Hewlett Foundation Celebrates the 10th anniversary of LEED-Gold Headquarters Building


On May 7th, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation celebrated the 10th anniversary of their LEED-Gold headquarters building on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. Members of the Board of Directors, Staff, and the Design and Construction Team, as well as many long time vendors were all in attendance.

Congratulatory remarks were made by Walter Hewlett, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Foundation President Paul Brest. The event was organized by Nancy Strausser, Facilities Director and Assistant to the President, and presentations were made by Bill Bocook, Shell Architect; Sharon Refvem, Project Architect for Hawley Peterson Snyder, the Interiors Architect; and Bill Russell, Project Executive, Vance Brown Construction.

"This building looks as good or better than the day you moved in. It's very rare that we can say that about a project and it's a testament to the care that has been taken over the past ten years." observed Bill Russell.

Completed in May 2002, the building was the first LEED-Gold building in California and only the fifth in the nation. There are now nearly 800 LEED-Gold buildings in California alone. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was founded in San Francisco in 1993, eventually launching the first version of their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System in 1998, the same year that the design of the Hewlett Foundation’s headquarters building began. As early adopters of the nascent system, the Hewlett Foundation’s Board of Directors and President Paul Brest, did their part to help make green building and LEED standards part of mainstream discussion about environmental best practices in the design and construction industry. Eventually, this increased exposure and momentum contributed to the recent adoption of California’s Green Building Code – the first of its kind in the nation.

Nancy Strausser noted that "The building was always meant to be a teaching tool. We've shared our lessons learned with a number of other foundations over the years, including Skoll, Hilton, Gates, and Moore."

From the beginning the building was intended to meet very high environmental standards in line with the Foundation’s environmental mandate. It also had to address other criteria as well by being welcoming, conducive to collaboration, and supporting cross program interaction. It also needed to be healthful, beautiful, and a good place to work. Particular attention was paid to:
• Preserving the many specimen oaks on the site
• Affording access to natural light and views to every office and workstation
• Selecting Low- or non-emitting materials, including paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, composite woods, and carpeting
• Providing individual controllability of light, air, and thermal comfort in the works spaces

According to President Brest, "When people come up the stairs, they just get it. This is the best place to work I have ever seen."

Some of the numbers:
• The Hewlett Foundation is the first LEED-Gold building in CA, as of May 2012 there are nearly 800 Gold buildings in CA.
• All of the LEED Indoor Environmental Quality credits were earned
• Over 83% of the wood in the building is documented FSC certified wood, an especially challenging achievement at the time
• There were only a handful of certified buildings in the country in 2002, as of May 2012 there are nearly 13,000 worldwide
• By 2011, 1.8 Billion sf of building space was LEED certified

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