Jim Gaither, Jr., founder of the Northern Sierra Project for The Nature Conservancy, had a vision to redevelop his grandfather’s property in the Stanford Research Park. He and his father, Jim Gaither, a leading Silicon Valley lawyer and entrepreneur, wanted to reduce the environmental impact of the building by meeting the most rigorous sustainability goals. At the same time, they wanted to demonstrate that sustainability could also be affordable, practical, and able to translate into leasing options that could compete with traditional buildings.
The older buildings from the 1960s were demolished in 2014 and, by 2015, the new core and shell of 1400 Page Mill Road was complete. The newly constructed, 86,925 square foot Hanover Page Mill property is LEED Platinum certified and Net-Zero Electric. It features on-site photovoltaics that provide 100% of the building’s energy use, as well as charging stations for 15 electric cars. The building uses 40% less water for toilet flushing, hand washing, and showering with the help of low-flow fixtures.
The beautiful drought-tolerant landscape, designed to be a communal gathering place, was being installed when Gachina Landscape Management was hired as their landscape partner for ongoing maintenance. Before the irrigation system had been fully installed, Chad Sutton, Water Resource Manager for Gachina, instead recommended using WeatherTRAK ET Pro3, FlowHD, and a normally open master valve to enable real-time water budgeting. This gives the Gachina maintenance team the ability to use far less water than California’s maximum allowable water allotment for the Hanover Page Mill property.
“The real-time alerts are a huge benefit because we’re able to get that information in real time on our cellphones or laptops. Under the system they were planning to install, we would have to go to the controller and open the box to know if there was a problem,” said Juan Carlos Esparza, Gachina Landscape Management Account Manager. “We also appreciate all of the online reporting features that come with a smart, cloud-based irrigation system.”
Water flow data from FlowHD is integrated into the property’s building management platform. This gives Juan Uribe, the Hanover Castle Group’s principal engineer, integrated dashboards for water use and leak alerts, as well as electrical and energy use. According to Uribe, several water leaks have been detected and repaired as a result, saving thousands of gallons of water.
With the drought-tolerant landscape, and the reduced water waste though the efforts of WeatherTRAK and Gachina, the Hanover Page Mill landscape is 55 percent more water efficient. In 2018, Gachina was recognized by the San Francisco Bay Area California Landscape Contractors Association in the Large Commercial Maintenance category for its work on this property. Looking to the future, the landscape infrastructure was set up to take advantage of recycled water when it becomes available from the City of Palo Alto.
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