The Major General Emmett J. Bean Federal Center’s primary tenant is consolidating their utilization of space. This will result in approximately 200,000-sf of vacant space that the GSA intends to backfill with new facilities for three to seven federal agencies that are currently housed in leased office space across the
Under the GSA’s Design Excellence program, IMEG is providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and technology engineering design services for the renovation and alteration of vacant space to meet the functional requirements of prospective tenants, fulfill policy and regulatory criteria, and provide state-of-the art workplaces that help define interior design standards for the building. The space required by prospective tenants is primarily general office space including both open office area and private offices, ancillary and support space such as conference rooms, secure sensitive areas, storage, and laboratory.
The primary challenge in the implementation of the project was to rethink the typical office space and reimagine it in a form that was adaptable to all styles of work. Individuals perform their best under different working conditions. Some may prefer the hustle and bustle of an open office environment with direct interaction to other employees, while others may prefer more solitude without the external stimulation. Therefore, a traditional office environment inevitably results in dissatisfied employees.
The result of this project was an architectural concept that included open office workstations, breakout huddle rooms, and “phone booths,” among other design elements, which would provide employees with options that fit their style. The challenge from an engineering perspective was to adapt the engineering design to mesh with the architectural concept. The result for the MEP systems was a rhythmic layout of lights, sprinklers, and ductwork in the open office space that complemented the concept instead of detracting from it.
To support the primary design intent, the engineering team modified the traditional MEP design as detailed in the P120 GSA Project Estimating Requirements, while still complying with the regulatory requirements in the P100 Facility Standards for the Public Buildings Service. The result of this effort in the open office area was a rhythmic layout of the MEP utilities above the workstations that felt intentional and coherent with the architectural design to bring a balance to the entire layout.
A full lighting control system was also provided to allow the open office space to adapt to varying conditions throughout the workday, automatically setting the light levels at the optimal level. Within the enclosed spaces, the lighting control system was fully adjustable to allow individual users to select their preferred light level.
The MEP systems are fully adaptable to provide the tenants with the ultimate flexibility in how they use the space—a design approach matching the entire project theme of adaptability.