Packard Foundation Headquarters

Building the future with zero net energy design


Year built: 2012
Location: Los Altos, CA
Type: Modern California office building
Details:  49,000 sq. ft.
Architect: EHDD Architecture
Energy Consultant: Integral Group



915 Rooftop PV solar panels
Produce enough energy to offset a building’s annual total electricity consumption

icon of the function of a solar power water heater

Solar hot water system
Get hot water without combustion, eliminating GHG emissions


Active chilled beams
Heat and cool large buildings with a quiet, energy-efficient system

icon of smart thermometer

Automated thermostats
Automatically lower use of HVAC during non-occupied hours

image of a building


In 1964, David Packard, one of the founders of Hewlett-Packard, and his wife, Lucille, established The Packard Foundation, a thriving philanthropic organization focused on improving the lives of children, families, communities and protecting the environment.

So when it came time to construct their new headquarters, the Packard Foundation sought to create a building that “lived the values they support”. In that effort, their energy consultants, Integral Group, encouraged the Foundation to design an all-electric building.

The result of their efforts was the creation of the largest all-electric zero net energy building (at time of certification), a fully-operational office building that represents the beginning of a new era of all-electric focused construction.

“It utilizes passive solar design strategies, such as exterior shading and insulation, as well as cooling towers and heat pumps to provide high-efficiency heating and cooling. We’ve also installed Chilled Beams to further reduce the demand on supply fans that ventilate the structure. We even optimized the shape of the building to reduce the demand for electric lighting. And it’s not only energy-efficient, it is also extremely comfortable for occupants, because the selection of low-energy systems naturally leads to design decisions that improve office comfort, such as 100% outside air for ventilation and ample daylight.

And the fact that SVCE provides carbon-free electricity means the greenhouse gas savings extend beyond the walls of the project!”

ANDREA TRABER / Integral Group