STUDIO 111 - Technology Company Headquarters


Scott Parker of Studio 111 takes us through the schematic design and design development phases of a technology company headquarters.  He’ll talk about the challenges they faced with the structural system as well as the local area. Additionally he will talk through the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems used.

Practical Applications

Today, I'm going to talk to you about a project that's a headquarters building. 100,000 square feet for a tech company here in the local area. Had several challenges that we'll talk about.

It's not a brown field site, meaning there's no contaminants we need to take care of, but we do need to go down deep enough to handle both the basement in the new building and the basement for the parking garage that we'll look at later. So we need to go about 20 feet to 30 feet down, depending on the location, cap those wells per current city or state standards, and then we can move forward with the project itself. Also, the site has no percolation at all so in California you're not allowed to just take runoff from your roofs or decks and just run them into the gutter or into the storm drain system.

So what we've done is the 100,000 square feet office building is on this front site away from the residential, then the parking garage actually steps down, and then we get to the back and I'll come back to these zoning areas in the next section. And this is the cross section, so here's a person, here's a two-story home. You can see that even though we're building a relatively tall building, this is over 80 feet.

Now, if you were doing a Type V building, Type IV building, for example, you would be 30% of the floor area rather than 50%, so we can go up to 50%. So how do we determine the 50%? Well, everything that touches that mezzanine and is floor space is part of that 50% of the area.

So we're already, for a four story building, or a three-story building in our case, we're over 200,000 square feet. We're fine on the area. The next things is the number of stories we're allowed to be.

Which we know we can't do and they were kind of, it was a joking way of them telling us like we need more room. So what we did was, we actually invented a basement. So the basement came out of working with the electrical engineer.

So rather than having say with a variable volume of air, we were trying to run a 36 inch duct in a space where we had 18 inches. It simply didn't work physically. What we are running now is a 3/4 inch refrigerant line, and a 6 inch fresh air line.

And what it's doing is collecting all the rain water that gets on the roof or if someones hosing down or anything like that, it's collecting all that run-off and drop it into the lid planter itself. The lid planter had molds, fabric, all these kinds of layers. And what that's doing is, it's just passively cleaning that water.

A moment frame is simply you welded all the pieces of steel together so that they can take all the seismic load, well when we did that, we got these size of columns, they're W44s by 335, and if you haven't looked into the structural or the steel code or steel booklet, it's the largest piece of steel you can buy without going custom, so that's about two and a half inches thick, it's 44 inches by 20, it's the biggest piece of steel you can have and the building was failing so we actually ran this through the simulator at the structural engineers, it fell down every time. So it meant oh my gosh we really need to rethink this. So what we did was we went away from a moment frame, we went to a brace frame system.

We actually, even though it's concrete, we're not gonna pay a fortune, for that concrete to be amazingly beautiful. We're just gonna do simple ones. Then, we're gonna skim coat it with stucco, and not even the best stucco, because what we're really gonna do is give it back to the community as a space for muralists.

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