When the architecture firm HKS, Inc., moved into the top floor of Atlanta’s Peachtree Tower, they were taking advantage of the recession to acquire top notch space and great views at less-than-stellar prices. When they set about their interior design work, they set their sights on a LEED Gold certification, which helped them save even more money while also creating a superb environment for their employees and designing one of the great Atlanta office space.
What is LEED Gold? LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design,” a green building certification program, and the Gold level is the middle of three levels of further achievement, based on a points system. As architects, it makes sense that HKS would work to achieve these higher levels with their own office spaces—both to practice what they preach about green design and to provide a model for their current and prospective customers.
With their innovative Atlanta office space, HKS expanded on the existing sustainability which was already built into the Peachtree Tower. They installed low-flow water fixtures, decreasing water usage by 30%. They upgraded and changed the layout of the lighting fixtures, and amended the power supply, resulting in a 20% reduction in energy costs. They used eco-friendly materials in the construction, paying particular attention to recycled content and avoiding toxic chemicals—a boon for all who have to work in that space. Finally, they recycled almost 80% of their construction debris and all of their old furniture followed them into their new space.
So while employees have office furniture that they already know and are comfortable with, they also have sweeping views of the Atlanta cityscape outside their windows, and exterior balconies on which to take a break and enjoy that view. All the natural light available on that top floor creates a better work environment for everyone.
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By: James Osgood