Portola Valley Town Center
This new town center weaves together oak woodlands, playing fields, and new buildings into a civic center that meets the town’s sustainability goals while complimenting the natural beauty of the landscape in the greenest way possible. Proper building orientation, daylighting, natural ventilation, sunshades, and thermal mass reduced overall energy use and allowed for smaller mechanical systems. Small, efficient air conditioning units pre-cool air and eliminate the need for full air conditioning. The 76 kW photovoltaic system supplies 40% of the electricity used by the building; nonrenewable energy costs are reduced by 51% and operating carbon is reduced by 76.2 tons per year.
A section of buried creek, now exposed to daylight, defines the fourth side of the town center courtyard. The abandoned culvert was transformed into a cistern for storing 40,000 gallons of rainwater.