Commercial Interiors Task Force tours Hogan Lovells offices (USGBC National Capital Region) | U.S. Green Building Council
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The first of USGBC National Capital Region's Commercial Interiors Task Force tours was held at Hogan Lovells.

Following on the heels of an early summer kick-off event, the first session of USGBC National Capital Region's Commercial Interiors Task Force was held August 3 at the law offices of Hogan Lovells, at 555 13th Street NW in Washington, D.C.

This GreenLearn panel discussion and tour, titled "Success in Commercial Interiors: Spotlight on Hogan Lovells," highlighted the value and opportunity that can come from remaking an existing building rather than relocating.

The event started with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for 65 attendees on Hogan Lovell's floor terrace at Columbia Square, which boasts a view of the monuments along the Mall. The one-hour panel discussion was held in an adjoining solarium with a glass wall overlooking the terrace.

Mark Bryan, director of the National Capital Region community, welcomed attendees and thanked sponsors. Brynn Kurtzman, one of this year’s Commercial Interiors Task Force members and a technical designer at Gensler, introduced the seven panelists and thanked event partner IIDA Mid Atlantic Chapter (MAC). Kurtzman also introduced Caroline Ashworth, this year’s Washington Metro City Center Vice President, and Stephanie Smore, IIDA MAC Vice President of Membership.

Hogan Lovells tour

The first panelist, Jennifer Anduha, Managing Director of Office Services for Hogan Lovells, shared the history of the office’s Green Committee, which was formed to standardize green office policies across all Hogan Lovells offices in the Americas. The committee meets by videoconference every other month to share ideas.

Richard Pugh, Senior Property Manager with Hines, then talked about the 32-year-old Columbia Square and its partnership with anchor tenant Hogan Lovells. Columbia Square’s atrium gives all occupants access to natural light, a theme echoed throughout the evening. Pugh discussed the initiative "HinesGO" (Hines Green Office), an internal program that measures and rewards sustainable practices within all Hines offices worldwide.

Next, Raj Sheth, Construction Project Manager at Hogan Lovells, explained the firm’s journey from having old, dated interiors with lots of drywall partitions to a recommitment to an updated 400,000-square-foot space through a long-term phased renovation. A 35,000-square-foot pilot project was built with many interior concepts for staff to test-drive. Sheth describes LEED as being in the forefront of the process of this complicated renovation, which began in 2014 and will continue until 2020 with chiller replacements.

Hogan Lovells tour

Kimberly Sullivan, Team Leader and Senior Project Manager, Gensler talked about the design process and the shift in culture that Gensler helped to facilitate with the project. A standard size and glass-front walls were introduced for all attorneys’ offices, something that was challenging to create staff acceptance of, but Sullivan explained how the existing space lacked community and destinations. Central "hives" with social and informal zones were added to each floor, each with a distinct feel.

Two members from Dewberry (MEP), Mark Heinrich, Project Manager and Jonathan Sucher, Mechanical Designer, tag- teamed the discussion on this complicated project. Heinrich described implementing the LEED Campus approach for the project, which achieved LEED Gold in 2016 and 2017. He described the gutting of one floor at a time with a bird’s-eye view of all floors and how many surprises were uncovered with undocumented existing conditions. The cafeteria added to the 13th floor was a special challenge, as all cooking odors needed to be diverted. A big MEP design consideration was attaining LEED credits for optimizing energy performance and water use reductions.

Robbie Deem, Acoustical Consultant and Senior Associate from Cerami, talked about the myth that drywall and solid doors afford higher levels of speech privacy than a glass-front system. He went on to say that spray-on acoustical treatments such as Pyrok can be used to control noise buildup with in a space without undermining the aesthetics of the space. This was evident on the guided tour that followed the panel discussion.

USGBC National Capital Region would like to thank series sponsor Davis Construction and event sponsor Barbara Nolan Inc.

On September 7, the commercial interiors series continues at Nixon Peabody with The Art of the Green Deal: Navigating the Landlord-Tenant Relationship. Learn about the value of negotiating lease terms to accommodate unusual elements such as access to roof space for on-site solar generation or for specific accommodations required by green walls, shading systems, plumbing fixtures and energy recovery systems.

Register for the September event

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