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Silicon Valley sprouts a green gateway

As part of the shift from a transit-oriented location into a vibrant entrance to downtown Palo Alto, Calif., 102 University is a mixed-use building with a concrete façade that was made possible using an innovative concrete mix containing Xypex Admix. The building is currently under design review for LEED-NC Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Graniterock, Watsonville, Calif., was the project’s ready mixed supplier, and provided a 70 percent slag concrete mix combined with Xypex Admix (10 lbs./cu. yd. of Xypex and Davis coloring) that was used for the 3,600 cu. yd. required for the building’s façade. Joseph Bellomo, principal architect of Joseph Bellomo Architects, notes that the mixture created a concrete that was dense, durable and waterproof. Bellomo also states that the mixture has “no porosity and no signs of efflorescence in the concrete. It is ideal for indoor/outdoor facades, integrated drip edges and tight reinforcement.”

The four-story 102 University features a roof garden (the first green roof in Palo Alto) and subterranean parking. One of the focal points of the building is the two vertical gardens that soften the two large structural concrete walls. The interior sides of both walls extend out at the second floor and completely branch out into two columns at the third floor, which support the roof of each residential unit above. The building’s sustainable features include minimal material layers, reused materials, and a stainless steel fabric mesh that provides shading. A transparent skin is created by the slender concrete plates and shear walls of the building, along with the high performing insulating glazing, while still providing optimal acoustic and solar mitigation. — Xypex Chemical Corp.,