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With a strong emphasis on sustainable design the Autodesk fit-out proves an apt inclusion

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As a hub for digital media and a benchmark for sustainable design, Solaris attracted forward-thinking tenants at the spearhead of the industry. One such company was Autodesk, a world leader in 3-D design, manufacturing, construction, building, engineering and entertainment software.

Moving into Solaris brought the opportunity to create the company's first green office in the Asia-Pacific, and seventh worldwide, says Lynelle Cameron, director of sustainability at Autodesk.

"The new office is seeking LEED Platinum Certification for Commercial Interiors. This is the highest possible certification level in this category, and, if received, would be Singapore's first such award. The facility is also hoping to achieve Green Mark Platinum certification from Singapore's Building and Construction Authority."

The fit-out was undertaken by the Singaporean arm of international design practice Aedas Interiors, with Eric Magno as project designer. Autodesk asked Aedas Interiors to approach the project from a strategic workplace angle – involving space planning, the attraction and retention of top performers, the health of staff, and ecological footprint. It was an egalitarian process, shared between client, staff and designers, says Magno.

"Working with strategic consultancy DEGW and the client, we ensured every aspect of the project would be appropriate to current and envisioned future work flows. The underlying components of the design and planning seem simple, but resulted from a long and complex gestation period."

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Autodesk occupies levels four, five and six of Solaris. Level four is the reception floor, where most of the conference rooms are located. These are divided by operable walls and each can combine with another conference room, breakout area and the play room for large-scale events.

Further conference rooms are on level five, including the telepresence room, with the sixth floor half occupied. Each level has private offices, breakout and meeting rooms, laboratories and collaboration areas. Most have open workstations.

Levels four and five are connected by a feature internal staircase – the core element in these new premises. It is a visual as well as a physical link, essential to the cohesiveness of the entire space and by extension, to a sense of team togetherness.

General office spaces have Echo Panel tack boards and Wall Talker writing walls to aid impromptu discussions. Aside from these usable walls, the general office space has eco-friendly workstations and chairs from Herman Miller.

"Exposing the building elements in the offices calls to mind the client's 3-D software products and the issues of design and construction that its customers deal with every day," Magno says.

Appropriately, Aedas Interiors used the client company's Autodesk Revit Architecture software on the project.

"I think our biggest challenge was designing the office to achieve LEED Platinum accreditation," says Magno. "We achieved valuable extra points by specifying low-emission finishes, efficient lighting and sanitary fittings. In addition, we recycled ceiling boards and light fittings for back-of-house rooms and the centre spine, where the main duct runs."

Cameron says, "Although our overall building stock and associated carbon footprint is relatively small compared to many other large companies, Autodesk strives to implement best practices to consistently measure, manage and reduce its impact. With more than 40% of global energy use attributable to buildings, together with our customers we face the challenge of designing high-performance office spaces and optimising the operation of our buildings.

"Relying on Building Information Modelling and our company's portfolio of sustainable design solutions makes it easy for us to demonstrate eco-responsible decision making."

First published date: 12 July 2011

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Credit List

Location Autodesk, North Tower, Solaris, Singapore
Architect Aedas Interiors
Interior design Aedas Interiors, design team, Phillips Connor, Eric Magno, Tong Lee Ang, Tiwe Tan, Neha Tandon, Winy Wijaya
Construction OSS Technologies
Civil engineer Web Structures
Mechanical and electrical engineer CPG Consultants
Project manager, quantity surveyor Faithful + Gould
Lighting designer Lighting Design Partnership AV
Consultant RED Technologies
Acoustics consultant Acviron Acoustics Consultants
Carpet Vibrations, In Motion, Currents by Tandus Asia
Hardware Dorma
Wall treatments Fabric panelling from Infinity; acoustic panelling, Echo Panel by Woven Image; whiteboard wall covering by Goodrich Global
Veneers Toseva Timber
Lighting Zumtobel Spheros, Modoluce Discovolante, Erco from Bizlink Associates
Timber flooring Palm Wood Enito from Goodrich Global
Workstations Abak by Herman Miller from Xtra
Office chairs Caper, Mirra by Herman Miller from Xtra
Reception furniture Tacchini Moon from Stylecraft
Meeting room furniture Filo table from Bene; Roll'n'Meet table by Kusch+Co from Xtra
Collaboration area furniture Parcs from Bene; Orangebox by Tarn and Point from BW