LEED Platinum Studio Explores the Challenges of Sustainable Workplace Design
LPA’s Irvine Studio is a LEED Platinum “living laboratory” for sustainable workplace design. A nondescript, 15-year-old, three-story shell-and-core building in a suburban office park was transformed into a model for an energy efficient and healthy open work environment.
Developed within the constraints of a typical workplace budget, the design met the AIA 2030 Commitment target of reducing fossil fuel use by more than 70 percent, despite the inability to alter the basic structure or facade. An extensive engagement process created by the firm’s in-house research team, LPAred, informed all aspects of the design of the 55,450-square-foot space. Workspaces are open, flexible and filled with natural light. Collaborative meeting areas facilitate the company’s integrated work process. No desk is more than four desks from a tall window. There are no private offices. Strategically placed respite areas allow employees to find a personal escape with wide views of the surrounding hillsides.
The centerpiece of the studio is a two-story, 30’ x 60’ entry with a wood and raw steel stadium staircase connecting the first and second floors. The areas around the opening and the staircase have been designed to accommodate a variety of collaborative meetings, including the firm’s quarterly all-hands meeting.
The integrated design approach used efficient lighting, low-velocity fans, photovoltaic cells and careful attention to natural light to meet the goal of reducing fossil fuel energy use by 70 percent.