Conservation Efforts

Green Building

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has been awarded LEED® Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council

In keeping with Happy Hollow’s conservation mission and the City of San Jose’s mission to build greener, the design and construction of the “New” Happy Hollow Park & Zoo was to build as green and sustainable as possible. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. Points were earned across six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. 

photo of hay bale wallGreen components include:

  • Seven green (growing) roofs with native plant species to provide habitat for wildlife - 14,000 sq. feet of open space was added to Happy Hollow on the green roofs. 56,000 plants, on seven green roofs, were planted - averages to 8000 plants per roof.
  • Radiant flooring for cooling and heating of buildings – no HVAC in buildings, with the exception of the restaurant and part of the medical building. 
  • Hay Bale Construction in Education Center
  • Recycled water used for non-potable functions throughout facility
  • Porous asphalt paving
  • Sustainable storm water management – designed to keep all rainfall on site
  • Clerestory windows in all buildings for lighting and heating & cooling 
  • Sustainable materials throughout the project
  • Recycled base rock throughout the project
  • Recycled glass in the entry plaza
  • Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints
  • The use of Forest Stewardship Council certified wood framing and recycled plastic lumber
  • A total 79,682 plants were added to the already lush landscape of Happy Hollow. 

Learn more about Being Green.

Acterra logoHappy Hollow Park & Zoo won the 2013 Acterra Business Environmental Award in the category of “Sustainable Built Environment”

Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s oldest and most prestigious environmental recognition programs. Initiated in 1990, it is considered a heavyweight among award programs due to its rigorous application and judging process. The award is given out to a building project that has been completely successful while conserving natural resources and has produced a building that promotes the health and well-being of the occupants. 

The judges were particularly impressed by the team-driven approach to the green redesign of the park, strategic repositioning of the entrance to create awareness of the adjacent watershed, extensive use of native landscaping, providing opportunities for visitors to participate in conservation, comprehensive educational outreach to the community and a willingness to serve as a model within the industry

Watch a video about HHPZ's green building and the Acterra award:

photo of bioswale at HHPZ

 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Happy Hollow FoundationSpecies Survival Plan