Comstock’s Magazine Office Guide features AIA California Headquarters

April 30, 2021

From the April 2021 issue of
Comstock’s Magazine.

By 21st Annual Capitol Region ACRE/BOMA Office Guide

After 30 years in a non-descript office tower, AIA California embarked on a multi-year process in 2017 to create a new office environment to better reflect the mission and values of the organization, which represents more than 11,000 architects and design professionals in 22 local AIA chapters throughout the state.

The group selected an 85-year-old railway warehouse on the outskirts of Downtown Sacramento and set about transforming it into their new headquarters. “Our profession believes your environment van influence outcomes and productivity,” says Nicki Dennis Stephens, AIA California’s executive vice president. “We wanted to showcase the value of design and innovations in the office environment.”

The result is a multifunctional, light-filled, all-electric and zero net carbon space designed by award-winning architecture firm Dreyfuss + Blackford featuring locally sourced construction materials and finishes from sustainable supply chains, as well as state-of-the-art technology to enhance accessibility and collaboration. In partnership with SMUD, the project was used as a prototype to explore creative ways to meet the state’s Zero New Energy 2030 goals through electrification, efficient mechanical systems and electrical monitoring equipment to balance energy usage and comfort.

To allow for optimal flexibility, the design incorporated movable doors throughout the building to accommodate meetings of all sizes and power ports throughout to all staff and visitors to work anywhere. A balance of open and private office spaces encourages collaborations but also allows for privacy, enhancing concentration and productivity. “Aesthetics are important and we’re very proud of (the design), but were equally proud of the building’s performance,” Stephens says, “We gave it new life.”

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