Entry Title: " 20th Street Offices"
Belzberg Architects
, United States
Category: Professional, Build
Designer(s): Hagy Belzberg, chris Arntzen, Andrew Atwood, Carina Bien-Willner, David Cheung, Brock DeSmit, Barry Gartin, Aaron Leppanen, Dan Rentsch, Cory Taylor, Lauren Zuzack

Entry Description:

The design of the 20th Street Offices was an architectural exploration in efficiency, both the productivity that the internal work environment lends itself to and the minimized impact that the building has on its external environment. Environmental sensitivity went into all aspects of the design and construction of the 20th street Offices. The initial concept began with an open linear tube-like form sitting atop a series of moment frames. This concept allowed the occupiable space to be lifted above the at-grade parking, maximizing opportunities for open green space, natural ventilation and daylight. With the open ends oriented to the east and west, the natural flow of air coming off the Pacific Ocean circulates through the tube, maximizing fresh air and minimizing the need for mechanical systems. The building envelope of the tube element consists of custom designed diamond pattern cladding, fabricated out of sheet metal. This cladding combined with recycled content insulation of high R-values, minimizes heat gain and puts less stress on the mechanical systems as well. The open ends of the tube allow for natural daylight to permeate deep into the space through the 20 tall glazing assembly on either-end, naturally illuminating over 75% of the building and minimizing the need for artificial lighting.

The design of the building to primarily function on natural and passive systems makes for a highly efficient and refreshing work environment for its occupants. The intent of the creative working studios is to provide a healthy, open, flexible space where the occupants thrive from the expansive views, ocean breezes, and natural sunlight. Broken up into different multifunctional spaces the offices allows occupants, visitors and clients to congregate for discussions and events, hold visual presentations, share a meal, watch a film or even hold a yoga class on the green roof. The building design and performance is a large portion of reaching low-impact and efficiency goals, but its the occupants and visitors use of the space and environmentally conscious contributions that make up the rest of the equation. The 20th Street Offices strive to create a lifestyle, an office culture and a connection to the community synonymous with its environmentally conscious informed design. The building functions as a laboratory and gallery to explore ideas, test products, promote green initiatives and market building responsibly to its clients and the surrounding community.

Beyond the efficiency of the natural systems that the architectural design could achieve alone, the 20th Street Offices are flooded with environmentally conscious and LEED compliant choices in energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, air quality, recycled materials and rapidly renewable resources.
The 20th Street Offices achieved over 31% savings in annual energy usage and costs and 12.5% of their annual energy usage is powered by photovoltaic panels on the roof and front west elevation. The architect also participates in the promotion and funding of green power through purchasing the equivalent of 70% of their annual energy usage in green tags. In a place like Southern California where water conservation is critical, the 20th Street Offices achieved over 47% water use reduction. While the project maximized its open space 110% beyond the zoning code, the plants chosen for the landscape and green roof are all drought tolerant California natives, requiring less water usage. The irrigation is a dripp system with 90% efficiency and is controlled by two evapotranspiration sensors that limit water usage according to the particular plants needs in response to current and anticipatory weather conditions in their respective microclimates. Preserving materials and resources was an initiative of the architect through construction and has been maintained after occupancy. They diverted 84.6% of the waste produced from demolition and construction from landfills by recycling and continues to participate in routine recycling. Over 30% of the material costs for the 20th Street Offices were spent on materials with recycled content. Another 2.6% of the material costs went toward rapidly renewable material with the use of bamboo on the millwork.

Belzberg Architects compiled an Indoor Air Quality Plan for all contractors working on the 20th Street Offices to comply with while onsite. The document served to ensure clean air quality during construction and required that every product used must be zero voc or low emitting. Prior to occupancy, a licensed third party was contracted to ensure that no harmful particulates were in the air and that the building had clean indoor air quality for its occupants. The 20th Street Offices intended to create a healthy working environment with regards to both the impact it has on its occupants as well as the one it has on its surrounding environment. Some results of these efforts were a 42% reduction in urban runoff of which 95.6% is treated before leaving the site, heat island reduction strategies for over 75% of surfaces and the promotion of alternative transportation through new company incentives and accessibility to bike storage, shower facilities, over 441 public transit trips per day and priority parking for fuel-efficient vehicles and carpools.

Each of the environmentally conscious and LEED compliant elements that went into the design and construction of the 20th Street Offices, has been put into a case study and signage program throughout the building for visitors, clients and the occupants themselves to use as an educational tool and test subject to experiment with future green building products and initiatives.

About the Company:

Belzberg Architects is a group of young designers guided by the experience and curiosity of Hagy Belzberg. The staff is energetic with an eclectic background of combined design experiences. The firm believes that their diverse educational backgrounds and apprehension toward defining a routine working methodology contributes to the uniqueness of each project and the firms ability to handle the demands of any given project typology.


* 2009 Green Dot Awards - 3rd Place Winner - Build Category