Perkins+Will has completed the design of the new headquarters for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Intended to be a living laboratory and establish a model for the “office of the future,” the new ASID headquarters embodies innovative workplace environments where wellness, sustainability, collaboration, flexibility and new technologies were key drivers shaping the design.
“The new ASID headquarters is tracking Platinum under the LEED for Commercial Interiors Rating system. It is also on track to be the region’s first to achieve Platinum Certification under the new WELL Building Standard, which focuses specifically on maximizing the health and wellness impacts of a space on occupants,” said Ken Wilson, a principal at Perkins+Will’s Washington, D.C. office who led the project’s design team.
The new office environment will let employees use a reservations system to select from a variety of workplace environments based on what best supports their specific tasks that day, from highly collaborative teaming to more intense, private and individually-focused work.
A variety of sensor and software applications have been integrated into the space so ASID can incorporate real time metrics on a variety of environmental attributes and assess how they influence occupant behavior and comfort. A digital dashboard will display data on electrical load consumption, air quality (including temperature, humidity, CO2, and particle count), sound levels, and water quality. ASID will also be poised to track space utilization patterns through the room reservation software and study how occupants are interacting with the office.
As part of the initial occupancy evaluations, ASID staff members volunteered to participate in a research study with Cornell University and wear social sensing monitors that measure speech patterns and body movement. ASID will also be able to measure how interactions may change as a result of the new office design.
“The Perkins+Will team brought to our project a unique combination of workplace strategy, sustainable design knowledge, technical execution, and aesthetics,” said ASID CEO Randy Fiser. “Their integrated set of experiences and knowledge was what we needed to achieve our goals to have a space that emphasized the health and wellness of our employees and be a highly functional and productive environment. Ultimately, we expect the ASID collaboration with Perkins+Will to inspire many more healthy and productive workplaces in the 21st century. As we continue to lead research and innovation in our space, ASID will communicate the impact of design with the design community and the larger public audience.”
In keeping with ASID’s health and sustainability goals, materials and furniture specified for the project were rigorously evaluated to eliminate substances that could potentially contribute to negative health effects, where possible. The designers maximized the use of recycled materials with 100 percent of all textiles being manufactured from 100 percent post-consumer recycled content.
The WELL Building Standard drove the design of several innovative systems, including a circadian lighting system designed to mimic the daily color temperature cycle of natural daylight, fully automated shades that raise or lower in response to solar position and current weather conditions, and a sophisticated lighting strategy that eliminates eye strain and other negative ergonomic impacts from glare.
Biophilic design strategies were also strategically employed throughout the space to reduce stress and trigger elevated levels of cognitive and emotional performance in occupants. Natural materials, dynamic architectural forms and patterning that evoke natural sequences and spatial configurations the evoke feelings of mystery and refuge were all employed to resonate with occupants on a subconscious level, and improve their experience in the space.
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