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Establishing a Regional Precedent for Environmental Stewardship

By Katherine Miller, August 21, 2013

Our new campus has been carefully designed as a cutting-edge, environmentally sensitive and energy-efficient building that co-exists in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Our entire campus aims to establish and nurture a regional precedent for environmental stewardship, and will conserve the natural resources on our 70-acre site below Ladyface Mountain in Agoura Hills, California.

On April 3, 2013, we welcomed friends and partners in the local business community to join us in celebrating the completion on our new office building.

During the design and build of the new campus, one of the Foundation’s primary objectives for the design of its new campus was to make as little impact as possible in order to preserve the integrity of the surrounding environment.

The four-phased building project, located on 44 acres below Ladyface Mountain in Agoura Hills, California, is situated in the eastern Conejo Valley between the Simi Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains, approximately 30 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The natural beauty of this particular site and overall quality of life in the area were among the primary factors in the Foundation’s decision to acquire the Agoura Hills site, but with that came the added responsibility of ensuring that the new campus would also create a dialog between the site, its buildings, and the user’s experience.

The orientation of our building and its narrow width maximize opportunities for capturing natural light and views, supporting the wellbeing of our staff and reducing the energy we need to light our workspace. Furthermore, natural ventilation systems combined with a window shade system and solar panels reduce total energy consumption by both increasing the efficiency of lighting and HVAC systems, and generating energy from the sun.

Other sustainable features include green roofs, permeable paving, and substantial recycling of rainwater and construction waste.

Details of the Sustainable Site

The Hilton Foundation has taken great care to maintain the sustainability of our landscape by:

  • Retaining more than 200 protected Coast Live and Valley oak trees near our building site
  • Planting at least 140 additional trees to offset the few removed during construction
  • Maintaining Ojai navarretia, an endangered plant species
  • Filtering and collecting stormwater to reduce pollution and conserve potable water
  • Incorporating green roofs to absorb rainfall and reduce the heat island effect
  • Minimizing light pollution through our exterior lighting system design

Water efficiency

We are improving our water efficiency by:

  • Implementing rain gardens and passive irrigation to capture, store, treat, and use all water that falls on the building roof
  • Landscaping with native plants that use less than half the water of a typical landscape, conserving existing wildlife habitats, and promoting biodiversity
  • Monitoring computerized moisture sensors to conserve water and provide the exact amount needed for irrigation
  • Recycling water for site irrigation and building sanitation, as well as the cooling tower that controls and operates the building’s ventilation systems
  • Blending rainwater with reclaimed and potable water to control saline levels necessary for proper irrigation

Energy efficiency

Our campus maximizes energy efficiency by:

  • Using a passive downdraft HVAC system that circulates cool or warm air without the use of fans
  • Installing a solar thermal heating system that eliminates the need for natural gas
  • Limiting the direct sunlight that enters the building with an automated external shading system
  • Integrating daylight and electric lighting into a single energy-efficient design
  • Making electric car charging stations available for employee and visitor use
  • Generating sufficient renewable energy through solar panels to meet the building’s needs year-round

Materials and resources

We surpassed our goals of responsible construction practices and materials use by:

  • Using lean construction practices to eliminate unnecessary on-site waste
  • Building with materials that contain a minimum of 10 percent recycled content overall
  • Sourcing materials within a 500-mile radius of the site whenever possible
  • Filtering rain water into the soil through exterior permeable surfaces

Indoor environmental quality

The quality of the environment is as important inside our building as it is outside. We’ve created a comfortable, healthy, environmentally sensitive indoor space by:

  • Selecting interior finishes with minimal impact on air quality Using 100 percent fresh air rather than re-circulated air
  • Implementing programmable and manual electric lighting controls
  • Maximizing daylight as the primary light source for all work and circulation spaces
  • Improving interior lighting performance with passive design strategies such as building orientation and materials that reflect light

Looking ahead

When complete, our campus will include more than 90,000 square feet of building space. Electric-powered carts will be used to travel between four different buildings and will leave minimal impact on the landscape, and an inclined railway will connect the eastern and western parts of the campus.

Katherine Miller Twitter

Director of Campus Expansion, Facilities and Workplace Services

Katherine Miller Twitter

Director of Campus Expansion, Facilities and Workplace Services

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