Buildings: Engineers’ Offices
In the past, the offices of consulting engineering companies have tended to be dull and utilitarian. There is not much attention paid to aesthetics, so the visitor to the reception area is usually fac...
In the past, the offices of consulting engineering companies have tended to be dull and utilitarian. There is not much attention paid to aesthetics, so the visitor to the reception area is usually faced with standard corporate decor, or furnishings that are badly outdated. Perhaps this is natural. Engineers are concerned with giving their clients functional and economic service rather than displaying their own sophistication and style.
But as shown by the examples on the following pages, engineers are becoming more conscious of the impression they present to the world. With the growing environmental movement, for example, they realize that they can use their offices to showcase their green building design skills to clients. Some are even using their buildings as research laboratories to monitor how well the systems they have chosen to install will perform.
As advocates for sustainable design, these firms have decided to practise what they preach. They’re keeping their employees happy by providing them with workplaces flooded with daylight and with fresh and clean indoor air at A temperature they can control. They are ensuring that they operate sustainably in other ways, for example by installing low-flow plumbing fixtures, by providing bike racks and showers to encourage staff to walk or bicycle to work, and in small routines such as choosing to use only 100% post-consumer copy paper.
For A multi-disciplinary firm such as Stantec, where architecture goes hand in hand with engineering, it was evidently important that their new Toronto office be both beautiful to look at and green. At the other end of the scale in terms of firm size, A small specialized firm of engineers in Vancouver has delighted in showcasing their structural detailing skills in the latest renovation of their building.