Our New Buildings: State-of-the-Art Sustainability

When the Tubbs Fire swept through Pepperwood, it destroyed three buildings — nearly 7,500 square feet of space we depend on every day to manage the preserve’s operations and programs.

Now, with our Rising from the Ashes campaign, we’re turning this crisis into an opportunity to construct new facilities that will be a showcase for state-of-the-art sustainable design.

Project architects Mithun of San Francisco and Earthtone Construction have been leading the way, developing plans for three buildings: the Barn and Field Office, the Preserve Manager’s Home, and a new Visiting Scholars’ Center.

David Goldberg, President at Mithun, says the Pepperwood project will “…bring forward a new generation of resilient, sustainable construction that provides a model for the rest of the County.”

Architectural illustration of Pepperwood's new Visiting Scholars' Center prepared by Mithun.

Architectural illustration of the new Visiting Scholars’ Center prepared by Mithun.

Here’s what’s special about Pepperwood’s new construction plans:

Fire Resistant …the new designs feature fire-resistant materials, with non-combustible steel posts, cement plaster walls, cement fiber panel cladding, dense black locust decking to reduce flame spread, and in the case of the barn, metal exteriors.

Low-Toxicity …our new buildings will use low VOC (Volatile Organic Carbons) paint, zero-VOC clay plaster walls, and non-toxic mineral wool for insulation.

Energy Efficient …cross-ventilated windows and doors, solar shade fins, skylights, and LED lighting will help reduce energy demand. Low slope roofs allow for future installation of solar panels to help us reach our goal of becoming a Net-Zero Energy Campus, and electric vehicle charging stations will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Sustainable …a cistern will collect rainwater to supplement the irrigation system for the existing shade house and green house, where the next generations of Pepperwood’s native plants are nurtured.

Welcoming …perhaps best of all, the architects at Mithun are working closely with us to create buildings that encourage collaboration and camaraderie among the many scientists, partners and citizens who come together at Pepperwood to find solutions for our most pressing environmental challenges.

“We’re in the midst of a very focused effort to raise the $1.25 million that insurance won’t cover to rebuild these three mission-critical facilities,” says Margie Shurgot, Pepperwood’s Director of Advancement. “And with construction slated to begin mid-summer, we’re on a fast fundraising track.”

For more information about the Rising from the Ashes Campaign and how you can help, please contact Margie Shurgot at 707-591-9310, ext. 202 or email her at mshurgot@pepperwoodpreserve.org.

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