The United Brotherhood
of Carpenters & Joiners in
An IA Interior Architects Publication. Volume 1, Issue 3.
Given the economy, a new Administration, and the stimulus bill,
what can the design and real estate industries expect?
By Pepper Morgan, CID, IIDA
With a new Administration comes a change in priorities. likely include such simple retrofits as new windows and
Given the current economic climate, changes have been thicker insulation, and installation of LED lighting and
swift and directed at stimulating the economy. With the water-saving toilets. Larger-scale initiatives are expected
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, better known to include renewable energy, daylighting systems, and
as the stimulus bill, a range of industries will reap the high-tech energy meters. In both instances, the objective
benefits—how soon remains to be seen—and others is threefold: to lower greenhouse gas emissions, create
will not. The design and real estate industries, however, a wide variety of jobs, and reduce costs that will in
may stand to benefit from the fact that $5.55 billion has turn save taxpayer money. (A side note: Last April,
been allotted to the General Services Administration the GSA reported that Federal buildings account for 37
(GSA) and $7.03 billion for Department of Defense- percent of the government’s energy usage, use as much
related facilities. Based on this fact and President as 1.5 percent of the Nation’s electricity, and emit about
Obama’s policies in general, what can we expect? 2 percent of all U.S. building-related greenhouse gases.)
Perhaps most notably, we will see an increase in Infrastructure upgrades to Federal buildings are
sustainable initiatives. More immediate measures will also expected to stimulate the economy. We can
expect to see opportunities involving the repair or replacement programs for banking and insurance industries, and possibly
IAQuarterly | Cover story
of building systems, as well as projects involving redesigns others. The Office of Financial Stability (specifically created
of facilities in line with that of modern office concepts and to manage TARP funds), along with program oversight
sustainable initiatives. These changes will be especially necessary agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission,
because maintenance and infrastructure upgrades were, for is projecting significant growth in the coming year. Given the
the most part, postponed. Deferred maintenance has resulted need to accommodate staff, re-tooling existing workspaces
in degraded energy performance, and aged and obsolete and optimization of workplace utilization will create demand for
equipment does not provide the energy efficiency of the latest professionals specializing in strategic thinking and solutions.
building technologies. Moreover, many of these buildings were
Like most of the population, we are cautiously optimistic about the
already long overdue for upgrades, since they were built during
stimulus bill. Certainly, there are no guarantees that the economy
the 1960s Federal building boom, and were reaching the end
will improve, and only time will tell if the measure is capable of
of their lifecycles in the 1990s. In the 1990s, however,
increasing the demand for those in the AEC industry and beyond.
money was being diverted to upgrades of IT infrastructure and
We are, however, confident that increased focus on sustainability,
security, and making changes to meet ADA requirements.
infrastructure upgrades, and strategic evaluation of existing
space will result in smarter and more innovative places to work.
To help meet the new Administration’s priorities, new
organizations and programs will manage stimulus spending. Pepper Morgan, CID, IIDA, is a Senior Associate and Senior
A prime example is the Troubled Asset and Recovery Program Project Manager in IA’s Washington, DC office. He can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(TARP) funding, which will likely result in additional oversight
Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government corporation in Washington, DC. Photographs by Ron Solomon.
Cisco TelePresence System 3000
Art at Work 101
IAQuarterly | Design DeConstruCteD
Essential tips for designing art-friendly spaces
By Aaron Wong, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP
Studies have shown that art in the workplace improves Carefully consider lighting. “The biggest advantage in
productivity and morale, and it can reinforce a brand and bring planning for artwork during the design phase is the opportunity to
a more human aspect to a facility. To maximize the value of art, coordinate lighting. The most common mistake is placing a fixture
however, planning for it must take place during the design process. too close to the wall,” says Grigsby. In addition, “designers should
What factors should be considered? We asked Deborah Goodman also be careful about mixing art and fluorescent lighting. Not only
Davis, Laura Grigsby, Heidi Lee, and Elizabeth A. Urbanski, all can the rays damage the art—especially photography—but it gives a
independent art advisors, for their suggestions. greenish cast to artwork,” says Goodman Davis of Tenafly, NJ.
Plan now, and save later. “Understanding the design and art
In an open office plan, focus on the public areas. “With
requirements in advance can save a tremendous amount of
the trend towards open offices and fewer private ones, there is
time and money in the long run and greatly enhance the end
more attention on placing art in public locations where everyone
experience. It can be very costly to go back and redo a wall or
will encounter it. It also means you can get more impact with
replace a cabinet because you later realize that the art purchased
fewer pieces of art,” says Grigsby. However, it is possible to
cannot be installed,” says Lee, who has a firm in New York. San
creatively integrate art into the office area. “With fewer walls,
Francisco-based Grigsby adds: “If the architectural features and
there’s less space for two-dimensional pieces. But there are
finishes are well-coordinated, the client might need less of both to
other opportunities, such as suspending sculptures from ceilings
create a dynamic, interesting space. That could potentially save
or commissioning an artist to paint a feature wall. Even light
the client money.”
installations or video projections in the appropriate settings are
possible,” Grigsby adds.
Factor in fixtures and switches. “If an advisor is consulted
early in the process, the placement of emergency exit signs, Aaron Wong is a Principal and Design Director in IA’s San Francisco office.
lighting outlets, and emergency alarms can be more carefully He can be reached at email@example.com
considered so that they are not taking up entire walls that would
be better served and more finished-looking with artwork,” shares
Urbanski from her New York office.
The Partida Tequila headquarters in San Francisco was designed to accommodate an art collection; an appropriate floor plan and lighting design
were key considerations. Photograph by Cesar Rubio.
The Proactive Plan
IAQuarterly | projeCt management
A guide to getting the most out of value engineering
By Richard Smith
Value engineering is often seen as a subtractive tactic introduced detailing a floating ceiling element with a wood edge detail, the
later in the project. The drawback with this process is that it may general contractor and millwork sub-contractor helped our team
compromise the original plan for a productive workplace. It is make it more easily constructible. It was cost-effective and the
worthwhile to consider another approach: a proactive, integrated design intent was maintained.
process initiated at the outset of a project. That way, value
Alternates at the start save on time and fee down the road.
engineering is additive, and quality is maintained while meeting
You can never have enough communication with construction
documents. It’s important that the drawings communicate what
Know the absolutes from the outset. Knowing a client’s budget the client can expect, and what is expected of the contractor.
and design goals early on is critical (in some cases, budgets Construction documents can include alternates with line-item
are introduced later in the process). It is especially important to pricing for various types of carpeting, for example. In essence, the
know what a client’s “must haves” may be, particularly if they are client has a shopping list to determine if they really want the higher-
potentially costly. For example, a client with a limited budget knows end products. The benefit of this approach is that it minimizes the
that private offices in the core area are essential for the type of work potential for re-issuing documents later in the process (and therefore
being done in the space, but so is maximizing daylight and an open saves fee). Moreover, implementation of value engineering late in the
feel, thus creating the need for glass-front offices. In this scenario, bidding process often leads to an adversarial situation where the
advance notice allows the design team to compromise with a more only way that the architect feels he or she can win is by eliminating
economical solution—glass front doors and drywall partitions—that or deleting design from the project scope—a scenario that most
meets budgetary, functional, and aesthetic requirements. would rather avoid.
Involve the construction contractor as early in the process In conclusion, value engineering is an examination of function to
as possible. Contractors are not always pre-selected, but doing cost. Value is increased by either improving the function or reducing
so can be worthwhile. The design team, client, and contractor the cost. Ideally, however, it should be both. A proactive approach
can establish expectations for the project during the design can help us succeed. And even when budgets are less than limited,
development phase, and can work together to best-utilize the funds it’s an exercise that promotes thorough decisions, and therefore,
outlined in the budget. In many cases, the general contractor can better design solutions.
identify a solution to a problem that will save cost in the execution
Richard Smith is a Principal and Design Director in the Denver office. He
but still allow for the original design intent. For instance, when
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategies Defined: Return on Investment
Return on Investment (ROI) is a metric used to track and implementation that may result in reduced square footage
measure the overall success of an initiative relative to the allocation, thus allowing the company to reduce real estate
amount of money spent. Architectural design strategies that commitments.
can contribute to the improved ROI are as follows:
Long-range IT green strategies: These reduce the carbon
Energy modeling: Conduct a due diligence report to footprint of data centers while decreasing energy costs. In
identify potential opportunities to decrease operating and addition, these strategies can contribute to cost control of
maintenance costs of the facility through adoption of more ongoing additions, moves, and changes in a raised floor area.
sustainable processes and systems.
Adaptable design: Demountable wall systems and other
Evaluation of staff demographics and work processes: flexible solutions may pay for themselves through decreased
to uncover possible Alternative Workplace Strategy time, cost, and disruption associated with reconfigurations.
Stakeholders are focusing on CSR or its subcomponents, using
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the common denominator for measuring
IAQuarterly | observations
key performance indicators either not addressed or inadequately
performance, tracking, and reporting greenhouse gases (or carbon
addressed in current and upcoming versions of available building
footprints) produced by these systems/categories. This key metric
is also the foundation of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP),
a tool developed by the World Resources Institute and the World
A basic understanding of an enterprise’s existing and future
Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Protocol,
reporting needs will allow entities involved in the built environment
released in 2001, provides guidelines for measuring and reporting
and real estate sector to build the foundations for a role as trusted
these greenhouse gases (see Figure 3, a summary courtesy of the
advisor. A good starting point is to get familiar with the GRI’s CSR
New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development). It is
reporting template, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Environmental
also the basis for many programs, including The Climate Registry,
Management System standards such as ISO14000, and EPA
and is recognized by many environmental and investment groups
Environmental Performance Track, and LCA standards for
as the standard for greenhouse gas reporting.
assessing products and services like PAS 2050.
Another key development is the increasing recognition of other
methods for calculating carbon footprints, including Life Cycle
Analysis (LCA) and Input-Output. Both methods examine the Based on my experience working with corporations, and
environmental impacts of a product or service over the entire environmental and CSR groups, engagement in carbon trading,
course of its “life,” including design, extraction, manufacturing, and research of public sector activities at the local, state, and
packaging, distribution, use, and end-of-life. They are beginning to federal levels, I am optimistic about future developments. In the
affect the real estate sector as environmental groups expand their very near future more companies will be treating CO2 as an asset,
focus to the strategic planning and development processes, and and will expand their business cases to include the financial
not simply the built environments. impact of a project’s carbon footprint. Projects will, if properly
documented, generate revenue streams through the creation
The Times They Are-A-Changin’
of carbon credits. Service providers will voluntarily include their
organization’s carbon footprint or CSR report, and their proposals
For better or for worse the highly fragmented nature of the real estate
will include an expected carbon footprint of the solution they plan
industry has delayed this enterprise as ecosystem approach, but no
to promote. Alternatively, enterprises will be setting LCA-based
more. We will need to expand beyond our focus on energy efficient
project carbon footprint requirements.
buildings and embrace a more collaborative, holistic approach.
The idea that a “green” building equals sustainability is parochial With over 27 years of corporate experience, George Gosieski
and does not position an enterprise to effectively engage its assists a range of national and international clients with design and
stakeholders. Life Cycle Analysis, Input-Output methodologies, implementation of successful sustainability, workplace, and change
measuring carbon footprints, and business ecosystems are management strategies. He can be reached at email@example.com
rendering current certification tools to a “feel good” status.
Source: New Zealand
IAQuarterly | ia news
Big Apple Accolades
The Greater New York Chapter of the International Facility
Management Association (IFMA) presented its 2008 Award for
Excellence for the Design and Construction of a New Facility to IA
Interior Architects. The award recognized the planning and design
of IA’s own office, located at 257 Park Avenue South in New York.
The Chapter held its annual awards dinner at the Park Hyatt
in Manhattan on January 22. “The jury noticed an incredible
amount of attention paid to every detail in this bright, open space.
Everything was carefully planned resulting in a flexible, workable
design office,” says Michael Sweeney of Sweeney & Associates,
who presented the award.
“Our design promotes collaboration and communicates the IA
brand through a well-crafted and functional environment. We
are so pleased to receive this award, and we look forward to
our continued effort to find solutions for our clients that meld
high-quality design and performance,” says Julio Braga, Design
Principal of IA’s New York office.
“It is an honor to have our new office recognized by a group
dedicated to excellence in facility design, planning, and
management,” adds Christopher Blackadder, Principal.
IA’s New York office. Photograph by Adrian Wilson.
Names in the News
IA is pleased to announce the following firm Congratulations go to the following individuals, who
appointments for 2009: celebrated milestone anniversaries with IA:
Principal: Richelle E. Allen (Chicago), Mark Forth Five Years: Kay Sargent (Washington, DC), Tammy
(Boston), and Aaron Wong (San Francisco) Tsao (San Francisco)
Senior Associate: John F. Hopkins (Chicago), Stephen Ten Years: Anthony Piretto (New York)
Jacobs (San Francisco), Kim Parsley (Seattle), and
Jeff Smith (Dallas)
The fourth quarter of 2008 saw the greatest number of
Associate: Keri N. Chase (San Francisco), Colin
IA staff achieving LEED accreditation. Congratulations
O’Malley (San Francisco), Ian Pearce (London), and
to Tatum Pyle (Boston); Susan Leone and Sophia
Betsy Rimlinger (Washington, D.C.)
Yun (New York); Betsy Rimlinger and Bernadette
Domingo (Washington, DC); Katie Solomon and
Misty Baird (Seattle); and Amy Collins, Keri Chase,
Jenny Williamson and Alexandra Miller in IA’s Atlanta
Al Johansen, Vicki Merkel, Colin O’Malley, Aaron
office became registered Interior Designers after passing
Wong, Tammy Tsao, Steve Jacobs, and Lindsay
the NCIDQ examination.
Foster (all from San Francisco!).
IAQuarterly | ia news
Herman Miller’s B-West building, a 31,500-sq-ft. space designed by
IA, has achieved LEED-CI Gold certification. Originally designed by
George Nelson in 1968, B-West encompasses 31,500 square feet
within the company’s Main Site headquarters facility in Zeeland, MI.
“Herman Miller’s commitment to build or renovate its spaces to
LEED Silver inspires us to think differently about how to maximize
our products and capabilities to surpass that goal,” says Ed
Nagelkirk, Senior Manager of Workplace Strategy and Facilities.
Several features qualified B-West for LEED-CI Gold. These include
100 percent renewable energy, green housekeeping products,
locally manufactured materials, 40 new windows and seven new
skylights, and C2 Climate Control desktop units for employees,
rather than a complex HVAC system. Additionally, moveable
plants and trees instead of walls bring employees closer to nature,
while also serving as screens between high-traffic pathways and
This major consulting firm in San Francisco decreased its
environmental impact by reducing real estate, maximizing daylight,
and selecting a location that is close to mass transit and has
bicycle storage and shower facilities. Photograph by David Wakely.
Green Tip: Full Disclosure
California is setting a precedent with a law aimed at energy
conservation. AB 1103, which was passed in 2007, went
into effect on January 1 of this year. Specifically directed
at energy use in existing commercial buildings, the law
promotes energy conservation by requiring electric and
gas utilities to keep records of the energy consumption
data. That way, commercial building owners will be able
to measure how they compare to others in terms of
energy consumption. In January 2010, the law will go
Herman Miller B-West in Zeeland, MI. Photograph by Mariusz Misera.
a step further. Building owners and operators will be
required to disclose the building’s Energy Star energy
Taking Off performance rating for the most recent 12-month period
to a prospective purchaser, lender, or tenant.
At its annual awards ceremony in December, the North Bay Business
Journal recognized Hamilton Landing as the top office project
For more information about incentives and
available for occupancy in 2008. IA San Francisco’s Al Johansen legislations on state and local levels, refer to:
was the project architect for the 460,000-sq.-ft. development, which Local Leaders in Sustainability – Green Incentives
comprises seven 1938 military aircraft hangars converted to offices. It (published by the American Institute of Architects)
is the largest commercial campus in Marin County, and 100 percent
of the space available has been leased. Tenants include ImageMovers
Digital, Smith & Hawken, and Birkenstock USA.
AtlAntA • Boston • ChiCAgo • DAllAs • Denver • lonDon • los Angeles • neW Delhi
neW YorK • orAnge CountY • sAn FrAnCisCo • seAttle • siliCon vAlleY • WAshington, D.C.
IAQUARTERLY is published by IA Interior Architects. For more information, please contact Sofia Galadza, Director of Public Relations, at 212.672.0262, or visit interiorarchitects.com