Wood was a natural choice for the David & Lucile Packard Foundation company headquarters, expressing the Packard Foundation's commitment to the natural environment and sustainability. Its use as the main exterior cladding material and for much of the interior was an important strategy for achieving LEED Platinum certification. The combination of wood and stone, contrasted by expanses of triple element window systems, also created a building envelope compatible with the highly sophisticated mechanical and technical systems that make this a Net Zero Energy building.
Among its many green features, rainwater is collected for toilet flushing and irrigation, and storm water is retained on-site. Inside, meeting rooms are outfitted for remote collaboration, promising dramatic reductions in travel-related carbon emissions. Additionally, a transportation demand management plan helped eliminate the need for an $8 million underground parking garage, further reducing the organization’s carbon footprint.
“The inherent warmth of wood was a great match with the client, Packard family members and the Foundation’s culture,” said architect Marc L’Italien. “It’s a very relaxing building to be in and one where the occupant is in constant contact with nature, through views into the outdoor courtyard and being surrounded by natural materials. This palette allowed us to create an environment that’s somewhere between a family residence and a retreat center—one that fosters great human interaction and collaboration. It does not feel like an office building and the wood plays a major role in that vibe.”