Design firm proves Va. office environmentally fit
Photo courtesy of HDR
Design firm HDR has adopted Fitwel, a global building certification system that promotes health, and has certified its first office in Arlington, Va.
The two-story structure, which is also LEED-platinum certified, is a designed to promote collaboration, transparency and interconnected space. It received a 3-Star Rating, the highest possible in the Fitwel system, according to a release.
As a Fitwel Champion, HDR has committed to obtaining Fitwel certifications for a minimum of six of its offices. HDR will pursue Fitwel certifications for its new Boston and Seattle locations and new global headquarters in Omaha, Neb., with other locations yet to be determined.
Notable design features of the Arlington facility include:
- Interior space that is organized around an open stair that physically and visually connects the two floors, while fostering spontaneous interaction and discovery. The stair links four staff neighborhoods, two on each level, and descends into a central library.
- Interior neighborhoods that adjoin shared collaboration spaces, meeting rooms, technology stations and phone booths with a centralized library and café. Occupants choose the working environment that best suits their tasks each day.
- A material palette that reinforces the planning concept and contributes to the sustainable goals. Sealed concrete floors and exposed ceilings articulate circulation zones, while floating ceiling planes and floor treatments delineate the occupied areas.
- Clear glass partitions that transmit borrowed light into the core spaces and celebrate the daily design process. Accents of color and walnut wood provide visual warmth.
Fitwel is a new evidence-based design standard that enables positive impacts on employee and resident health through improvements to design and operations within buildings. It was developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration and is operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD).
“The health and wellness of our employees is of utmost importance,” Michaella Wittmann, HDR’s sustainability director.
Wittmann added that HDR is engaging in a formal study to measure how the firm’s office spaces influence employees’ health and wellness.