NAIOP So Cal Honors LPA-Designed Edwards Lifesciences Campus Expansion and RiverRock Real Estate Group Headquarters as Top Projects

Commercial real estate group names the high-performance Edwards Lifesciences facility “Sustainable Project of the Year” and the design of new RiverRock headquarters as “Office Project of the Year.”

In its inaugural awards event recognizing “the best in commercial real estate in Southern California,” NAIOP SoCal named LPA’s design of the Edwards Lifesciences campus expansion the “Sustainable Project of the Year” and the new headquarters for RiverRock Real Estate Group (RREG) the “Office Project of the Year.”

In addition to the two top awards, Irvine Company’s Innovation Park, an open-air village designed by LPA, was a finalist in the Office Project of the Year category.

“NAIOP represents the leaders in commercial real estate, and we are honored to have this group recognize our projects out of a strong field of work in the Los Angeles and Orange County regions,” said LPA Director of Commercial Nick Arambarri. “The Edwards Lifesciences campus and RREG headquarters demonstrate what can be achieved when designers and clients collaborate around shared goals and values.”

The most competitive category was likely for Office Project of the Year, where the RREG design was recognized for providing a timely answer to the questions facing the future of the workplace. Designers worked closely with management and staff to develop a hybrid work concept that integrates a wide variety of collaborative spaces and connections to the outdoors in a flexible environment that will serve the employees’ evolving needs.

Riverrock 02

“This space is a great example of answering the why: Why should people go back to the office?” LPA Design Director Rick D’Amato says. “We started the process by exploring the firm’s culture, work habits and long-term goals, looking for ways to keep the workplace relevant and supportive.

The Edwards Lifesciences expansion is the latest installment in a 10-year relationship that transformed the work environments on the campus to support collaboration, innovation and the company’s patient-focused mission. The 479,000-square-foot addition to the existing campus is divided between a two-story entry pavilion, a three-story office/lab building, a two-story full-service dining facility and conference center, and a second 4-story office/lab building.

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Edwards Lifesciences

LPA’s integrated design team worked with Edwards to develop high-performance building envelopes, high-efficiency mechanical systems and LED lighting to minimize the campus expansion’s energy consumption. Each building is outfitted with roof-mounted photovoltaic panels, which further offset their optimized loads. The buildings also achieved 40% water use reductions when measured against similar baseline facilities; the project site captures and treats 100% of stormwater runoff.

The LEED Platinum Starr Atrium for Edwards Lifesciences, completed in 2017, operates at net zero and features a variety of conservation measures, including a displacement ventilation system and a truss system designed by LPA engineers to maximize natural light.

Edwards Starr Atrium
Edwards Starr Atrium

“Our goal on every project is to put sustainability and building performance at the forefront of the design process, regardless of scale or budget,” says LPA Chief Design Officer Keith Hempel. “The Edwards Lifesciences campus is a great example of the value of an integrated design approach, involving engineers, landscape architects and interior designers from the very start of the process.”

The new headquarters for RiverRock is designed to convey a physical manifestation of the real estate company’s brand and culture. Designed during the COVID pandemic, the workplace is a study in hybrid workplace design, creating open, collaborative spaces, with the flexibility to adapt to future needs. The design reflects RiverRock’s specific preferences and approach to work, with direct connections to the outdoors and an emphasis on healthy, safe environments. RiverRock was also honored by NAIOP as a finalist in the “Diversity and Inclusion” category.