operations and bring them into closer alignment with the conservation goals of our founders and Trustees," the foundation website says.

The new building, designed by San Francisco-based EHDD Architecture, is designed to maximize natural light from outside -- just as the original HP building in Palo Alto used a saw-tooth roof design to capture north light from roof-top windows. Solar panels on the roof will generate electricity.

Rainwater will be captured and used for irrigating plants and flushing toilets, and all storm runoff will be retained on site.

The building's environmental features will be complemented by transportation-reduction program that will eliminate the need for underground parking, according to EHDD.

The Packard Foundation, founded in 1964, is located just across Second Street from the site of the new building, set off by a colorful canvas-on-chain link fence.

In recent years, the foundation's growth has resulted in its staff having to occupy from three to seven separate sites in the community.

Unifying the staff in one building will help with planning and efficiency for the next 20 or so years, foundation officials said.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Steven
a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 10, 2010 at 9:08 am

I don't think it's right for those parents to put their baby out there like that with shovels and videos. Are they publicity hounds? And why does Palo Alto Online posting videos of children, feeding into that narcissism?

Like this comment
Posted by Ally37
a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm

We are very concerned about the traffic and distruption this development will cause. The article is praising these people and their kids. They forget about the residents trying to get to downtown to shop. Los Altos merchants will suffer through years of construction.

Like this comment
Posted by Wondering
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm

"We are very concerned about the traffic and disruption this development will cause."
Was this project brought before the council for review? Did people have an opportunity for input?

"Los Altos merchants will suffer through years of construction."
Why will it take years to build this building?

Like this comment
Posted by Steven
a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 11, 2010 at 9:14 am

Wondering - you have good questions. In my research yes the city was asked to comment but none was listened. and this is a several years long project with it not being even started yet. The bogus article doens't talk about such things - only how good the project is and all about the shoveling baby.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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