The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) renovated its own headquarters in the District’s Chinatown neighborhood with the goal of rebranding the office to better reflect its nature-focused principles. This project earned LEED Platinum certification and is on track to earn WELL Silver certification in sustainable design.
Gensler’s design transforms the old space from being compact and dark to one filled with light by way of adding a three-story atrium with natural-light harvesting technology. Workplaces are equipped with cool blue lighting, illuminating spaces at 45-degree angles to match natural progression of the morning sun. Ergonomic elements and even a treadmill desk have also been incorporated.
The ground floor is more open and inviting with movable display walls to maximize versatility and functionality as space for receptions and exhibitions. Its main entrance is clad with a planted canopy; a rooftop cistern collects rainfall for irrigation. A pre-existing exterior fire escape is now encased with mesh allowing for flora and greenery to grow for a courtyard garden with ample seating for employees.
Specific WELL and sustainable aspects include:
- High-performance HVAC and lighting systems that support anticipated 30.2% savings in annual HVAC energy costs, including high efficiency heat recovery Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) system; 100% outside air ERU‐1 with an enthalpy wheel; and daylight harvesting systems that modulate dimming fluorescent fixtures
- Lighting syncs with staff’s natural circadian rhythm in stairway lightwell
- HVAC ventilation system equipped with high efficiency MERV 13 filters, activated carbon filters, and germicidal ultraviolet lamps for superior indoor air quality