520 Almanor



Completed  2021 in Sunnyvale

KSH architects envisioned a corten steel finish on the office building, 520 Almanor, in Sunnyvale, CA. Corten steel has a distressed antique appearance that brings individuality to any project. However, genuine steel contributes to 11% of the global greenhouse gas emissions as a result from sourcing and transporting the steel. Genuine steel is also heavy as it can weigh three times more than aluminum panels, potentially requiring a more robust building structure or specialized equipment for installation. As a result, a genuine corten steel finish would have excluded this project from achieving a LEED certification. In order to achieve LEED status, remain budget conscious and execute on the KSH vision, AGA recommended a faux finish on the 230,000 sq. ft. project. Aluminum panels were sourced and then manipulated to appear like corten steel. Temperature and humidity can affect the panel’s appearance, therefore AGA hand tweaked the finish to match the architect’s vision. AGA’s field team installed the lighter custom panels from mast climbers without speciality cranes. To maintain a cohesive feel to the office complex, white water jetted panels wrap around the shared parking garage complement a white building in the office complex.This process required strong communication and a reliable organization system to ensure a proper installation. Our collaboration with KSH architects led to a LEED gold certification.