Going Green Saves Green for Corporate
|Jake Ragusa is senior
vice president of Koll Development Co., headquartered
Dallas-based Koll Development is
spearheading an industry first - branded, high-performance,
sustainable speculative office buildings known as Intellicenters
that offer corporate clients value, quality and efficiency.
Corporate America has always struggled with identifying the
best options for office space. Every business, large or small,
must decide between building a facility or leasing/buying
existing space. These options have traditionally been rigid
with little crossover between choices.
While it is faster and easier to move into pre-existing facilities,
often the structure does not meet specific needs. Build-to-suits
offer custom solutions specifically designed for occupants,
but can be time-consuming and hinder companies wanting to
enter a market quickly.
To address such challenges, Koll Development Co. has developed
a concept that combines the best of build-to-suit developments
with the ease of existing office buildings-known and trademarked
as an "Intellicenter."
KDC sought to build sustainable office buildings in multiple
cities and realized that efficiencies could be created if
each building were exactly the same. The firm teamed with
Prudential Real Estate Investors to build and finance approximately
two million sq. ft. of speculative office space with a projected
value of $200 $250 million.
|A rendering shows an
Intellicenter, introduced by Koll Development Co. and
designed by Forum Studio Inc. and Gensler as a concept
combining the best of build-to-suits with the ease of
Intellicenter features stress sustainable design principles
including raised-access flooring, underfloor air distribution
and highly efficient floor plates. The energy-efficient facilities
boast fitness centers and cafeterias, as well as up to five
parking spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. of office space. Designed
by Forum Studio Inc. and Gensler, each Intellicenter has the
same design template, ranging from 150,000 to 200,000 sq.
KDC knew the Intellicenters had to be strategically placed
to attract forward-thinking companies. Two ideal locations
in Texas were recently announced--Houston's Westway Park and
Irving's Regent Center. A third location, in the Huntcrest
development north of Atlanta, has broken ground. Additional
sites are being considered in North Carolina, California,
Florida and Arizona.
KDC wanted to develop the buildings using sustainable design
principles in order to reduce operating costs. As a result,
each Intellicenter building has been or will be approved to
receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification
by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Intellicenters will feature a floor design to accommodate
more employees per sq. ft. and have 14-in. raised-access flooring
to provide easy access to route electrical, phone and
data cabling, eliminating the need for unsightly power poles.
This access to critical technology will make office churn
The large, efficient floor plates will be served with underfloor
air distribution, which supplies conditioned air from a pressurized
area between the floor slab and a raised-floor system. This
air technology has been proven to significantly improve air
quality. It also reduces operating costs, as the air temperature
sits at 65 degrees above the 10-ft. ceiling, versus conventional
55 degree systems, resulting in 17 percent more free air days.
Each office or workstation can be equipped with individual
HVAC controls for temperature adjustment.
Because of the advanced energy control systems built into
the Intellicenters, up to 30 percent can be saved in energy
costs. Savings are also achieved because HVAC units can be
deactivated during off-peak hours and weekends.
Each building will feature a central lobby with service access
to the entire facility. High-finish floors and glass entryways
that span from ground level to the roofline will create an
open and airy feel. The exterior color palate will vary from
city to city to complement the local environment and neighboring
Tilt-up construction will be utilized for efficiency and
economy. The method provides a smooth facade free of columns
and associated maintenance issues. Mechanical screens will
provide a visual block of equipment and will be integrated
into the overall design. The windows will be assembled with
a high-performance solar coating to reduce heat and interior
glare. Sunshades will provide additional solar relief in addition
to light shelves to draw daylight into the workplace.
The interior of the lobby entry creates an atmosphere of
style and refinement. Terrazzo flooring, made with natural
stones and recycled glass, will create a warm foundation for
the entrance. Each lobby will have a nature theme that creates
visual impact in the walls. Panelized dark walnut will wrap
the brushed stainless steel elevator doors complementing the
patterned glass enclosure of the monumental staircase. A monolith
of white crystallized glass will form a backdrop to the seating
area, while leather lounge chairs and glass/metal cocktail
tables will be placed on a custom wool rug. Illumination of
the lobby will be achieved through high-efficiency, recessed
lighting, accent wall washers and striking pendant fixtures.