Hendy Associates gives Behr Paint Company a Branded-Office Environment that Unites Employees

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Alexis Ramos is a Content Creator and UX Consultant at Work Design Magazine. As someone who is naturally empathetic and creative, Alexis is passionate about leveraging technology to create positive change in the world. When it comes to "work design" topics, Alexis' interests lie heavily in biophilia and user-friendly technology that help make the workplace a seamless and stress-free place to be. When she's not generating SEO-optimized, witty pieces for us, you can usually find her spending time with her rescue greyhound, Cairo.

A look inside the Behr Paint Company branded-office environment, created by H. Hendy Associates, reveals the colorful vibrancy of Behr’s brand.

Behr Paint Company tapped Newport Beach-based interior architect firm, H. Hendy Associates (Hendy) to execute its vision for a branded-office environment that unites employees across brands and departments, delivers on its core values – quality, innovation, value, and performance – and empowers employees and clients alike to color outside the lines.

When was the project completed?

How much space (SF)?
230,000-square feet

Was this new or renovated space?
Renovated space

SF per person?
Nearly 260 square feet per person

How many employees?
The space can hold 830, they are currently at 594

What is the average daily population?

Is there a mobile work or work from home policy? If so, what percent of employees are remote workers?
There is one department in which this is currently being piloted.

Describe workspace types.
The new office features an activity-based working environment that enables employees to choose where to work based on tasks and preferred working styles. The headquarters is comprised of open, multi-use spaces for mobile working and impromptu meetings and conference rooms and smaller, enclosed meeting spaces infused with state-of-the-art business technology for highly-focused work. The office also provides employees with a home base complete with individual workstations.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?
Meeting spaces include formal meeting, training, and war rooms; ad-hoc workstations; data and innovation areas and the Behr Den, an indoor-outdoor coworking and event space.

The office also features two break areas – the Cub Den and Kilz Corner – connected by a nice wide walking path that represents Pacific Coast Highway. These areas include coffee stations, snacks, and varied seating arrangements, encouraging employees across brands and departments to connect.

What other kinds of support space or amenity spaces are provided?
A hallmark of the new space is a 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art research, and development laboratory featuring unique graphics, art, and access to natural light. Through Hendy’s creative vision, the Behr and Kilz laboratory has become a vibrant and inspirational space for the company’s R&D team to create unparalleled products and materials. Amenity spaces include a fitness center, juice bar, outdoor patio with a BBQ and fire pit, and an outdoor game area.

Has the project achieved any special certifications (i.e. LEED, WELL, Living Building Challenge)?
Sustainability is important to Behr and the team followed the California Green Code which is based on the LEED requirements.

What are the projects location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?
The new Santa Ana-based headquarters for Behr Paint Company is located within a business community in proximity to the 55 freeway.

Was the “C” Suite involved in the project planning and design process? If so, how?
The C Suite was involved in the process at project inception, which started with a visioning session through the construction of the office space. Their involvement was helpful as they each had something unique to bring to the process with thoughtful insights on how their business works. The design of Behr was based on this feedback.

What kind of programming or visioning activities were used?
The design philosophy of the new headquarters for Behr Paint Company originated out of an interactive visioning session between the interior architect, H. Hendy Associates and the facilities and leadership team at Behr. The objective of the visioning session was to establish Behr’s goals and objectives as they relate to the company’s business projections, brand image and design quality of the project.

H. Hendy Associates reviewed the company’s mission statement, future business demands, organizational structure, and desired corporate culture. Hendy also engaged the Behr leadership and facilities teams in hands-on activities that unveiled existing facilities issues, problems and overall existing standards established by Behr and how the company wants to be perceived in the future.

Were any pre-planning surveys conducted to get employee input?
Behr deploys employee surveys through “Top Workplace” so through discussions with their team Hendy was able to glean employee input and feedback.

Was there any other kind of employee engagement activities?
Move committees, visuals of building, workspaces, and events.

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?
The fitness center and yoga room were a part of the program. Hendy also studied and implemented circulation paths to encourage walking meetings. Sit-stand desks were also installed.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?
In designing the new headquarters for Behr, the interior architect and project team were tasked with “keeping it in the family” by incorporating other Masco Corporation entity products. These products, however, are typically for residential use, requiring the project team to alter and retrofit them for commercial purposes.

For specific examples, please describe the product, how it was used, and if it solved any specific problem.
To deliver on this objective, the design firm incorporated Masco Corporation entities Delta Faucet Company and KraftMaid, in Behr’s new space. Typically, residential products, H. Hendy Associates instructed KraftMaid on how to modify its cabinets to meet ADA requirements which resulted in custom configurations.

The new space also features Behr Paint Company products, including 184 Behr Paint colors, Behr wood stain, and sealer.

What products or service solutions are making the biggest impact in your space?
Ergonomic work stations, micro markets, food, and lunch truck days.

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?
Drawing inspiration from Behr and Kilz brand history, the office features two historic roads – Pacific Coast Highway and Route 66, symbolizing Behr’s California roots and Kilz’s origin in St. Louis, Missouri – to create a gateway that unites employees across brands and departments.

The design firm also created a functional entrance with a garage-like structure – nodding to Behr’s humble beginnings and the company’s first products that were originally mixed and produced in a family garage.

The lobby showcases a 1941 Woody – a replica of the car used to transport products from the Behr garage to clients in the company’s first year of business.

What is the most unique feature of the new space?
The Behr Den, a large indoor-outdoor patio is a novelty of the office environment and a key amenity for attracting and retaining talent. It is designed to comfortably fit 500 people and can be leveraged for events, team activities, coworking and more.

The space features a large ping pong table, varied indoor-outdoor seating arrangements and an outdoor kitchen with a barbeque area for team events. Engaging the local community, The Behr Den also features an art installation designed by Santa Ana College art students which feature 47 bears – representative of the inception of Behr in 1947.

Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?
To deliver on two of Behr’s key pillars – value and performance – Hendy created a health-promoting workplace environment designed to boost employee well-being. Key features include high exposed ceilings, natural light, a Zen garden-like atmosphere, and walking paths. The path that represents the Pacific Coast Highway connects the building corner-to-corner with two break areas and encourages movement along the 400-foot stretch. Other amenities like a fitness center and juice bar help the organization attract and retain employees and contribute to their health and wellness.

What kinds of technology products were used?
Room wizards were added to the conference rooms.

If the company relocated to a new space, what was the most difficult aspect of the change for the employees?
Up to a 5-mile longer commute.

How did the company communicate about the changes and moves?
Meetings, town halls, weekly emails, intranet portal, and newsletters.

Were there post-occupancy surveys? If so, what were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?
Yes. We received many positive comments on the improved collaboration opportunities by uniting employees across brands and departments under one roof.

If a change management program was in place, what were the most successful strategies?
Ongoing communication on our portal and the formation of 10 separate committees allowing employees to become involved in the relocation process.

Tell us more!
• Interior Architect: H. Hendy Associates
• Contractor: DPR Construction
• Building Tenant: Colliers International

Photography courtesy of Takata Photography, Video Courtesy of Behr Paint Co.

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