3D Modeling Lends to Sustainable, Showcase Design at GPI

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When GPI moved into their Rockville, Maryland location, they knew exactly what they wanted from the new space. As a leading design engineering firm, GPI envisioned an office that spoke to their culture and core values: engineering and design sustainability.

The completed design showcases several environmentally sound elements, as well as plenty of room to welcome clients, partners, and friends. GPI’s Educational programs are hosted in private classroom space that can also be opened up for larger office functions.

GPI is the first engineering firm in the state of Maryland to achieve LEED Platinum certification for its own space. Design functions that led to the award include:

  • 80 percent of the office has access to daylight and views
  • 100 percent use of “green” power
  • 41 percent water savings through high efficiency flush valves, waterless urinals, and low-flow water fixtures
  • 81.8 percent of construction and demolition waste diverted from landfills through recycling and salvage measures
  • Office materials are made of 29 percent recycled, 38.7 percent regionally-sourced, and 79.3 percent certified wood content
  • Enhanced commissioning by an independent third party
  • A recycling program for paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic

Obtaining LEED Platinum did present certain design challenges, particularly in lighting.

Said Patrick Euler, GPI Electrical Engineer, “Meeting GPI’s intended outcome of LEED certification became a challenge when designing a lighting plan because of the balance of functionality and sustainability. Deliberate specifications for general, accent, and task lighting were such that lighting levels and reduction in wattage were addressed to assist in achieving LEED compliance.”

They created a lighting environment that is both pleasing and sustainable with LED bulbs, reduced wattage fluorescent lamps, digital technology occupancy sensors, and low voltage technologies that allowed for easy installation and modification.

Open ceiling structures showcase engineering infrastructure including fan-powered VAV boxes, exhaust fans with fabric duct socks, a chilled beam cassette, cable trays, control circuitry, and photo sensors.

GPI utilized their own in-house 3D modeling laser scanning technology to create Revit models. They overlaid their drawings with the 3D models, allowing them to determine how to display ceiling mounted systems.

Said Arif Hanif, GPI Mechanical Engineer, “The mechanical design philosophy was to be an extension of the architecture. Ductwork, air devices, and equipment were precisely located and coordinated with other trades to provide symmetry and balance.”

Design and construction teams met weekly to maintain open communication throughout the project, and they collaborated closely with manufacturers for input on equipment. As a result of this transparency, the space not only meets GPI’s goals, but it is also a home that lends itself to continued success.

Said Lew Brode, GPI Senior Vice President, “Our new space has impacted us in ways we didn’t foresee. Our staff is working in an incredibly beautiful, sustainable, and professional office. We are proud to be able to host project meetings and educational programs here. It even has an impact on the new talent we draw.”

Lew adds, “Obtaining our LEED Platinum certification shows that GPI is committed to what we say and teach. We are truly walking the walk.”

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