May 15, 2018 04:14PM
When designing their new corporate headquarters, Alvine Engineering sought to develop a modern office environment capable of displaying all the innovation their engineers routinely design into buildings while enhancing their productivity. The building provides an exceptional work environment for Alvine Engineering’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and architectural lighting engineers, and for the employees at the firm’s technology division, IP Design Group, which focuses on telecommunications, audiovisual, security, and acoustic consulting, and design.
The 130-person firm serves a diverse clientele locally, regionally, and nationally from its offices in Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines, and Oklahoma City.
From the onset, the goal was to develop a space that embodies the innovation Alvine Engineering and IP Design Group feel every building deserves—always considering the building systems and the way they are integrated into, and interact with, the architectural design.
There are many elements representing the building’s innovative design.
Open, flexible work environment—An open, flexible work environment featuring individual work areas, collaboration spaces, and community gathering spaces.
Transparent view into mechanical and technology rooms—A view of the mechanical equipment required to optimize occupant comfort and the color-coded technology infrastructure that each traverse the under floor system offer an immediate glimpse of the coordination of complex systems within the space. The under-floor plenum features individual occupant temperature control of each work environment.
Architectural lighting—Unique LED lighting concepts throughout demonstrate design creativity, enhance occupant wayfinding, promote system control to conserve energy, limit glare, and reduce eye fatigue of occupants. A dedicated lighting lab allows experimentation with lighting concepts and new products. Accent fixtures along the interior building perimeter create visual interest for passersby in the evolving north downtown Capitol District.
Sustainable material and equipment selection—Selection of low-VOC building materials, activated carbon filtration on air handling units, an outdoor green roof, countertops made of recycled glass, and a dishwasher capable of recovering energy from steam for future cycles all contribute to overall sustainability.
Technology integration—Today’s modern office environment demands thoughtful integration of technology. The telecommunications infrastructure was designed to maximize flexibility of use and ease of maintenance. Collaborative furniture, connectivity, user-friendly audiovisual systems, and an exceptional acoustical environment were part of the technology systems design. Security and access control systems resulted in a secure work environment.
WELL building certification—The future certification of Alvine offices, anticipated to be the first such space in Nebraska, is the culmination of a dedicated design effort to promote health and well-being of employees through purposeful design. Elements such as exposure to daylight, interior lighting, connection to nature, sit/stand desks, availability of WELL-compliant food for sale, and access to showers encourage a healthy and active work environment. Research has shown employee productivity, engagement, and retention is improved in WELL spaces.
The completed building demonstrates innovation occurs when all the details are considered in a carefully integrated manner—resulting in a design focused on functionality, flexibility, energy-efficiency, and operability.