Hanover Page Mill, a LEED Platinum and net-zero electric building is a powerful statement of synthesis between architectural form and energy performance. Located at Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto, CA, this spec office building was designed using affordable and practical building strategies to provide higher occupant comfort standards, while offering market-rate leasing options that make it competitive with traditional buildings.
The design is firmly rooted in a Modernist building tradition that follows a C-shaped layout organized on a disciplined five-foot module; the two-story building rises over an underground 118-space parking garage. Emphasis on responsible harnessing of natural resources was a primary concern of the client. The 86,925-square-foot project includes a high-efficiency VAV HVAC system and LED lighting with automatic daylight harvesting, significantly lowering the building’s energy demand.
The surrounding garden and landscaping were designed to create the feeling of working in a garden. The entry drive and parking areas are shaded by a grove of trees that mark a transition to the calm, parking-like setting of the building. The entry courtyard is beautifully landscaped, serving as both access to and departure from the building. It is also a gathering space for people during the day.
To meet the project’s goals the design team focused first on reducing energy loads, and second on providing energy efficient systems. They chose an architectural design that is highly solar responsive: each façade is fitted with exterior overhangs and/or fins, sized and oriented based on detailed daylight, thermal comfort, and visual comfort studies. This strategy, in combination with relatively narrow floor plates and high-performance double pane glazing, provides excellent daylighting and dramatically reduces cooling loads from direct solar gain.
To further achieve the client’s energy criteria, the project leverages “state of the shelf” systems and equipment, the most energy efficient systems readily available. A high-efficiency HVAC system and LED lighting with automatic daylight harvesting dramatically reduce the building’s energy use, and on-site photovoltaics offset the remainder; including the energy used by sixteen electric car chargers provided to encourage tenant adoption of lower emission electric vehicles. Highly efficient packaged rooftop air handling units deliver air to thermally actuated diffusers in the space, utilizing readily available technologies that are optimized to increase effectiveness. The air distribution system is designed for extremely low friction losses, with high-efficiency variable speed central fans, while still providing outside air for ventilation at rates 30% greater than code requires for improved indoor air quality. Heating is generated via hot water condensing boilers and zone heating coils. All hydronic distribution is designed for low friction losses, with high efficiency, variable speed pumps.
Occupants are the most valuable resource to any business, and building features that increase employee productivity and respond to their needs are a selling point. Along these lines, the HVAC system was zoned to the diffuser level to permit each VAV diffuser to act as an independent zone of thermal control. The system can respond to changing thermal loads at a granular level, thus providing excellent occupant comfort.
The client was also aware of the value of water in California. Thus, water conservation was just as prominent in the design as the energy goals. The building uses 40% less water for toilet flushing, hand washing, and showering via low-flow fixtures. Additionally, 55% less potable water will be required for landscape irrigation, achieved through drought tolerant plantings and water efficient irrigation systems. The toilet flushing and irrigation systems are dual plumbed for to utilize municipal recycled water.
The Hanover Page Mill project was awarded Platinum designation under LEED Core and Shell 2009 and is closely tracking energy usage to determine Net Zero Electric Energy status. During lease negotiations, the Owner secured an anchor tenant two years before construction was completed, due in part to the sustainability features of the building. Taken in the context of successfully earning LEED Platinum and tracking Net Zero Electric Energy, the twofold goals of sustainability and market rate cost effectiveness have been achieved.
Stanford Research Park, Palo Alto, California
87,000 SF, 2 Stories over Parking Garage
Hanover Page Mill Associates
LEED Platinum, Net Zero Electric
2106 Honorable Mention, American Architecture Prize
2016 Award of Merit, Zero Net Energy Design, PCBC Gold Nugget Awards
2016 Winner, Best Sustainable Development, LEAF Awards