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Year: 2007
Award Type: Award of Merit
Territory: PG&E Territory
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Owner: City of Palo Alto
Developer: City of Palo Alto
Architect: Arkin Tilt Architects
Market Segement:
Square Footage: 1,200
Type of Building:
Award Credit:

Design Team

Toft, DeNevers & Lee, Acterra, John M. Cruikshank Consultants Inc., Alpha Consulting Group, A&A Construction


Edward Caldwell


Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility Solar Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility Interior
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Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility

Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility Solar

Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility Interior

Arastradero Preserve Gateway Facility

This 622-acre preserve, located on the outskirts of Palo Alto, is a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The restoration of this preserve habitat was made possible primarily with volunteer labor through partnerships with the local land stewards. The emphasis of this restoration was on minimizing ecological impact, which was achieved through its small size, the use of natural materials, and energy independence.

By utilizing methods of passive solar design with seasonally adjustable solar panels, the facility is able to run completely off the grid. Jurors praised the adjustable panels for their originality and cleverness. Due to it being powered with renewable energy, the preserve was not subject to Title 24 standards. However, the facility only uses 25% of the base case.

Fluorescent and low-voltage lighting are minimal and the design of the stand-alone building allows for room expansion through the use of sliding barn doors. Using straw-bale and recycled timber construction, the building contains no mechanical system, making zero energy use inherent. The jurors found the building to be deserving of the merit award based on the effective restoration and the zero energy use of the building. They found the 1,200 ft 2 building to be both elegant and modest.

    Notable Accomplishments

  • Natural materials use.
  • Energy independence.
  • Solar power allows the facility to be completely off the grid.


  • Charles Eley, FAIA, PE

    Title: Vice-President
    Company: Architectural Energy Corporation
    Location: Boulder, CO

    Charles Eley, FAIA, PE

    Mr. Eley is an architect and mechanical engineer with about 25 years experience in energy efficient and sustainable design. Mr. Eley has made significant contributions to the California energy standards, ASHRAE Standard 90.1, and energy codes in Hong Kong, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and Australia. Mr. Eley is now working with the California Energy Commission to update the state energy efficiency standards in response to the recent electricity crisis.

    In addition to his energy codes and policy work, Mr. Eley has also developed a number of important publications including the Advanced Lighting Guidelines, the Lighting Fundamentals Handbook, and numerous other technical manuals on energy efficient and code compliance. Mr. Eley is the primary author and technical editor of the ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999 User's Manual. He is also the executive director of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools and is the technical editor of the CHPS Best Practices Manual.

    Mr. Eley consults with other architects and engineers in the design of landmark energy efficient buildings. He also directs the software development team within Architectural Energy Corporation, which is responsible for VisualDOE, EnvStd, and a number of other computer programs for the energy efficient design of buildings.

  • Jack A. Paddon, AIA

    Company: Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners, Inc.
    Location: Roseville, CA

    Jack A. Paddon, AIA

    In 1981 Jack joined Jim Williams to establish Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners, Inc. Since that time, the firm has won the continued respect of clients and the communities they serve through many successfully completed projects.

    Jack's leadership in Client Focused Design has guided almost two decades of value enhanced services for Williams + Paddon's many clients. Under his direction, the firm has become recognized as a leader in innovative design with an emphasis on regionally influenced sustainable projects for public and corporate clients.

    Jack is a LEED Accredited Professional since 2002. Consistent with the firm's core values, he continues to volunteer his time to community and professional groups. Jack has served on the AIACC State Board of Directors, and served a term as president of the AIA Central Valley. He serves in multiple capacities in support of the California Board of Architectural Examiners.

  • Scott Shell, AIA, LEED® A.P.

    Title: Principal
    Company: EHDD Architecture
    Location: San Francisco, CA

    Scott Shell, AIA, LEED® A.P.

    Mr. Shell is a nationally recognized expert on high-performance buildings and sustainable design and has written and lectured widely on these topics. He has designed a number of EHDD's most successful, sustainable design projects, including the award-winning Global Ecology Research Center for the Carnegie Institution of Washington on the Stanford University campus and the recently completed Chartwell School in Monterey, which is anticipating a LEED Platinum rating.

    Mr. Shell emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to creating new models of sustainable design, focusing on low-energy and carbon-neutral buildings. He is currently working on the Lifecycle Building Challenge, using recovered building materials and Design for Deconstruction (DfD) to reduce building material impacts over the life of a building. Concurrently, he is working with his colleagues to make EHDD a model sustainable community and architectural practice.

    Mr. Shell holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Auburn University and a Master of Arts in Humanities from Stanford University and studied Tamil language and culture at the University of Chicago and the American Institute of Indian Studies in Madurai.

Award Credit

Design Team

Toft, DeNevers & Lee, Acterra, John M. Cruikshank Consultants Inc., Alpha Consulting Group, A&A Construction


Edward Caldwell

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