Philanthropy Goes Green In Santa Cruz

The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County has a brand new green building to call home, the Jack and Peggy Baskin Center for Philanthropy. This 9,200-square-foot facility, designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates of San Francisco and constructed by Devcon Construction at a cost of $9.3 million (including the cost of purchase for the land), recently earned LEED Gold for its sustainable design.

Green features include a cool roof, natural daylighting, natural ventiliation, a solar photovoltaic system, FSC certified wood, recycled and/or locally sourced construction materials and low VOC adhesives and finishes throughout. The building features both operable windows and indvidual controls for heating and cooling by room, allowing individuals working and meeting in the building to stay comfortable without having to expend fuel on unoccupied areas. (The center features two large, adjoining, meeting rooms, with seating capacity for up to 60 people, and three smaller conference room that can accommodate 6-12 people each.)

Santa Cruz Center for Philanthropy

image via Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

Low-flow water features reduce water use within the building, while the use of native, drought-tolerant plants in the building’s surrounding landscape reduces water use outside. A “green screen” of climbing plants helps to provide shade for the center, helping to keep it cool during the summer, then dropping its leaves to allow in light and warmth during the winter months.

The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County was established in 1982 as a permanent resource for local philanthropy. It helps to connect donors with nonprofit groups through grants and charitable resources, and awarded $3.9 million in 2009.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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