Achieving LEED certification for an interiors project isn’t a process that many would describe as easy. But that’s exactly how Angie Lee, RA, IIDA, associate principal at Perkins Eastman described the process of greening the new headquarters for BBC Worldwide Americas in New York, thanks in part to a forward-thinking client who was “very fluid with the
process of making sustainable choices.”
“The sustainability aspects were not something that we had to put in front of us to chase; it was always embedded in the thinking,” Lee recalls. “Any time we got too close to a window, people were concerned right away that we were blocking daylight for [occupants].”
“Here, there are really no bad seats; everyone has equal amount of access to views and light. That’s quite refreshing.”
Perkins Eastman began its design for the space by finding and working with local product manufacturers who embrace “cradle to cradle” concepts in material usage. This resulted in the tight integration of sustainability, aesthetics and functionality in all of the products and materials specified in the space. Decorative resin ceiling tiles in reception and colorful resin doors for the conference rooms contain 40 percent recycled pre-consumer content, for example. The use of recycled content was also emphasized for the office’s many glittering surfaces and finishes.
Additional sustainable touches include the use of daylight dimmers to help control lighting levels throughout the work day and lighting fixtures tied to occupancy sensors. These seemingly minor additions were enough to garner the project LEED Gold certification—one level higher than its original goal.