R5 Going Green—Inside and Out

Our progress

Since launching construction according to our architectural design and specifications, we’re continuing to make steady progress in retrofitting our new office space. Over the last several weeks, under the coordination of Matt Lio, our Murphy Brothers Contracting project manager, we completed:
• completed the property’s tree maintenance, including pruning to increase their health and life span
• continued installing the drywall and taping (the joint compound that ensures seamless-looking walls), a necessary step before painting can begin
• continued installing the rooftop ductwork for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system
• continued installing the data and communications wiring
Next on our agenda
Next, while we continue installing the drywall and taping, the ductwork, and data and communications wiring, we will determine the measurements for fabricating and building the glass and aluminum partitions needed for office workstations.

Focus on…
Our Interior Designer

Q & A with Kathryn Mease, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C, an interior designer with Tecton Architects, our architectural firm

Q. What overall look and feel did you envision when you began designing?
Overall, we wanted to create a sleek and contemporary look with open office areas dark flooring, light walls, and warmed up with touches of wood. We wanted to give the center of the office a New York loft feel—open, with pendant lighting and no ceiling.

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Q. What are some of the design solutions you were trying to address?
We tried to give the reception area and lobby entry a sense of presence and personality. It’s the first impression visitors will have as they enter the building. The sleek, sophisticated look begins at the entrance, where we plan to use a textured wall panel with light washing down behind the receptionist. We also had to decide how to handle the function and form of the basement space—extending the open and airy feel into a space with no windows. It was a unique challenge, but also one of the more fun aspects of the design. We focused on keeping the space flexible and not confining—primarily an open room with tables and chairs that can be reconfigured to make the space whatever it needs to be at any given time. The ceiling will be painted white to make it feel and appear higher than it really is. We tried to design the space as an area for many uses—from lunches to group gatherings, to breakout spaces or team meetings that are less formal than conference rooms. Incorporating a refrigerator and microwave will make it easy to serve refreshments.

Q. What has been your greatest challenge so far?
Since there’s a limited amount of natural light inside the building, we chose light-colored walls contrasted with dark flooring to give a more open feel. We also decided to stick to more neutral tones, which makes an ideal backdrop for lining the walls with copies of the magazine covers in simple black frames and allows them to stand out without fighting the design elements.

Q. In what ways have you been able to incorporate “green” elements in the interior design?
We specified eco-conscious materials wherever possible, including paint with low VOC content and 100 percent recyclable carpet tiles with sustainable PVC-free, cradle-to-cradle certified (having no negative impact on the natural environment) Eco-Worx backing. In addition to their superior performance over traditional PVC tile backing, the tiles also weigh less, which is a tremendous cost savings for shipping. Using materials like these not only result in high value, but you feel good about using them.

Q. What are you focused on at this stage of the project?
We’re tweaking the layout and providing furniture specifications. That includes adjusting the existing office suites in Elmsford to fit the newly designed space. We’re really excited about this project!

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