New 2-story Office Building
The growth of the firm made it essential for a new workspace. Driven by a desire to “practice what we preach” and create a more collaborative and integrated work environment, the new office was designed to a high standard of sustainability. The vision of the office building was to efficiently develop an open design and express the branding of the firm.
It was important that SoL Harris/Day practice what it preaches when demonstrating to their clients about current best practices in architectural design.
Jeff Day, Co-Founder of SoL Harris/Day
The two-story office is organized into an upper and lower studio with several smaller breakout rooms and collaboration areas. The studios were separated intentionally to create smaller work environments and balance the level of conversation throughout while at the same time incorporating support staff into the business. As a smaller firm many people have varying roles and this setup improves efficiency.
Traditional offices have a formal lobby with lounge seating. Here the “family room” adjacent to the entry gallery, functions as our lobby, informal meeting space, staff lounge and more. This space is the core connection point for staff, clients, industry professionals and families.
The design studios are efficient areas where the designers are organized in teams based on the project. Since there is much crossover between projects, this environment keeps them connected and learning from one another. The workstations were configured in a benching style with low partitions for ease of collaboration. Custom built by the designers, the workstations are simply constructed out of maple doors and steel legs that were fabricated with adjustable feet. Larger, standing-height collaborative worktables in each studio provide space for group work, design exercises, and material studies.
Sustainability begins with the site, thinking about location, solar orientation, topography, soil, property size, etc. The east/west orientation of this site as well as the topography were the optimal situations for minimizing and controlling solar heat gain in an office building that was going to feature a lot of glass. Helping to insulate the office building is the green roof system, which regulates the inside temperature through thermal mass. The green roof is also part of a larger rainwater runoff management system, where ultimately all of the rain water is retained on site. The sand and gravel soil, rain garden, gravel drywells and brick pavers together control water flow and contain it until the water percolates back into the ground.
Inside and out, the new office building acts as a showroom of practical green strategies. On the interior using less is more. What better way to be sustainable then by using less materials, energy and resources; i.e. bare concrete flooring, open ceilings, exposed structure, low flow fixtures, tank-less hot water, daylight sensors, etc.
By incorporating a live roof and other green features here, we’re able to show clients these systems firsthand so they can better understand how these technologies work.
Domenic Ferrante, COO, SoL Harris/Day
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