Insight Architects is honored that pester pac automation usa (“pester”) chose to partner with us to bring their biophilic design concept to life. During their relocation to North Carolina, we collaborated to create a new customer relations center that will position them for growth in the Americas. Throughout the project, we focused on cultivating a productive working environment, as well as a harmonious relationship to the natural world.
The concept of the building is to create a strong connection to nature and a parallel relationship between the production and office areas. These two very distinct spaces are constantly in juxtaposition visually, while both staying connected with nature through views, daylight and outdoor spaces. Our shared goal was to preserve a biophilic working environment that felt like being outdoors.
- Biophilic design concept
- Sustainable material and insulation use
- Daylighting to improve human and manufactured energy consumption
Biophilic Design Concept
In working with pester, Insight Architects used a biophilic design concept. Biophilic design increases human connectivity to the natural environment through use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.
To that end, only 14% of the 10-acre wooded site has been disturbed. Our design celebrated the natural topography of the site to minimize grading and tree removal. The building sits on the highest point.
We achieved water quality and quantity control through a bio-retention pond and a wet decorative reflecting pond.
In addition, the landscaping is indigenous to North Carolina. The perennials, once established, require little to no additional watering. These selected plants also attract pollinators and create a natural habitat for insects, frogs, and turtles.
In addition, we maintained the tree line towards Reese Boulevard almost in its entirety. This provides a natural visual and acoustic barrier from the street traffic. It also shields the buildings from the harsh low western sun in the summer months.
From inside, visitors and employees enjoy views of nature from nearly every angle.
Occupants feel strongly connected to nature. From almost every room, they can sense the weather and time of day. Enjoying a view of nature and having access to protected outdoor spaces brings consistent stress relief, improving overall health and well-being.
Sustainable Materials and Insulation
We achieved energy conservation through proper orientation, overhangs and a tight building envelope. We built the manufacturing space with insulated precast panels that work extremely well in the Southern mixed-hot climate. The office building has continuous mineral wool insulation and the cladding attachments are thermally broken. All storefront used on this project has thermally broken frames and low-E glass that complies with the prescriptive NC energy code.
The front feature lobby wall is also made with locally harvested urban lumber.
We oriented the tall manufacturing hall towards the north, allowing for vast amounts of glass without adding to the solar heat gain of the space. Trees shade most of the shorter, west, and east sides. This space is concrete inside and out, with decorative grooves and graphic abstractions of the trees that once stood there.
The manufacturing hall has so much daylight that electrical lights do not have to be used during a sunny or overcast day. White light exposure during working hours promotes calm, improves cognitive function and enhances creativity.
- Date December 31, 2020
- Tags Office, Sustainability