Silicon Valley is the land of software giants, home to companies whose applications have become household names. When one of these companies decided to beauty their corporate campus with a granite water feature large enough to front multiple buildings, the tile contractor called on CUSTOM. De Anza Tile had to break the specifications to ensure the products they trusted were installed on such a landmark project.
The extensive water feature that greets visitors to Intuit’s global corporate headquarters was designed to unify several different buildings and work groups on a widespread campus. It features reflecting pools, a rain garden and a 100-foot waterfall. Granite benches overlook watercourses constructed from over 6,500 square feet of Mesabi Black® granite from ColdSpring.
The Marble Institute of America conferred their prestigious Pinnacle Award of Excellence for a Commercial Exterior on the Intuit fountain in 2013.
That is a worthy testament to the installation team who achieved “an amazing feat of craftsmanship” according to Ted Pierce, project manager at De Anza. “I’d put them up against any installers in the world,” he added.
This submerged stone installation was a massive undertaking, but took only 4 ½ months from ground-breaking to completion. One of the fabrication challenges was a series of stair steps created to give the waterfall a whitewater effect. The 6-foot long granite benches weighed 2600 pounds each and were carefully hoisted into place by a 100-ton crane. Very precise mortising was involved throughout the fountain. For instance, one long stretch of granite proved to be less than 1/16-inch off level over 72 feet.
To save time, the entire fountain network was shotcreted instead of being cast in place with forms. Both the mortar bed and the concrete were treated with two coats of RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane. De Anza Tile used MegaLite® Rapid Setting Crack Prevention Mortar to set the granite.
“This was the logical choice for the demands and time constraints of this project,” said Pierce. MegaLite is a premium formula that offers the ultimate in support and bond strength for material like heavy stone. The full installation system from CUSTOM was completed with Prism® Grout, “another choice of quality-with no efflorescence,” added Pierce.
Sustainability was an important consideration for the fountain’s designers, beginning with granite that was quarried close to the fabricator. The fountain will preserve nearly 8 million gallons of potable water annually through storm water management and native California plantings. To help meet the project’s environmental goals, CUSTOM Emerald System™ products Megalite and Prism contribute towards the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification. Both products are lightweight formulas that include recycled content, making them more workable and much easier to move around a jobsite than traditional cement-based mortars and grouts.
Ted Pierce and the installation team at De Anza Tile are justifiably proud of their award-winning work on the Intuit fountain. From fast-curing products with quality worth fighting for, to the expert on-site support, Pierce is grateful to the team at CUSTOM for being a part of their success. “I truly appreciate CUSTOM’s whole operation and organization,” he explained.
Mountain View, CAYear Completed:
AECOM, Los Angeles, CAContractor:
SC Builders, Sunnyvale, CATile Contractor:
De Anza Tile, Palo Alto, CACBP Regional Technical Representative:
Clayton Peck, Sr. Regional Technical Sales Representative