Sustainable Solutions and Design: Planning for a ‘Green’ Office

Sustainable Solutions and Design: Planning for a ‘Green’ Office 150 150 Patrick Ciccarelli Patrick Ciccarelli

In light of our recent office move, we sat down with CEO Patrick Ciccarelli to discuss some of the key ‘green’ elements and sustainable efforts that went into the construction, planning, and design of Varsity’s new office space.

  • What are some of the key ‘green’ features of Varsity Technologies’ new office?
    Key features include Cradle to Cradle products (items that have been recycled and are recyclable), LED and CFL lighting Energy Starfixtures and appliances, beautiful cork flooring from Duro Design, and an open floor plan allowing natural light to pour in, and reclaimed wood details throughout.
  • What are some of the obstacles you faced in your efforts to ‘green’ the new office?
    In looking at a new office space we faced a lot of challenges. We needed to find the right location with the right amenities, but also a building owner that met all of the green standards as well. That meant compliance with the latest standards for Title 24 for commercial buildings along with city requirements for being a green building. The greatest obstacles weren’t using green products but finding and getting acceptance of green products that were aesthetically pleasing. Lights manufactured out of Oregon, reclaimed wood desks, cork flooring, LED lights. All of these had to be identified by us and recommended to accomplish the look and feel we wanted.
  • What are the most significant improvements you’ve made?
    The most costly were the cork flooring and the lighting but they are worth it. What people will really see is how we opened the space to improve the quality of the work environment for all employees. By removing six private offices on the window line we opened stunning views out to the city.
  • Please explain other ways that Varsity will exercise sustainability in the new space.
    Like before our move, we will continue to look at ways we can reduce our energy consumption, lower or near eliminate paper, and composite and recycle. Our biggest effort will be to use more mass transit and car sharing services. MUNI stops in front of our building, BART is a block and a half away, and Zipcar is conveniently located in the garage of our building. With so many transit options it is easier for our employees to make more sustainable commuting choices.

We look forward to diving deeper and sharing more details about our ‘green’ approach to the design and construction of our new office.

Read Part 2 of the interview.