2015 Design Award
OHM Professional Office Building,
Merit Award with Environmental Sustainability Citation
Architect: Simon Oswald Architecture
General Contractor: Professional Contractors & Engineers (PCE)
Photographer: Aaron Sanderson, AIA
OHM Professional Offices was envisioned to showcase practical, owner-driven, sustainable design solutions and products with the building embodying that design philosophy. The designers and owners, a local architectural and interior design firm and an MEP engineering consultant, collectively selected return on investment, life cycle costs, and low impact, environmental strategies as a hallmark for the building design.
The project site demonstrates this commitment: a former derelict garbage dump and septic lagoon, its selection reduces the demand for a pristine, greenfield location. Storm water runoff is collected and filtered with native and adaptive vegetation in an oversized bioswale which also treats excess runoff from the surrounding neighborhood. Rain water is captured from the 12,000 square foot roof in an underground tank and replaces potable water for 85% of the building’s yearly need for irrigation and toilet/urinal flushing.
The building layout is predicated on flexible, collaborative spaces to reduce the overall building size while accommodating a variety of uses: conference rooms, printing/plotters and storage are shared by all tenants as well as the bathrooms, which are designed to function as a reinforced shelter in case of severe weather. This reduces the need for duplicated, single-use spaces. A large conference/training room doubles as a community gathering space. A national furniture representative, who leases a small office space, utilizes the architect’s studio and conference spaces as a product showroom.
Strategies for workplace efficiency and employee health are incorporated into the furnishings with adjustable sit/stand desks creating a fully customizable work space, large expanses of windows allow for views out to the landscape and provide natural daylighting, work layout and informal niches abound creating alternative areas for collaborative interaction.