Written by Nozomi Galloway
Our team visited LEED Gold project, Nokia U.S. Head Quarter in Sunnyvale. Ms. Becky Locke, the Resources Manager who gave us a tour, happens to also be a West Valley College Interior Design Alumni!
NOKIA U.S. HQ 156,600 sqft./5 floorsAwards: · IIDA 2011 Competition Award· IIDA NC 2011 Award
Their 4 Bay Area offices moved into one location in Sunnyvale on December 13th, 2010. The office space was designed by Gensler SF, and it was designed as a “Future Workplace”. Since Nokia is the world’s leading mobile phone supplier and their products are consistently changing throughout the year, R&D employees needed to work with others as efficiently as possible, anytime and anywhere.
To design a functional workplace, the concept they used is making the space for comfort and connection of hospitality, with a vertical community. And you can see those everywhere. The meeting rooms look like residential living rooms. The 24/7 lounge area has a kitchen, shower, and a hotel suite. Even the small conference spaces have interesting lighting fixtures.
In the entire space, you can see Northern California and Scandinavian collaborations: NC nature, redwood trees, yellow poppies, the state fish of California on the hanging panels and as accent on walls. For the Scandinavian heritage, there used a lot of pine wood & bright colors, and custom print tapestries inspired by Finnish textile designs on the wall as well.
Another eye catching element is the sculpted tree which weaves from the first floor, where it create small lounge and a big event space, to the eating area in second floor. The tree was chosen not only because historically the site was former peach orchard, but also as a theme that is “Evident through the Space”. It has an additional meaning of fertile ground where Nokia will thrive and produce new products.
Sustainability facts in Nokia:
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)
When Nokia decides to do either new construction, or major renovation their facilities, they always include LEED Gold certification as a key part of the specification. The reason is to avoid CO₂ emissions by having energy-efficient solutions in place from the beginning of the project. This facility is the first site with onsite generation of renewable energy for Nokia. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells that produce reliable electricity through electrochemical reactions. It requires no combustion and it can run on natural gas, biogas or a combination of the two. Nokia in Sunnyvale is using 75-80% biogas sourced from landfills. When using natural gas, CO₂ emission are reduced by approximately 35% and with biogas they drop to zero. Nokia is trying to meet the goal of zero CO₂ emission in the future. Each fuel cell can provide 200kw of energy (which is enough to meet the base load needs of 160 average homes or an office building day & night), and it keeps generating 24/7/365. 75% of the electricity for Nokia Sunnyvale, is coming from fuel cells.
Total CO₂ emissions from the site have dropped by 87%. And this is a monthly reduction of around 80 tons of CO₂, which represents 6% of Nokia’s gross emissions from all office and R&D sites in the American’s region. Annually, the saving is equivalent to taking 280 cars off the road.
Selected Site Choosing the location is a really important factor when Nokia builds their facilities. The Sunnyvale office is close to a Caltrain station, restaurants, housing and leading universities. Also to help reduce commuting by car, and making public transportation more accessible, employees can use public transportation by Nokia. Neighborhood, office parks, and traffic patterns are an important part of people’s lives, so Nokia tries to promote good work with life balance, to create an inspiring, energizing and inspirational work place. Finally, Nokia believes that in order to attract and retain talent, they must also “rationally” integrate virtual and mobile working into one’s work schedule.
Construction/Finishes Many exposed surface such as ductwork and ceiling framing is done to reduce using extra materials on the job. Corrugated fiberglass was used instead of drywall in many interior spaces and conference room areas to allow for the maximum penetration of natural light during the day. Cork is used for some panel wall applications, and the flooring is concrete.
Although the current workplace trend is open-plan workspaces, the Nokia office is definitely highly collaborative and a new style of innovative working place.