Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
GGA Offices in Washington DC by Group Goetz Architects (GGA)
March 26th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
GGA’s objective was to create a forward thinking workplace for its business with a new paradigm focused on flexible and collaborative space that would be a contributor of a healthful environment and lifestyle. Expanding on a simple program, GGA designed the 16,000 SF offices without walls to improve communication and collaboration, to encourage learning and sharing of information, and to take advantage of the enormous amount of natural light permeating the perimeter glass walls of the space. The commitment to openness started at the highest level in the organization and therefore the workplace has no private offices. The design culminated in achieving LEED® 2.0 Platinum Certification from USGBC, as the first design office in the Washington, DC area to achieve this distinction.
Situated in the historic Georgetown District, the buildings North Façade follows the orientation of the elevated Whitehurst Freeway. The 100% open work space, including executive areas, adopted a linear diagram consisting of shifting ‘bars’ of workspace and circulation, running parallel to the freeway. A ‘datum bar’, the resource library, runs the full length of the space, again parallel to the long axis of the space, separating the design studios from conference rooms and all other communal and support service spaces. This approach makes available the enormous natural light and urban views to all employees and visitors.
All spaces were designed to achieve maximum flexibility. Workspaces can be increased or decreased easily by their inherent length, and team areas can act as lunch areas, layout space, or other work areas as needed. Spaces are not designed so specifically that they cannot take on a least one other function.
Most importantly the design reflected the firm’s commitment to the environment by focusing on achieving a Platinum certification rating under the USGBC LEED® CI system. The design reduced lighting power consumption by more than 35%. It implemented a lighting design that focused on lighting only where and when needed, by using highly energy efficient light fixture and daylight responsive control systems. The design reused more than 55% of construction items from the firm’s previous office. It re-engineered and re-used more than 85% of its existing furniture from the firm’s previous space. The design provided daylight view for 100% of its employees when seated and over 75% of the space. Recycled content, local, and reused materials were used extensively to achieve the LEED Platinum Certification.
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