Gensler’s Duncan Lyons shows how today’s facades reflect changing trends in the workplace

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1225 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC. (Josh / Flickr)

1225 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC. (Josh / Flickr)

As an architectural typology, the contemporary office building sits at the intersection of a number of social, economic, and environmental trends: the changing nature of the workplace; the expanding reach of communications and other technologies; and an increasing focus on sustainability and resilience.

Old school: the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. (jpellgen / Flickr)

Old school: the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. (jpellgen / Flickr)

Three AEC industry professionals at the forefront of office building design and construction will be on hand at this week’s Facades+AM DC symposium to discuss the new materials and technologies (including coatings, fritting, curved, and formed glass) that can be brought to bear on the challenges and opportunities associated with private- and public-sector office projects.

Bob Schofield, Senior Vice President of Development and Director of Design and Construction at Akridge; Front Inc. Founding Partner Marc Simmons; and Gensler‘s Firmwide Commercial Office Building Developers Practice Area Leader, Duncan Lyons together bring years of experience in high performance design and construction to the conversation.

Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Asked about the factors influencing the design of an office building’s facade, Gensler’s Lyons cited, “How the office building contributes to place-making, energy performance, and user experience; creating a healthy and inspiring workplace; [and] connecting building users to daylight, outside air, and a unique sense of place.”

That the worker experience is a key consideration in office building design reflects a broader transformation in American work culture, one in which a focus on fostering employee potential has replaced the traditional emphasis on products and processes.

Just as employer–employee relationships have changed, so, too, has the technology available to tackle other pressing issues, including environmental performance. Lyons sees a future for dynamic building facades that utilizes new glass technologies, operable facades, and user adaptation—developments that promise to boost both worker satisfaction and sustainability.

Hear more from Lyons, Schofield, and Simmons, as well as other movers and shakers in the facades world at Facades+AM DC. Register today and earn CEU credits at the event March 10.

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