The Leader Magazine

MAR 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 48 of 63

MARCH 2017 49 These were admirable goals, especially considering the Symantec campus history. The Symantec site is one of 1,700 around the country designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Superfund site due to soil contamination. The site housed a semiconductor facility for Raytheon from 1961 to 1997, which was demolished in 2000 when Veritas Software Corp. (later bought by Symantec) built fi ve buildings and a multi- level garage on the site. Remediation of the site began in the late 1980's and is still closely monitored today. The transformation of these buildings to meet the strict WELL Building environmental policy and human-experience goals is a major accomplishment, achieving a high level of human sustainability, health and wellbeing borne from a place of contamination and environmental stress. Process and features A charrette was held at the inception of the project, allowing the design team to align the overarching goals of the project with shared values for occupants. The team also began the process of aligning Symantec's design goals with WELL Building criteria by triaging the standard to determine what parameters the project could meet, given that the buildings to be impacted were now 15 years old. Based on this review, the team found that all of the mandatory WELL Preconditions could be met. To optimize the space, however, several areas were identifi ed that could signifi cantly improve Symantec's environment, requiring a more comprehensive approach to health and wellness. With a passion to evolve beyond the WELL Building environmental prerequisites of Air, Water and Nourishment, Little and AP+I worked with project stakeholders to develop a detailed plan for wellness-oriented features that would impact the Light, Comfort, Fitness and Mind categories. • Light management is an integral element of interior space design. Preconditions in this category cover management of brightness and visual acuity while encouraging daylighting in work areas and ensuring minimization of glare as well as control of shading. Symantec's optimizations in this category focused on avoiding glare transmission through the workspaces, and selecting materials and surfaces that had low refl ectivity in both the work and common areas. A system of task and overhead lighting complements available daylight-improved lighting design, which incorporates daily changes in light color and temperature to align with human circadian rhythms. Controllable shades and blinds augment these features by allowing independent control of areas as lighting changes throughout the day, and a large skylight on the fourth fl oor provides further natural lighting throughout the space. • Comfort preconditions require compliance with ADA regulations and the development of strategies for ergonomics, adjustability, and acoustic and thermal comfort. To address these issues, Symantec's design team improved the adjustability of furnishings by specifying sit/stand desks and adjustable monitor displays. An acoustic mitigation plan identifi ed noisy areas, and required equipment and mechanical systems were designed to minimize vibration and sound transmission, lowering stress and allowing deeper focus. Symantec further optimized this section by minimizing the intrusion of exterior noise in the space, thereby reducing the force of sound on surfaces. • For Fitness and Mind, the team sought to incorporate biophilia (the innate human tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life) through the use of natural patterns, opportunities for interaction with nature, and views to nature throughout the design, which reduces blood pressure and human stress hormones. Elements for Beauty and Design were also carefully considered. The goal was to invoke human delight while celebrating Symantec's culture in shared, central spaces that connect employees and visitors to Symantec's mission and values while creating a sense of place, purpose and identity. A new, multi-story atrium with a central connecting stair became the showpiece for stitching together these goals, integrating a variety of public and collaborative areas with core messaging and brand imagery over several fl oors. As part of the atrium's programming, Symantec developed a quarterly rotating art program to showcase photographs of the company's humanitarian efforts in underdeveloped countries across the globe. In concert with wellness-oriented features, healthy space needs to integrate essential supportive health programs like stress-management resources, healthy foods and other lifestyle support. Fitness and Mind preconditions include dissemination of information regarding WELL and wellness, accomplished through measures such as a health and wellness library that helps educate employees on how various strategies incorporated in their space benefi ts each one of them personally. Additional wellness information is accessible in the fi tness center and on Symantec's internal website. The design and stakeholder teams also created policies that support altruistic behaviors, such as charity and volunteer work, and material transparency, disseminating information about the building materials used so employees can understand what is surrounding them, literally, and the effect those materials have on their health. Results strong and favorable Employee feedback validates the success of Symantec's goal of infusing an active culture of wellness throughout the new space. A robust "Movement in the Workplace" program encourages employees to be more active in the space and is promoted through the strategic placement of meeting rooms and other shared spaces away from work neighborhoods. Associates are happy about having sit/stand desks that allow a change in posture, lessening the negative effects of a sedentary work style. Symantec also offers activity incentives, such as employee subsidies for the use of sports clubs; internal events promoting the use of hula hoops, jump ropes and the like; and an on-site walking/running path that links to the local Hetch-Hetchy trail. The effects of a WELL space have rippled beyond WELL Building certifi cation to a cultural mindfulness about personal health and wellness. Symantec's "Get Up and Move" campaign, originated in its renovated Silicon Valley space, will now be rolled out to all of its locations. Additionally, over 60 percent of company employees are now gym members. Other outcomes of the new workspace design speak to increased employee engagement and workplace satisfaction. A post-move survey of employees reveals a 30-percent increase in collaboration and a 30-percent increase in feeling more innovative in the new space. Beyond the numbers, employees who work in the building simply remark that its overall quality is noticeably improved. According to Becky Laden, Global Workplace Innovation Program development manager at Symantec, "The building just feels good. I almost feel healthier just walking into the space." Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP provisional, is a senior partner and the Workplace Global Practice Leader for Little, an international architecture and design fi rm.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Leader Magazine - MAR 2017