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Past the Green Wall: Google Pittsburgh’s Biophilic Workplace

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The status quo in workplace design leaves most occupants disconnected from nature. An early movement towards biophilic design is happening, but many early adopters have not gone much further than a signature “green wall” in their incorporation of biophilia. Google’s Real Estate & Workplace Services (REWS) Team is challenged to create amazing work environments that inspire and energize Googlers to be at their best every day. In support of this mission, the REWS team created Google’s Biophilic Design Framework. This new framework was piloted in Google’s new “Bakery Square 2.0” expansion in Pittsburgh, which is targeting certification under LEED v4 ID+C. This session will also detail how and why ethnography, workplace strategy, and workshops were leveraged to understand the organization’s culture and workspace needs. The presenters will illustrate some of the findings and how analytics were performed to support the design strategies. The presenters will demonstrate examples of biophilic elements that were incorporated into a design that went far beyond “the green wall.” A discussion of “what’s next” will describe how feedback and post-occupancy evaluations will affect the use and fine tuning of the space.

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Past the Green Wall: Google Pittsburgh’s Biophilic Workplace

  1. 1. AIA Build Pittsburgh 2017 Past the Green Wall: Google Pittsburgh’s Biophilic Workplace -Wall_BP17 Pete Jefferson, Kate Malmgren, Connor Glass April 5, 2017
  2. 2. Credit(s) earned on completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request. This course is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product. _______________________________________ ____ Questions related to specific materials, methods, and services will be addressed at the conclusion of this presentation.
  3. 3. This presentation is protected by US and International Copyright laws. Reproduction, distribution, display and use of the presentation without written permission of the speaker is prohibited. © The name of your company 2012 Copyright Materials
  4. 4. The status quo in workplace design leaves most occupants disconnected from nature. An early movement towards biophilic design is happening, but many early adopters have not gone much further than a signature "green wall" in their incorporation of biophilia. Google's Real Estate & Workplace Services (REWS) Team is challenged to create amazing work environments that inspire and energize Googlers to be at their best every day. In support of this mission, the REWS team created Google's Biophilic Design Framework. This new framework was piloted in Google's new "Bakery Square 2.0" expansion in Pittsburgh, which is targeting certification under LEED v4 ID+C. This session will also detail how and why ethnography, workplace strategy, and workshops were leveraged to understand the organization's culture and workspace needs. The presenters will illustrate some of the findings and how analytics were performed to support the design strategies. The presenters will demonstrate examples of the elements of biophilia that were incorporated into the design that went far beyond "the green wall." In closing, a discussion of "what's next" will describe how feedback and post-occupancy evaluations will affect the use and fine tuning of the space. Course Description
  5. 5. Learning Objectives 1) Identify resources, team structures, and process that result in greater level of biophilic integration. 2) Communicate why an organization should see biophilia as integral to their mission. 3) Cite examples of how biophilic principles such as alliesthesia, thermal/airflow variability, and dynamic daylighting increases occupant thermal comfort, health and well being. 4) Identify opportunities and challenges that result from incorporating biophilic principles into material selection. At the end of the this course, participants will be able to:
  6. 6. Title – Adjust Box to Fit
  7. 7. WHY BIOPHILIC DESIGN For more than 99% of human evolutionary history, people’s bodies, minds, and senses have largely evolved in response to nature. Research increasingly shows that regular access to nature improves our health, happiness, and performance. Credit: Terrapin
  8. 8. GOOGLE’S BIOPHILIC DESIGN FRAMEWORK 2.0 Integrating nature with design to create habitats where people thrive Judith Heerwagen Stephen Kellert
  9. 9. ENHANCED CREATIVITY & PROBLEM SOLVING IMPROVED COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING REDUCED STRESS POSITIVE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE HEIGHTENED APPRECIATION FOR NATURE DESIRED OUTCOMES
  10. 10. Google confidential and proprietary Credit: Colin Cubitt/Flickr NATURAL ELEMENTS EXPERIENCES WITH ORGANISMS, OBJECTS AND PROPERTIES OF NATURE NATURAL PATTERNS ANALOGUES OR ABSTRACTIONS OF NATURAL ORGANISMS, ORGANIZATION AND SYSTEMS ELEMENTS OF SPACE AND PLACE COMMON SPATIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN NATURE Examples: Plants & Animals Water Examples: Organic Forms & Patterns Natural Materials & Textures Examples: Refuge Spaces Prospect Views ELEMENTS PALETTE OF OPTIONS
  11. 11. Google confidential and proprietary It’s not just about plants!
  12. 12. Prospect & Refuge EcotoneNatural forms & PatternsAlliesthesia
  13. 13. BAKERY SQUARE 2.0 FACTS Google confidential and proprietary Google occupied first building in 2011 – Bakery Square 1.0 New building connected by sky bridge above Penn Ave Scope of project limited to tenant finish and some exterior zones
  14. 14. Google confidential and proprietary HOW
  15. 15. Owner’s Project Requirements Design Construction Operation RFP BAKERY SQUARE 2.0
  16. 16. Owner’s Project Requirements Design Construction Operation RFP BAKERY SQUARE 2.0
  17. 17. Program Design Contract Build FF&E Occupy BAKERY SQUARE 2.0
  18. 18. 60-80% Of occupants have information they want to share 105 Average number of lessons learned per study Average of 20 ethnographic studies completed by Forte Building Science.
  19. 19. Discovery Program Design Contract Build FF&E Occupy BAKERY SQUARE 2.0
  20. 20. data
  21. 21. Global workplace design survey
  22. 22. small data
  23. 23. Most projects serve an existing population.
  24. 24. ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGIST ANTHROPOLOGIST
  25. 25. Ethnography is a research method used to understand social and cultural life. Environmental psychology is an interdisciplinary field that focused on the interplay between individuals and their surroundings. Anthropology the comparative study of humans, including our physical form, our societies and cultures and the ways we manipulate our environments, in all their various manifestations across human history.
  26. 26. BAKERY SQUARE 2.0 BAKERY SQUARE 1.0 Credit: Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette
  27. 27. Circulation space/pathway1 BIEQ + C: The artificial bamboo here is painted white, limiting the biophilia benefits had it been painted to match the color of actual bamboo. However the associated story is humorous and suggestive of Google Pittsburgh's playful culture. ETHNOGRAPHY LW: Layout/Wayfinding FM: Furniture/Materials BS: Building Systems – active & passive OM: Operations & Maintenance BIEQ: Biophilia & Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) C: Culture A: Amenities
  28. 28. Circulation space/pathway2 BIEQ + BS + LW: The mesh curtains that line the circulation space/pathway that runs right through the heads- down work areas have minimal effectiveness in terms of acting as a visual and sound barrier according to the Googlers. Both movement and sound are still detected through the barriers. They also minimize the benefit obtained from the suggestive tree canopy for those Googlers sitting adjacent to the corridor. ETHNOGRAPHY LW: Layout/Wayfinding FM: Furniture/Materials BS: Building Systems – active & passive OM: Operations & Maintenance BIEQ: Biophilia & Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) C: Culture A: Amenities
  29. 29. What do Googlers value about biophilia?
  30. 30. Credit: Phipps Conservatory
  31. 31. INSPIRE INSIGHT (Complexity and order) (Biomorphic forms and patterns)
  32. 32. REFUGE!
  33. 33. PRIORITIES
  34. 34. Putting it all together
  35. 35. HUMAN EXPERIENCE
  36. 36. IT ALL STARTS WITH… ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
  37. 37. DATA + BIOPHILIA + CHOICE
  38. 38. MANAGING SCALE Whether you and your neighbor need a one-on-one session, or your entire team needs to be briefed, there will always be a perfect room for your needs. Team Room Meeting Room
  39. 39. HACKABILITY WORKPLACE DESIGN
  40. 40. LIGHTING Personal Task Lighting Each Googler is provided an adjustable, energy efficient, overhead task light. Traditional desk top lights provide direct illumination at the work surface. Having a greater ability to adjust lighting in planes directly behind your digital displays can help minimize eyestrain, and it won’t add too much additional energy use! How to Adjust the Light The light is hardwired so it cannot be unplugged, but a length of cord is provided as well as an adjustable clamp. You can move your lamp along the truss as the cord allows and control the lighting levels with the dimmer switch located on the vertical truss support near your desk. Always be mindful of neighbors!
  41. 41. THERMAL COMFORT ALLIESTHESIA Alliesthesia: alliós (changed) + esthesia (sensation) • Sensory pleasure from variation • Ex: thermal, visual, sound, sight, smell
  42. 42. THERMAL COMFORT ALLIESTHESIA Move from thermal monotony to thermal delight. Design Response: • Air movement • Natural ventilation • Dynamic light • Thermal variability
  43. 43. CONCEPT FRACTALS SCALE ARCHITECTURE
  44. 44. ELEMENTS OF BIOPHILIA Biophilia is a humans innate connection to other living things and it is the basis of our design for Bakery Square 2.0. What this means is we designed your space with nature in mind, using healthy and non-intrusive materials. Fractal patterns and the Fibonacci sequence influenced the design of your staircase! The natural curves and formations of Pittsburgh’s topography influenced the shaping of your corridors. Natural landscapes indigenous to Pittsburgh were the inspiration for floor themes.
  45. 45. GRAPHIC DESIGN PATTERNS AND THEIR INSPIRATION
  46. 46. IMPROVING THERMAL COMFORT Simple ceiling fans generate ambient air flow and improve thermal comfort while allowing building temperature controls to be set at higher levels for lower energy use DAYLIGHT HARVESTING AND USER CONTROL The truss canopy houses both indirect LED ambient lighting with zoned dimming for daylight harvesting and user controlled point source lightingUSER DRIVEN FLEXIBILITY AND HACKABLILITY A hackable truss system provides a framework for user driven flexibility with strategically limited variation to support different work styles and maintain visual organization IMPROVING MATERIAL HEALTH Shelving and desk tops are made from locally forested and manufactured hard woods improving material health MAXIMIZING COMFORT Solar shading is leveraged to minimize eye strain and brightness contrast as well as maximizing the use of natural day lighting
  47. 47. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  48. 48. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  49. 49. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  50. 50. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  51. 51. IMPROVING ACOUSTICAL PERFORMANCE Articulated ceiling assemblies inspired by Pittsburgh typography while providing lighting and improving acoustical performance CELEBRATE PITTSBURGH’S MICRO COMMUNITIES Environmental graphics celebrate Pittsburgh’s micro communities IMPROVED THERMAL COMFORT Operable doors with hold opens and screens provide opportunities for natural airflow and improved thermal comfort COMFORTABLE REFUGE Furniture is employed to provide a comfortable refuge to support relaxed work postures while maintaining views to the exterior roof terrace. VISUAL CONNECTIONS TO NATURAL TEXTURES IMPROVING SENSORY EXPERIENCE Salvaged wood planks from water towers and organic sculpted carpet patterns provide visual connections to natural textures and materials improving sensory experience.
  52. 52. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  53. 53. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  54. 54. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  55. 55. STAIRCASE DESIGN & INSPIRATION
  56. 56. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  57. 57. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  58. 58. Google: Bakery Square Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Post Occupancy
  59. 59. “The number one complaint is by far the glare and heat caused by the natural light. The shades are ineffective in shielding the eyes during peak times.” - BS 2.0 Googlers & REWS
  60. 60. Issue: Occupant setup monitor parallel to southeast glazing. Solution: Monitors adjusted to 20° from parallel (also noted in Google standards). “The number one complaint is by far the glare and heat caused by the natural light. The shades are ineffective in shielding the eyes during peak times.” - BS 2.0 Googlers & REWS
  61. 61. “The ceiling fans are awesome, especially since we figured out how to reverse the air flow.” - BS 2.0 Googlers
  62. 62. “The felt panels are more popular than we anticipated. We’ve used the 5th floor supply for the 6th floor. There is a lot of space for personal items, but we still could use more.” - REWS “The ceiling fans are awesome, especially since we figured out how to reverse the air flow.” - BS 2.0 Googlers
  63. 63. “So far the space has proven really easy for us to move into and manage from a Facilities point of view.” - REWS
  64. 64. “So far the space has proven really easy for us to move into and manage from a Facilities point of view.” - REWS “The biggest win is the separation of the workplace from traffic flow.” - BS 2.0 Googler
  65. 65. “I love the angled corridor walls. They’re going toneed tobe dusted well...” - BS 2.0 Googler
  66. 66. “My favorite spot is the tree house cubby, although the lighting is harsh for computer screens.” - BS 2.0 Googler “I love the angled corridor walls. They’re going to need to be dusted well...” - BS 2.0 Googler
  67. 67. “What?It’s agreatspot, it’s quiet andsunny, itimproves mymood.It’s alsoveryZen.Andit’s notthatfarfrom our seats,justover the bridge.” - BS 1.0 Googler
  68. 68. “Themicro-kitchenisbeautiful.Ilove thecolors,it’s awesome.It’stoobig actually,andcouldhavebeen designed betterforlargepublicevents.Thereare somenitpickychangesI’dliketomake.” -Craig,ParkhurstDining “What?It’s agreatspot, it’s quiet andsunny, itimproves mymood.It’s alsoveryZen.Andit’s notthatfarfrom our seats,justover the bridge.” - BS 1.0 Googler
  69. 69. “TherecentTGIF eventontheBS 2.0 outdoorterracedrewmorepeoplethanever before,andmostofthemcameover fromBS 1.0.” - REWS “Themicro-kitchenisbeautiful.Ilove thecolors,it’s awesome.It’stoobig actually,andcouldhavebeen designed betterforlargepublicevents.Thereare somenitpickychangesI’dliketomake.” -Craig,ParkhurstDining “What?It’s agreatspot, it’s quiet andsunny, itimproves mymood.It’s alsoveryZen.Andit’s notthatfarfrom our seats,justover the bridge.” - BS 1.0 Googler
  70. 70. PO E PITTSBURGH BAKERY SQUARE 2.0 EXPANSION: POE FINDINGS 33 • Separationof workplaceand high-traffic area • Ability toself-orient desks in pod area • Hanging felt panels at desks • Blinds onindividual window controls • Ceiling fans • Varietyand quality of destination spaces • Teamrooms • Open& enclosed lounges • Outdoor roof terrace • Massage chairs (2 person meetings!) • Walk-stations • Fitness center layout and design • Look & feel • Connecting stair • Wayfinding/ signage • Storage- copy/ print areas and facilities • Limited number of lighting fixtures • Great mechanical/ HVAC • Info plaques describing design/ naming • Wall graphics • Missing/ ineffective blinds creating glare • Difficulty in hanging truss accessories • Hanging shelves without a closed back • No specifiedtruss accessories/ hardware • Shelves in team areatoo narrow • “Windows” into podsawkwardly placed • Want moreroom for personal items at desk • No hydration stations for convenience • No 30-p conference/ training room • More2-3 seatrms (too many phone rms) • Toomany drawers in micro kitchen/ gym • Not enough built in storagein restrooms • Touchdown codingdesks awkward • No “occupancy” visual for gym showers • Non adjustablelighting in niches • Accessibility/ access of terrace to elevator • Betterlighting/ av/heatingonroof deck • Non-automatic terrace doors • No storagefor outdoor furniture • Programming processwith departments (IT) HIT S MISSE S HITS & MISSES CHECKLISTS
  71. 71. QUESTIONS & ANSWERS Pete Jefferson, PE, WELL AP, LEED AP, HBDP Kate Malmgren, LEED AP (ID+C) Connor Glass

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