Francis Dzikowski Esto for Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP
GSK earn first double LEED Platinum in Philadelphia
by Tim Willmott : Comments Off on GSK earn first double LEED Platinum in Philadelphia
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has opened its new ultra-efficient corporate office building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, supported by Atkins as sustainability consultant. The four-story, 208,000 square-foot building was recently awarded the city’s first double Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum rating from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for both Core & Shell and Commercial Interiors.
GSK relocated its corporate offices to a rehabilitated brownfield site at The Navy Yard Corporate Centre in Philadelphia. The move gave the research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company an opportunity to revolutionise its employees’ working environment by incorporating a broad set of sustainability features into the building’s design. The new office was designed with an open plan to bring employees together and foster better communication, collaboration, and idea sharing.
Vince Briones, Atkins’ LEED consultant for the project, said: “GSK wanted more than a building; they wanted to create a dynamic, invigorating, collaborative and environmentally friendly workplace for the 21st century. Atkins always places a high priority on reducing energy and water use for our projects and we were awarded a significant number of points based on the efficiency strategies that went into the building design. The energy saving measures incorporated into the GSK building design add up to an estimated 30 percent reduction in annual energy costs.”
Atkins provided sustainability and LEED consulting services while Atkins’ Faithful+Gould business led the program management office responsible for both delivery and occupation of the new Navy Yard building, along with decommissioning of GSK’s former office space.
The new facility, built as two four-story office blocks connected by an 80-foot-high glass atrium, incorporates a “green roof” with a terrace that accommodates 500 associates for conferences and receptions. Herbs and vegetables grown in the rooftop garden will be used in the building’s 10,300-square-foot cafeteria. The rooftop vegetation will also help absorb rainwater and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from the building, create wildlife habitat, and help to lower surrounding air temperatures and reduce the heat island effect typical of urban buildings.
High-efficiency, low-flow fixtures used throughout the building will reduce water use by 50 per cent, which amounts to 1.8 million gallons of water saved per year. ‘Daylighting’ strategies help make the most out of natural lighting and reduce the need for electric lighting significantly, and maximising heating and cooling mechanical system performance reduces energy consumption to well below the level experienced in typical buildings.
Atkins worked with GSK to develop strategies to improve the indoor environmental quality of the workspace for employees. Carbon dioxide sensors supply 30 per cent more fresh air than required by code, and low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, adhesives, sealants, carpets, and other finish materials were used throughout.
Developed by the USGBC, the LEED green building certification program is a nationally recognised benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings in the US. Atkins provides expertise for green building consulting, LEED project management, energy modelling simulations, energy audits, and building commissioning for projects nationwide.