Recognized by the International Living Future Institute, DPR Construction’s regional office in Phoenix is a testament to how much energy can be saved in the workplace—without skimping on comfort.
The net zero energy certified office is a showcase for urban sustainability, with in-office perks like a “Zen room,” where anyone can escape for some quiet time, a fully equipped gym and locker room, an outdoor courtyard, and a nap room. The open-office concept has nearly 60 workstations and floater spaces, plus nine conference and multipurpose rooms.
The facilities overflow with clever solutions, including nearly 90 climate-controlled operable windows, a zinc-clad solar chimney, and a 79 kW-dc rated photovoltaic solar panel–covered parking lot. A dashboard system allows employees to monitor water and gas usage, lighting and power consumption, and photovoltaic energy production in real time.
The transformation of the building has also been exciting—from a paint store in the 1970s to a windowless adult bookstore to sitting vacant to becoming the living laboratory it is today.
The Phoenix office has a photovoltaic array and a solar thermal hot water system. The system was installed over parking canopies in two configurations—a staggered array and a flat tilted array in a contiguous plane arrangement—to provide shade to parked vehicles and maximize the number of skylights that could go into the roof.
Natural light from more than 80 tubular skylights fills the open workspaces at this DPR Construction office. Beyond reducing energy, the light from these tubes connects employees to the daily cycle of the sun, relieving stress and improving productivity. These provide 100% of the office’s lighting needs—even in closed conference rooms. Suffice it to say, you won’t find too many desk lights here.
DPR Construction installed HVLS (high volume, low speed) fans throughout its workspaces and its gym to save energy and increase comfort. The low speed delivers gentle air in place of strong winds, circulating at a high volume to distribute air over a large area and keep the space from reaching those too chilly or too hot extremes.