California, earthquakes are a natural occurrence that residence learn to accept; just like hurricanes in the South East; and snow and ice for the those in the North. In Portola Valley, California, the town center was built directly on a fault line. When it came time to build a new center, they bravely decided to keep it in the same spot and built a green and "earthquake proof" building.
The Town of Portola Valley in conjunction with SiegelStrain Architects developed a plan for their new building through public workshops that focused on sustainable design goals. The town center includes a new library, town hall and community hall.
Extensive use of salvaged materials, reliance on daylighting, natural ventilation, and low-tech building systems reduce the ecological footprint of the new buildings.
Other green features of the town include energy-efficient mechanical systems, reclaimed vertical redwood cladding, paneling and ceilings made of wood recycled from the school, and roof-mounted photovoltaic panels that generate a total of 76 kilowatts of on-site power. The town hopes to add greywater recycling, using an abandoned concrete culvert will be used to collect rainwater run-off, which will be used for landscaping.