Frank Gehry tops Facebook HQ expansion with a 3.6-acre rooftop park

September 19, 2018 by  
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Facebook recently unveiled a peek inside MPK 21, its newest campus building designed by Frank Gehry and built in less than 18 months. Created as an extension to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, this striking addition blurs the distinction between the indoors and outdoors with its massive walls of glass, sheltered courtyard and expansive 3.6-acre rooftop garden — named The Town Square — planted with 40-foot-tall redwood trees. In addition to its abundance of plant life, the building is also designed to meet green standards and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Located on a formerly unoccupied industrial site, MPK 21 connects to MPK 20 — another Facebook building also designed by Frank Gehry that opened in 2015 — via an amphitheater -style courtyard called The Bowl. The building houses offices with open workspaces, designed to promote collaboration between teams, as well as quiet areas for focused work. Employees traverse the length of the building with a single walkway, which also connects to five dining areas and a 2,000-person event and meeting space with state-of-the-art A/V technology. Artists from Facebook’s Artist in Residence Program were commissioned to create 15 art installations for MPK 21. “The building was designed to promote teamwork and allow our people to do their best work,” said John Tenanes, Facebook’s VP of Global Facilities and Real Estate, in a press release. “MPK 21 is designed to reduce impact on the environment and enhance employee well-being. The building encourages active engagement inside and outside of the building with pedestrian walkways, access to various outdoor areas, visible stairways and flexible work stations. The physical infrastructure is designed to reduce water, energy  and waste as well.” Related: Facebook signs Frank Gehry to design two more buildings for their California campus The LEED Platinum -targeted building is powered by 1.4 MW of photovoltaic solar roof tiles, which can generate nearly 2 million kWH of electricity a year. Approximately 17 million gallons of water will be saved annually thanks to a reclaimed water system, while the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours is minimized with an abundance of bird-friendly glazing. Facebook also enrolled in Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 energy option to further reduce its carbon footprint. + Frank Gehry Via Dezeen Images via Facebook

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Frank Gehry tops Facebook HQ expansion with a 3.6-acre rooftop park

Solar-powered home takes advantage of Silicon Valleys mild climate

August 9, 2018 by  
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San Francisco-based architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson recently completed the Los Altos Residence, a modernist family home for a couple who strives to be environmentally conscious. Located in Los Altos in northern Silicon Valley , the home and adjacent guesthouse boasts an energy-efficient design that follows passive cooling principles and is equipped with renewable energy systems. The low-slung residence mimics the Northern California ranch-style home with a distinctly modernist slant marked with clean lines and a restrained material palette. The Los Altos Residence comprises two buildings: a main residence of 4,151 square feet and an additional 479-square-foot guesthouse. The existing landscape played a large part in the design of the site-specific home, which is organized around a mature Japanese maple tree. The windows and doors were strategically placed to frame views of the diverse landscaping surrounding the home and to take advantage of cooling cross breezes. “The home is detailed with a natural, crisp palette, reflecting the client’s fondness for simplicity and tranquility,” explains Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in its project statement. “A variety of woods, including Douglas fir , western red cedar, and gray elm, are used throughout and provide a sense of warmth directly contrasted by exposed structural steel, polished concrete floors, and a textured concrete fireplace. A locally sourced Claro walnut table, measuring 10-feet in length, creates a comfortable dining space, its live edge balancing the clean lines of the living room. Additional furnishings reinforce the client’s desire for a minimalist environment.” Related: This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario In addition to passive cooling and use of the stack effect in the double-height living space, the energy-conscious Los Altos Residence is also equipped with photovoltaic and domestic hot-water rooftop panels to offset electricity consumption. Energy is further conserved with a highly insulated building envelope and large overhangs that block unwanted solar gain. Concrete radiant floors also provide added warmth in the winter season. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images by Nic Lehoux

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Tesla is starting to actually become an energy company

June 6, 2018 by  
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Will energy storage help the Silicon Valley car maker weather the car manufacturing storm?

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Tesla is starting to actually become an energy company

Uber’s first chief diversity officer; Arup expands water leadership

February 22, 2018 by  
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A Silicon Valley legend trickles into water tech, a new executive director pollinates Volans and SERA builds up sustainable architecture.

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Uber’s first chief diversity officer; Arup expands water leadership

Classic Eichler gets a tasteful renovation and expansion in the heart of Silicon Valley

December 7, 2017 by  
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Klopf Architecture has refurbished and expanded a classic Eichler home in the San Mateo highlands while keeping its mid-century modern charms intact. Working in collaboration with Outer Space Landscape Architects and Coast to Coast Construction , the updated single-family home was enlarged into a 2,285-square-foot dwelling with four bedrooms and two baths with the help of 3D modeling. Set in the heart of Silicon Valley , the Eichler renovation was commissioned by a young couple with two small children, who, as evidenced by their choice in furnishings, sought to maintain the modernist and minimalist look of their home in the upgrade. “The goals were to maintain the Eichler style while bringing in high quality, more current materials and updating what was already there,” wrote the architects. The clients also desired a new addition that would be used as an office and guest room. Using 3D modeling , the architects determined that the most suitable location for the addition would be in the side yard, rather in the rear due to set back limitations. “The addition needed to be transparent so it would not appear massive and take up the side yard,” added Klopf Architecture. Like the rest of the existing home, the addition features post-and-beam construction, Eichler profile siding, and dark bronze door frames. Related: Vintage Eichler home receives open and airy remodel that preserves its roots The bathrooms, entry, and storage were also enlarged. The interior is lined in timber paneling—some of which new to replace damaged paneling—all of which was re-stained to bring out the wood’s rich colors. The leaky steel radiant heating tubes were replaced with a new radiant floor heating system beneath concrete slabs and new flooring installed throughout the home. + Klopf Architecture Images ©2017 Mariko Reed

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Classic Eichler gets a tasteful renovation and expansion in the heart of Silicon Valley

How Las Vegas aims to be the next Silicon Valley for water innovation

October 25, 2017 by  
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With millions in state funding, a new startup incubator has begun luring water innovators to Las Vegas. The goal is to create a destination for water entrepreneurs akin to the culture of Silicon Valley.

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Silicon Valley’s top firms are embracing diversity

September 30, 2017 by  
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Google, HP and Facebook echo the #YesWeCode mission by championing minorities and women in the workplace — but there’s still room for innovation.

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Silicon Valley’s top firms are embracing diversity

Episode 73: Toyota drives employee engagement; women combat climate change

April 28, 2017 by  
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On this week’s podcast: A prelude to the people’s march on climate; Silicon Valley finds a fit in sustainable fashion.

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Episode 73: Toyota drives employee engagement; women combat climate change

Net-zero Silicon Valley office prioritizes water conservation in drought-stricken California

December 2, 2016 by  
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A Silicon Valley office building that produces all the energy it needs on-site is a leading example of smarter, water-efficient architecture in drought-stricken California. The net-zero energy building, called Hanover Page Mill, was designed by Form4 Architecture to use significantly less water than comparable buildings thanks to low-flow fixtures, water-efficient irrigation systems, and native drought-tolerant plantings. Completed this year, the LEED Platinum-certified building was just awarded the LEAF Award in the Best Sustainable Development category. While the majority of corporate Silicon Valley office buildings are glass-clad behemoths, Hanover Page Mill bucks the trend with a more opaque facade that’s distinctly Californian with an earthy color palette. The building achieves net-zero energy on an annual basis with superior insulation, natural lighting, low-flow fixtures, and photovoltaic panels that provide all of the building’s electric energy use, including the energy used by the 15 on-site electric car chargers. The office uses 40% less water for toilet flushing when compared to similarly sized buildings, and 55% less potable water is needed for its drought-tolerant landscaping. Related: World’s largest green roof unveiled in the heart of Silicon Valley Hanover Page Mill is arranged around a C-shaped layout with two aboveground floors overtop an underground 118-space parking lot. A grand, south-facing square courtyard forms the focal point of the site’s central axis. “The project is the result of an exceptional design that blends form with function,” says Hanover Page Mill Associates’ James Gaither, Jr., a former ecologist for The Nature Conservancy . “We believe that designing toward sustainability and occupant health and comfort are the most valuable building attributes in today’s market, and will become essential in the future.” + Form4 Architecture Images by Craig Cozart Photography

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Net-zero Silicon Valley office prioritizes water conservation in drought-stricken California

Episode 48: Data-powered supply chains & accidental environmentalists

October 14, 2016 by  
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This week on the GreenBiz 350 podcast: CDP gets into the supply chain ranking business, Silicon Valley governments line up to buy their own power and a bestselling author on sustainable food.

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Episode 48: Data-powered supply chains & accidental environmentalists

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