Architecture & Design, Construction, and Sustainability

Architecture firm wins platinum for downtown office

July 2, 2014
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Architecture firm wins platinum for downtown HQ
A look inside the open second-story space of the architecture and engineering firm TowerPinkster in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via towerpinkster.com

An architecture and engineering firm has resurrected a long-vacant downtown building into its home and a model of sustainable design.

“Lead by example”

TowerPinkster in Grand Rapids said this week that it has secured a Platinum LEED ID+C certification — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Interior Design and Construction — from the U.S. Green Building Council for its renovation of its two-story office space in the heart of downtown, at 4 Fulton St. E.

The 7,488-square-foot space takes up the building’s entire second floor and holds about 25 employees, with room for about 10 more for planned growth.

TowerPinkster re-opened the Locus Development-owned building, which needed extensive work after a roof collapse and poor overall state, last fall after the building had sat vacant for about 15 years.

TowerPinkster designed the project, and Pioneer Construction in Grand Rapids served as the project’s contractor.

Interphase Interiors supplied the space with furniture.

Although TowerPinkster has won LEED certification many times, this is the second time the firm has been awarded the Platinum-level certification, the highest possible level from the council.

“Many of our clients look to us to design green buildings, so when designing our new Grand Rapids office, it only made sense for us to lead by example,” said Arnold Mikon, president and CEO, TowerPinkster.

LEED investment

The project cost about $500,000-$600,000, said Katie Betts, marketing manager, TowerPinkster.

Betts said any time a company incorporates sustainable design into a space, there’s a payback over a certain period of time, even if it’s pricier in the beginning.

“We’re hooking up to an energy dashboard to see in real time how our efforts are saving over time,” Betts said. “It’s a real cost-saving application.”

Collaboration

TowerPinkster said the office features an open-office environment with flexible furniture systems from Haworth, as well as Haworth’s Workware, allowing users to share content wirelessly, including remotely, in real time.

The space also features a Telepresence Conference System for collaborating with off-site employees.

Offices

TowerPinkster, which also has a Kalamazoo office, has been in Grand Rapids for about 30 years, with its original office space being on the west side in the Riverview building on Front Avenue.

The firm moved into a temporary space in Byron Center while renovations took place at the Fulton Street space.

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