Packard Foundation HQ

EHDD Architecture

Packard Foundation HQ

Architect: EHDD Architecture

Size: 49,000 sf

Status: Completed in 2012

MSD Key Staff: David Mar

Awards and Certifications: 

  • AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten, 2014
  • LEED Platinum Certified
  • Net Zero Energy
  • 2015 AIA SF Design Awards Architecture Merit Award
  • 2015 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award

This two-story, 48,000 sf office building achieved LEED Platinum certification with deep-green strategies such as photovoltaic power, natural daylighting, rainwater collection, and an innovative chilled beam cooling system. Performance-based design of rocking and restoring braced frames conferred additional sustainability benefits by minimizing post-earthquake repairs. Inspired by the owner’s preference for exposed wood structures, the architectural program includes four office blocks framed with glue-laminated timber beams, columns, and trusses; these alternate with glazed “connector” spaces around a central courtyard. David Mar collaborated with the architect to make the connectors as transparent as possible in order to emphasize the adjacent office blocks’ wood structure.


In designing the exposed wood roof trusses, we created perspective renderings of a wide variety of truss member configurations and connection details. These renderings inspired discussion with the owner and architect, leading to further refinement of the design. The resulting trusses feature paired glue-laminated timber chords and diagonal members sandwiching steel gusset plates and connected with timber rivets.


In addition to the high LEED target, the Packard Foundation headquarters has been designed to be a replicable net-zero-energy building in order to remain consistent with the foundation’s values and to minimize the building’s impact on the environment and the local community.

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