Hillhouse Construction Company lives and breathes sustainability. And that purpose pays off.
Kevin Bates with Sharp Development Company explained that their latest project is built far beyond city code requirements. Property owners and their tenants in Silicon Valley look for sustainability and because of their business ethic, they get beyond what they ask for. They get long term economic benefits, improved health and increased productivity of their employees.
The building, at 415 Indio in Sunnyvale, was an old tilt-up, last used as a racquetball club is now repurposed as a very modern, successful retrofit. The concrete walls and floors were largely saved, providing the thermal mass to smooth out temperature swings. Kevin described a recent day when the temperature outside was 94, while inside it was only 69. Almost chilly! When the building is occupied, equipment and human heat warm things up.
The building is all-electric, no natural gas, using all solar photovoltaic panels. One twist, recent demand for high efficiency panels has dried up the supply and Sharp had to settle for less efficient panels, but they made it work. For Kevin, net zero means net zero bill, not net zero energy. PG&E simply doesn’t pay enough to justify overproduction of electricity.
In fact, we are optimistic about the whole project. This really is the look of the sustainable future!