Location: United States, West Valley City
Area: 7542 m2
Photographs: Alan Blakely Photography
Petzl America just completed their new North American Headquarters in Utah, which is on track for LEED platinum certification. Petzl’s business is based on verticality and light, and the building is a metaphor for these concepts. The overall design incorporates a long list of sustainable features including a roof mounted photo voltaic array, natural daylight throughout all areas of the building including the distribution warehouse, bioswales on site to capture the rain water from the roof and re-charge the ground water, a plug-in for electric cars, recycled materials and products purchased within a 500 mile radius of the building’s geographical location.
The company has a dog-friendly policy that allows employees to bring their dogs to work, enhancing employee satisfaction for the work place. An exterior dog run was included in the site design, along with a community garden for employees with raised planting beds. The site is located adjacent to a TRAX stop, and the company encourages employees to use mass transit to work as well as bike to work. The building design includes a room for interior bike storage and a bike shop for employees to work on their bikes.
Paul Petzl, the founder of the company, along with Roody Rasmussen, Sr. Vice President for Petzl America, visited ancient Peruvian ruins as part of a Petzl Foundation trip, prior to the start of the design process. The ruins were inspiring, and helped get the creative direction established for the overall design concept. The exterior of the building is clad with a multi-dimensional GFRC cladding, designed to inspire the sandstone cliffs of southern Utah.
The amount of daylight available throughout the space, along with a strategically placed interior courtyard, minimizes the need for artificial lighting during daytime hours. All lights are controlled with occupancy sensors, and the entire building’s energy use is monitored with a sophisticated Building Automated System (BAS).
Office spaces are designed with flexible office layouts with casual collaboration spaces scattered throughout, both interior and exterior. Low flow plumbing fixture were also selected to minimize the amount of water used throughout the building.
Petzl was also committed to sustainable practices during the construction process, with construction waste minimized and separated for recyclable materials, as to not generate more stress on the local landfills. Petzl’s commitment to healthy spaces for their employees was also a major component in selecting interior materials, finishes and furniture with low volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), to minimize toxic fumes and chemicals through-out the space.
There is a 75 foot tall tower associated with the offices, and houses a 55 foot tall climbing wall–one of the tallest vertically in Utah. The training tower creates an exciting indoor environment, and has views at every level.
The warehouse portion has a high tech computer driven “Perfect Pic” inventory system—which is the hub of Petzl’s North American product distribution system. This is another indication of Petzl’s commitment to sustainability in making the work place more efficient, safe and enjoyable for the employees of the company.
Petzl had the vision to look at this building as more than “just a place to work”, and through the company’s values and respect for the environment and the desire to provide a healthy place for its workers and visitors, created a building that exemplifies sustainability for their North American Headquarters; a solid statement for the state of Utah and our commitment to sustainable building and design.