SPOTLIGHT: GENZYME


Designed by Behnisch Architekten, The Genzyme Center in Cambridge exemplifies Gemzyme’s spirit of innovation and quality. In addition to ecological sustainability, the center is a landmark building that fosters interaction, engages the public with Genzyme’s identity, and recruits the best talent. After a year of occupancy, 58% of Genzyme Center employees said they were more productive in the completed building than they had been in the former headquarters. This building is the largest Platinum-LEED office structure in the US, with energy efficient features and management systems that reduced the projected overall energy cost for the building by 35%.

In an industrial environment, the design of the buildings, headquarters, and stores help to create an accessible and sympathetic public identity for an organization. Initiatives like environmental stewardship not only influence the public image, but also the identification of the workforce with their employer in terms of their morale, well-being, and productivity. Factors such as daylight, occupants’ ability to control their environment, and flexibility of space usage are crucial to successful architecture. In the service and software industry, 84% of operating costs are staff related, and only approximately 16% are related utilities and maintenance. However, this 16% can greatly affect staff efficiency.

The Genzyme Center is as example of informed, collaborative design work that considers all costs in the short and long term. In a 50 year lifespan, the average US building generates maintenance and energy costs equivalent to 3 to 4 times the construction costs. A well-designed, energy-efficient and low maintenance building can lead to a savings of double the construction costs over the same span. As a result, it’s crucial that operating costs be addressed in the early phases of programming and design; higher investment in the planning and construction can lead to substantial savings in operations over the lifetime of a building. Strategy saves energy.

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