Cambridge Plaza | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Homes v3 - LEED 2008

Cambridge Plaza

LEED 2012

This development was an infill project with a density of 28.6 units per acre, constructed in the downtown Palo Alto area and within walking distance of public transportation


Congratulations to Clarum Homes, Cambridge Plaza as the recipient of the 2012 LEED for Homes award for Outstanding production builder.


Cambridge Plaza is a four-unit detached, three-story townhome project constructed by Clarum Homes on a concrete podium over parking and a 1,080-square-foot retail space. The project achieved LEED for Homes Platinum certification, using strategies including energy efficiency and sustainable building materials, inspiring modern and cosmopolitan sophistication.

This development was an infill project with a density of 28.6 units per acre, constructed in the downtown Palo Alto area and within walking distance of public transportation (including CalTrain and bus stops), Stanford University, shopping, restaurants, various businesses, a farmers market, neighborhood parks, and Stanford Hospital.

The exterior design included all drought-tolerant plant materials, no conventional turf, and reduced irrigation demand. We minimized the heat island effect by installing 80% of the hardscape using a light-colored, high-albedo paver with a solar reflectance index (SRI) of 39%. Each home features a 2.0-kW photovoltaic system and a thermal solar hot water system using an 80-gallon pre-heat storage tank and a G.E. GeoSpring electric heat pump back-up water heater.

The parking garage features several unusual innovations such as individual parking spaces with car stackers, electric car chargers at each parking space connected to the individual photovoltaic system, and individual storage rooms for each unit.

The project earned exceptional energy performance of 48.7% above Title-24 using high-efficiency framing including 12-inch structural insulated panels (SIPs) for roofing, pre-cut framing packages, open-web floor trusses, stud spacing of 24 inches off center, and engineered wood. We also used blown-in fiberglass loose fill insulation, providing a value of R-21; Marvin Integrity fiberglass windows; exterior insulation (Outsulation) over solid sheathing; largely LED lighting that is 100% high-efficiency; sustainable flooring products; and low- VOC paints and adhesives.

Our commitment to energy efficiency started with HVAC design, using a Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) in conjunction with a Fujitsu mini-split heat pump system for both heating and cooling. Both of these systems are tied directly into the unit's individual photovoltaic system. The HRV brings in fresh air through a MERV 13 filter 24 hours per day every day and is capable of heating this fresh air using the heat from the exhausted air. Each home has energy-efficient appliances with ENERGY STAR ratings, including induction cooktops.

Water efficiency was achieved by using a structured plumbing system with recirculating pump and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings, such as dual-flush toilets, lavatory faucets, and showers that meet EPA WaterSense specifications. An EPA WaterSense certified professional designed the irrigation system using drip irrigation over 90% of the planting beds, a timer for each watering zone, pressure-regulating devices, and a moisture sensor controller.

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Project details
7,391 sf
New Construction - Multi-family
14 Aug 2012
Walk Score®
86 (very walkable)
Data Reporting
Energy Update
Water Update
Transportation Update
Waste Update
Human Experience Update

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