Despite $40 billion in assets and more than three million members worldwide, there’s more than money on the minds of top officials at the Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Virginia. In 2004, the institution’s new Pensacola, Florida call center became the first commercial building in the entire state to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification. And in 2008, Fortune Magazine named Navy Federal—the world’s largest credit union—one of the nation’s best employers.
Given its credentials, it should come as no surprise then that sustainability and employee comfort were priority items as plans developed for the major expansion of its Florida call center campus. ASD of Atlanta was tapped as the project’s architect and charged with designing three new office buildings and a parking deck/energy plant.
“The directives from Navy Federal were two-fold,” explained Michael Wirsching, AIA, project architect for the yet-to-be-finished Building 4. “The owners wanted LEED certification to assure sustainability and energy savings, and they wanted the design to be employee focused.”
The campus components are aesthetically expressed to create a cohesive design recalling regionally prominent qualities. And the colors and textures of water, grass and sand are repeated and intermingled throughout to create an environment suggesting the surrounding natural characteristics.
Among the products featured on the exteriors of the new buildings were flat-lock wall panels fabricated from RHEINZINK natural zinc by MetalTech-USA of Peachtree City, GA.
The two finished buildings, totaling 325,000 sq. ft., use approximately 134,000 sq. ft. of the 0.8mm/22 gauge Graphite Gray flat lock RHEINZINK tiles. Building 4, which is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2010, will add an additional 220,000 sq. ft. of office space and will also be partially clad with RHEINZINK tiles.
“The flat lock panels interact with and complement the parts of the facade that are masonry,” said Eric Simonsen, V.P. of project management at MetalTech-USA. “We worked closely with ASD and the installers, Specialty Contractors & Pierre Construction, to create a cohesive design that echoes the surrounding natural characteristics.
The RHEINZINK panels create an interesting play of light and shadow. Using an integrated team approach that involves the designers, engineers, client, general contractor and subcontractors from the outset gets everyone on the same page, saving time and money.”
“We like the RHEINZINK because of the way it looks, its self-healing nature and its durability and lifespan. It also offers good recycled content,” adds Wirsching.
The campus will have over 3,000 employees when completed and will be totally self sustaining through it’s energy plant. The associates will have a full 24/7 cafeteria, health clinic, work-out area, quiet rooms, maternal feeding areas, and exterior walking paths.
MetalTech-USA is a premier distributor and fabricator of environmentally-friendly architectural metals. In partnership with RHEINZINK America, Allegheny Ludlum, Hussey Copper and others, MetalTech-USA is working to promote the sustainable use of metals in architecture. For more information, call 770-486-8825 or visit www.metaltech-usa.com.