Minimizing Environmental Impact


Site drainage and stormwater control systems employ bio-swales, detention ponds, and filtration devices to limit disruption of natural water flows, increase on-site infiltration, and eliminate contaminants. These measures help protect the ecology of the site, the surrounding neighborhood, and San Francisco Bay.

Exterior lighting has been kept to a minimum in order to protect night sky visibility and animals' nocturnal habitats, as well as lessen the impact on our neighbors.

Material selection is an important aspect of sustainable building. The Hewlett Foundation building incorporates products with high recycled content, materials made from rapidly renewable resources, and certified wood. Building materials were further evaluated on the basis of performance, low embodied energy values, and their potential to be diverted from landfills at the end of their usable life. Building materials consist of 64 percent recycled content. A third of the materials were manufactured within 500 miles of the site, thus reducing the environmental impacts resulting from transportation. More than 83 percent of all the wood-based products are certified, reflecting a commitment to supporting sustainable forestry and harvesting practices.

Waste management efforts during the construction of the Hewlett Foundation headquarters resulted in nearly 70 percent of construction and demolition waste being diverted from landfill to recycling or salvaging operations. Convenient bins throughout the building facilitate recycling of paper, plastics, and other materials by staff and guests.

On the Hewlett Foundation site, highly efficient irrigation equipment and drought-tolerant landscaping that features adapted and native vegetation combine to reduce water consumption by a projected 50 percent compared to similar, conventionally landscaped sites.

Waterless urinals in the men's restrooms and small, efficient dishwashers in the staff cafes, along with other water-saving strategies, will reduce water use in the building by a projected 15 percent compared to similar facilities.

Low-emitting materials including carpet, paint, composite woods, adhesives, and sealants, minimize the introduction of potentially hazardous or irritating substances into the building. Other potential sources of air quality contaminants, such as workrooms and janitorial closets, are contained by full height walls, where a negative pressure is maintained and air is exhausted directly to the outside.