Originally posted on Silicon Valley Business Journal website on September 25, 2017
Silicon Valley Structures 2017: Reuse/rehab Project Of The Year
Former vitamin factory in Sunnyvale becomes LEED green office
By Mary Ann AzevedoContributor
In what Hillhouse Construction calls “arguably one of the most integrated, most sustainable, most healthy and smartest commercial office spaces in the country,” 380 N. Pastoria has come online as a net-zero energy/zero carbon emissions office building.
This former vitamin factory has achieved LEED Platinum status, and here, electricity is delivered over the Ethernet. This level of system integration through the use of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) as the building infrastructure is an industry first, according to the team behind it. With PoE, nearly all of the building’s functions — lights, windows, ceiling fans, skylights and security systems — are completely powered through low-voltage Ethernet cables and IT switches (aka PoE) versus standard electrical.
The advantage is, in addition to power, PoE also transmits data through the same cable, so building functions such as temperature, lighting and air quality can be digitally managed and optimized for efficiency in real time.
And the office space was designed to be the first Zero Net Energy building to function on a fully digital platform.
The team behind the building’s features maintains that the additional costs to deliver a carbon neutral, net-zero energy building are “all paid for by the reduction in operating expenses and reserve requirements.”
Location: 380 N. Pastoria Ave., Sunnyvale
Size: 42,000 square feet
Smart features: Granular digital control of building functions can be customized to personal workspaces. For example, each lighting fixture can be tuned to a different level of brightness and color temperature, individual windows opened or tinted, and individual fans turned on, among other functions. Human-centric Kelvin-tunable LED lighting allows the interior to mimic varying levels and hues of natural light. While more pleasing to the eye, Kelvin-tunable lighting is also beneficial to the human circadian rhythm because it models natural daylight patterns.
Green features: A 5,000-square-foot, semi-translucent and watertight solar canopy provides an all-season outdoor amenity area and flex work space, as well as 50 percent of the building’s on-site clean green power generation. The exterior was completely reskinned and wrapped in a high-performance, high-efficiency insulation system to aid in low-energy usage interior temperature control.
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