IKM Office Redesign: Live

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H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

You are Where You Work H O S P ITA L IT Y

Finding Your [Third] Place S U S TA I N A B I L IT Y

Putting Down Roots

H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

You are Where You Work “There is much more to a window seat than a view.” According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agen-

measured in sick days. In a study by BrightHR, “58

cy, humans in modern societies spend approximately

percent of those who had not experienced workplace

90% of their lives indoors. We can safely assume that

fun had been off sick for 11 or more days.” (It Pays to

for many, most of those waking hours are spent in

Play). Through changes large and small, the work day

the office. We design our homes, select our hospitals,

can be drastically transformed for your staff including

and choose our schools based on their impact on our

equitable access to the outdoors, respite spaces, and

wellbeing – why not our work spaces?

environmental mood.

Workplace design in the United States was once

Removing barriers is just as crucial to maximizing

dominated by the notion that stationary employees

employee health and wellness as the amenities add-

with limited access to distractions resulted in higher

ed to the workplace experience. Workplace wellbeing

quality, efficient work. Now, we understand that we

should be shared by the newest employee to the

take our workday home with us, and the quality of our

most senior, and the first step is ensuring that the

contribution is influenced by our mental and physical

best of the office environment is accessible to all who

health, whether we like it or not. The deterioration

spend their time there.

90% Approximate percentage of time humans in modern societies spend their lives indoors


Percentage of people who had not experienced workplace fun had been off sick for 11 or more days

of productivity and employee morale is often best

DID YOU KNOW? “Without exposure to normal 24-hour light-dark cycles, a person’s sleep-wake cycle can stray by as much as two hours per day.” (“The Benefits of Natural Night,” Architectural Lighting, 2014)

H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S

Our Take When you think “workplace wellness� ergonomic desk chairs and air-purifying plants may come to mind. While such factors have a time and place for deliberation, health and wellness in the workplace begins at the location itself. Consider the shared amenities offered by the building and proximity to healthy food options, parks, and fitness centers. For IKM, moving to 11 Stanwix in downtown Pittsburgh retained the qualities we loved about our previous location while enhancing access to the outdoors and space for hosting events. Our new home is a 5-minute walk to Market Square which continues to be a social hub for the city. Easy access to Point State Park and access to on-site garden plots and outdoor recreation space makes 11 Stanwix a place to stay connected to the outdoors. Without a location that matches

Point State Park access

On-site garden & outdoor space

Indoor & outdoor yoga options

Market Square for food & events

Shared Health & Wellness Amenities

the values and needs of your company, even the

led to conversations about all 5 senses including the

most health-forward, sustainable office space can

use of white noise and temperature control.

be a source of stress and anxiety for employees and



The power of furniture, fixtures, and equipment will

In addition to maximizing the collective experience

employee wellbeing. For example, the office-wide

of a workplace, empowering individual wellbeing

feedback we collected determined that spaces for

whole staff?

requires attention to sensory details that impact

shared activities and space for nursing mothers

What accessory amenities at your

individual experience. Beyond the transition to

were significantly lacking in our space at 1 PPG. Our

location does your staff desire?

an open-plan work environment, the 95-windows

office now supports a community of moms who do

How much control does your of-

wrapping around the office at 11 Stanwix provided

not have to interrupt their nursing schedules by the

fice have to regulate daylight and

considerable opportunity for daylighting and provid-

demands of work, and large open space that can

mitigate existing conditions?

ing a visual connection to the outdoors. Not only will

be configured for many uses now supports weekly

natural light make employees 15% more creative,

yoga classes or workshops. As we’ve found, the

workplaces with quality daylight has proven to boost

most impactful office features originate from mak-

productivity and sales from 3% - 40% (“The Benefits

ing the employees active members in crafting a new

of Natural Light,” Eco-Business 2016). Implementing

space that not only welcomes, but also energizes.

always play a role in improving or detracting from

How can your organization spread the creature comforts of your work environment to the

Is your location going to attract talent germane to your office culture?

appropriate daylighting and shading technologies

Daylighting & Productivity


Windows around office perimeter


Percentage natural light can increase creativity


Percentage natural light can boost productivity & sales

HOW WE DID Natural light is the unsung hero of an inviting office space. Moving from an office with little to no daylighting to one that requires little overhead lighting at all has made a marked difference on our staff’s mood and wellbeing.

glare “ The reduction & lower ambient light levels have really reduced my eye strain.

light and “ Natural views are great.


feel most “ Icreative in the

Point lounge... The natural light in this area creates the most inviting creative area.












9 previous office

10 new office


Finding Your [Third] Place As the workplace is asking more of its workers,

It’s not just your staff who crave a third place. De-

workers and clients are asking more of their work-

signing office space that can accommodate staff

place: and it’s not just free coffee and Wi-Fi. For many

and visitors from the outside opens the possibility

companies, the need to accommodate increasingly

of a memorable encounter. For clients this means

varied tasks and hours among staff is answered by

pulling back the curtain to immerse them in your

incorporating elements of third place environments

world. For too long, the board room was only a narrow

within office walls. The coffee shop is our tried and

example of a client-appropriate space, but with third

true example of a successful third place environment

space concepts, it is possible to invite client decision

with its warm residential elements combined with the

makers into the office so they can be part of the

technology-rich capabilities to promote focused work.

creative process. Having these spaces in your office

They’re the least engaged generation in the

Despite the allure of remote work in the home and

will empower staff to find the right meeting space for

workplace, and that lack of engagement

coffee shops, “when workers leave the workplace to

visitors based on the task at hand. With the rise of

and loyalty costs the US economy US$30.5

work, it separates them from their coworkers, orga-

the nomadic worker, it’s helpful to form a space for

nizational resources and culture” (Steelcase, “Real

working sessions for outsiders to get out of their own


organization and into your process.

Millennials in the Workplace


Millennials who have changed jobs within the past year


Millennials who are open to a new job opportunity at any time

DID YOU KNOW? It’s not just a talent war, it’s a perk war: “21 percent of millennials have changed jobs within the past year, and 60 percent are open to a new job opportunity at any time.

billion per year (JLL, Future of Work, “Build a


Place of Experience for Your People,” 2017)


Billion per year the millennials lack of engagement & loyalty costs the US economy


Our Take Whether you work on a suburban campus or an

face-to-face interactions. We found ways to incor-

work or riding scooters from one office destination

urban core, minor changes can be transformation-

porate aspects of fun into our new office design

to the other. We also share what is best. The Point

al. At IKM’s office, we traced the evolution of the

with elements that mark a sense of place from one

Lounge commands one of the best views in the

architecture industry and identified a shift in how

room to the other. Selected fixtures like bean bag

city, overlooking the confluence of the Monongahe-

our work is done. In the early 20th century, the

chairs, writable walls, and a lounge seating have

la, Allegheny, and Ohio rivers. This is a communal

drawing table was the workstation, meeting area,

given staff the ability to create their own sense

space for all and is used for lunch during the day

and breakroom. Today, our mobility has created

of home. These changes also support new social

and happy hours at night.

the opportunity for more fruitful and dynamic

norms such as occasionally bringing their dogs to

KEY CONSIDERATIONS What parts of your process would your clients’ benefit from seeing firsthand? What types of events do you host? How can you incorporate greater freedom of movement throughout the workday? Consider the age of your employees, what inspires them?

The place I socialize most is? point lounge my work area break room all areas

HOW WE DID Breaking out our gathering spaces to accommodate a wide-variety of group settings has made our office a place that reinvigorates staff, clients, and guests.

informal “ The meeting spaces

and collaborative 15 atmosphere is really creating some great energy for the office.

I really enjoy coming in to work at this office.


degree view “ 360 helps enhance mood / reduce stress.


” 1









9 previous office

10 new office


Putting Down Roots When you make the commitment to moving or

the actions necessary to achieve it. When sustain-

community discussion and action plans can have

renovating office space, you are breaking ground

ability becomes the new normal, it moves from

a powerful impact on your brand story. Unfortu-

on the collateral changes that follow: better culture,

“someone else’s problem” to “everyone’s commit-

nately, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. A

efficient workflows, and stronger reputation to

ment.” Given the greenlight, employees and stake-

meaningful sustainable strategy should not just be

name a few. Among these rare opportunities is

holders from all facets rise to the challenge, creat-

seen (see: greenwashing) – it must be supported

the chance to hit the “reset” button on your use of

ing a culture of purpose (Harvard Business Review,

by a foundation that permeates every layer of your

resources in ways that the convenience of the ex-

“How to Make Sustainability Everyone’s Problem”).


isting conditions would limit. Sustainability is about

In fact, over half (58%) of building owners see at

more than a corporate responsibility statement, it’s

least a “medium level” of improvement in employee

a culture change that impacts employee wellbeing,

satisfaction and engagement rates, and half (29%)

financial health, and of course, the environment.

of these owners report a high level of improvement (“The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings Report

While most executives agree that sustainability is

2016”). Once genuine organizational ownership

and should be a priority, few take ownership over

is established, the intrinsic values that stem from

DID YOU KNOW? The United States Green Building Council estimates that, on average, green buildings reduce energy consumption by 30%, carbon emissions by 35%, water consumption by 30% to 50%, and waste costs by 50% to 90%. (“Sustainable Design is Good,” AD&V, 2017)


Our Take Three words: Location, Location, Location. IKM is

for the design of our new home. We determined

and variability based on the way spaces are used

an urban employer with urban clients, and after

our greatest areas of impact would fall into two

around the office. We also made small, but mean-

some thinking and analysis, we decided it’s best to

buckets: office policy & documentation and office

ingful changes to office life: removing garbage cans

stay urban. We chose a LEED Gold Certified build-

participation. Under office policy, we decided to

from individual desks, providing magnetic writable,

ing with access to public transportation and onsite

move to heavy reliance on task lighting to supple-

tackable surfaces to reduce printing and paper use,

outdoor amenities, and the big decisions took care

ment a robust daylight harvesting plan. All of our

and substituted all paper serve-ware with china and

of themselves. From there, we had the opportu-

electric lighting is LED based. We also modified


nity to implement a holistic sustainable approach

existing mechanical systems for greater control

KEY CONSIDERATIONS Do you own your building or are you renting office space? Are your employees willing &

The most successful sustainable feature of our office is?

ready to commit to a sustainable culture? How would you involve your employees in the process of designing and sustaining resources? What metrics will you use to measure success across sustainability goals?

replacement of disposable tableware with real tableware LED lights omission of waste basket & addition of recycling bin at desk day lighting water conservation all features

HOW WE DID From 1 PPG to 11 Stanwix, small changes yielded big results with little interruption to staff culture. Of course, we’re always taking steps towards improvement - one K-Cup at a time.



Reduction from the PPG lighting energy use

Implementation of LED Fixtures at 11 Stanwix


previous office


new office

350 Energy (kwh/day)



300 250 200 150

With killswitch integration

With killswitch & occupancy sensors integration



previous office new office




.6 .4

Reduction of waste a month at 11 Stanwix




Recycling (tons/month)

to pinpoint one thing. “ ItAllisthehardsustainable features combined

together are what make it great. The one thing I would like to change are all the wasted k-cups.

ikm architecture eleven stanwix street, suite 2200 pittsburgh, pa 15222 412.281.1337

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