Foundation Aims to Be LEED-Certified VC


While other venture capital firms have been looking to invest in new green building startups, Menlo Park, Calif.-based Foundation Capital has been installing its cleantech portfolio companies’ products at its own headquarters. Following nearly a year of construction at the Spanish Colonial revival-style building, the Foundation Capital partners have moved in and are in the process of getting the revamped headquarters LEED certified, a six- to nine-month process.

The building, which the company will officially unveil next Monday, serves as a showcase for several of Foundation’s own green building investments. The walls of the offices are made of QuietRock soundproof drywall from green building materials startup Serious Materials. An intelligent control system for lighting, audio and HVAC from Control4 ensures that the conference room will power down when the partners are done listening to a pitch.

The venture capitalists moved back into 250 Middlefield Road back in July; they and their facilities operators are in “wait-and-see mode” while they get a feel for exactly how the building performs. Foundation Capital partner Paul Holland, who himself is in the process of building his own LEED-certified home, said more green features, such as a solar roof, potentially from Foundation’s own solar installer, Sun Run, could be added later.

As for measuring and monitoring the building’s energy consumption, Foundation’s office doesn’t have an energy dashboard. Holland thinks the company will likely add one in the next year or two but according to the VC the energy monitoring space is hardly standardized. Holland explained that Foundation’s own portfolio of smart-energy companies, which includes Control4, Silver Spring Networks, eMeter and EnerNOC, “all have their own vision of how this is going to come down.”

Image courtesy of Foundation Capital.


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