Curved facade relates to nearby curving thoroughfare

SAFECARD SERVICES, INC.
Operations Center Addition
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Project: Design an addition for a telephone customer service center
Focus: A major goal of the project was to reflect and support the "employee-centric" philosophy of the new executive management team. We were directed to design the center so that it could operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The space had to be flexible to accommodate future change. A fast track schedule allowed six months from Board approval of schematic design and budget to occupancy.
Solution: A one story scheme was selected in order to facilitate work flow, to create an awareness of the customer service center as a single unit and to facilitate management of the unit to minimize call waiting times without reliance on electronic systems.

Set back requirements from a curving thoroughfare dictated an irregular shaped building. We used a series of curves rather than a simple angle to soften the edge of the building as it faced the public and the street. The distinctive design of the addition was indicative of the newness of management's philosophy and approach.

Energy conservation was achieved through the use of an earth berm below the windows, reflective glass, insulation with a minimum thickness of 4" at the roof and 6" in the walls, and by abutting the addition to the existing building to reduce exterior perimeter walls.

Each employee has a personal computer at their work space. Indirect lighting eliminates screen glare by reflecting light off the ceiling and providing a soft diffuse light. A north facing clerestory brings natural light into the interior space. The height of the space, made possible by matching the height of the existing building (previously a 110,000 SF shopping center), makes the lighting design extremely effective.

The space is inherently flexible. The few enclosed spaces are located together on one side of the building. The remainder (85% of the usable space) is open and furnished with modular workstations. Flexibility is enhanced by the use of a raised floor under which power distribution and telephone/data cabling is delivered on a five foot module.

Electrical power is backed up with a state of the art system, which provides uninterruptible, conditioned power to the addition, as well as, the existing building. The HVAC system has built-in redundancy so that failure in any component will not require a shut down of the system.

Accomplishments: The project was completed on time and on budget. The improved working environment has contributed to reduced turnover and improved job satisfaction. During the summer of 1996, SafeCard continued to operate uninterrupted despite 11 power outages.
 

Project size: 28,000 sf
Headcount: 250

© 1996, 2002 Davis Associates Architects & Consultants, Inc.
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Chicago, IL 60604-3606
Phone (312)922-6050

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