Pete Jefferson

Past the Green Wall: Google Pittsburgh’s Biophilic Workplace

April 5, 2017

Session Four: 3:45-4:45 p.m.

Presented by: Pete Jefferson, Forte Building Science; Connor Glass, Perkins Eastman; and Kate Malmgren, Google

The status quo in workplace design leaves most occupants disconnected from nature. An early movement towards biophilic design is happening, but many early adopters have not gone much further than a signature “green wall” in their incorporation of biophilia. Google’s Real Estate & Workplace Services (REWS) Team is challenged to create amazing work environments that inspire and energize Googlers to be at their best every day. In support of this mission, the REWS team created Google’s Biophilic Design Framework. This new framework was piloted in Google’s new “Bakery Square 2.0” expansion in Pittsburgh, which is targeting certification under LEED v4 ID+C. This session will also detail how and why ethnography, workplace strategy, and workshops were leveraged to understand the organization’s culture and workspace needs. The presenters will illustrate some of the findings and how analytics were performed to support the design strategies. The presenters will demonstrate examples of biophilic elements that were incorporated into a design that went far beyond “the green wall.” A discussion of “what’s next” will describe how feedback and post-occupancy evaluations will affect the use and fine tuning of the space.