GSK's US Headquarters Awarded Double LEED Platinum in Philadelphia's Navy Yard

Posted on April 9, 2013

GSK’s US Headquarters is the newest addition to Philadelphia’s Navy Yard project to the south of downtown along the river. The project aligns with the company’s wellness and sustainability philosophies of “good working, good living” and “energy for performance”. The first goal was to create healthy working conditions for all employees. This includes the use of natural daylighting, fresh air, and eco friendly materials. Unique to this building though is that no employee has their own private office or assigned desk – not even the CEO. This non-traditional arrangement designed by Francis Cauffman provides employees with the ability to be flexible and work in whatever spaces they feel most comfortable, which could be in open meeting areas, adjustable stand desks, quiet rooms, lounges courtyards or even the green roof.

Arranged around a central, light-filled atrium and spiraling staircase, the four-story building features a high performance envelope to minimize energy use and maximize natural lighting. With the architecture designed by Robert A.M. Stern and sustainable engineering by Buro Happold, the 208,000 square foot building achieved LEED Platinum in both LEED CS (Core & Shell) as well as LEED CI (Commercial Interiors). An astronomical time clock and cloud sensor program is used to monitor the weather and conditions, which can trigger automatic shades to control glare and heat gain if needed. Smart meters track energy usage, while Energy Star lighting and equipment further minimize energy use.

The project is surrounded by a number of other high profile projects in the Navy Yard and is serviced by The Navy Yard Express Shuttle, which provides transportation to the City Center. “Our new work space is designed to inspire and connect people,” says Deirdre Connelly, President, North America Pharmaceuticals, GSK. “My teammates and I are energized by this new environment, where we can do our best work and collaborate without the constraints of office walls.”

Bridgette Meinhold, inhabitat.