2019 People's Choice Awards

    The nominations are in, and our team of evaluators are working on their recommendations as we speak, but now it's time for you to place your vote!  Here are all of our nominees.  You can review and then click here to vote for your favorite.  All votes need to be case by noon on Friday, April 12th.  And join us at this year's Awards of Excellence to see who wins in all categories!  Register today!

    OPERATIONAL INNOVATION: These nominees have furthered their workplace through innovations that are not related to renovations and/or construction.

    BCBSMA Enterprise Asset Management (nominated by Colonial Systems):  Colonial Systems worked with the asset management team at BCBSMA to migrate their storage as they wanted to transition the managing of its enterprise-wide excess assets from an internal warehousing and staff approach to a completely outsourced and variable cost model.

    Somerville Main Streets (nominated by Eversource): Eversource Small Business Direct Install Energy Efficiency division worked with the City of Somerville’s Office of Sustainability and Rise Engineering to do a Main Street effort. The effort was focused on very small businesses, sometimes referred to as ”micro-businesses”. The Mainstreet effort in Somerville affected approximately 200 small businesses. The project resulted in a reduction of 1,003,277 kWh. Incentives up to 100% of the project costs were provided by Eversource. The incentive is funded by customer contribution to the Energy Efficiency Conservation Fund. The average project cost was $3,209, with an average savings of 5,016 kwh. The overall program cost for this effort was $0.62/kwh. This project was very successful. 

    Mathworks Implementation of a CMMS for Multi-Campus Use (nominated by Cannistraro): Due to growth, MathWorks had to find a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) that provided alignment for the over 1.2 million square feet of space, a costly but necessary move into the technology-based future of facility management. The selection of this software began with a need for work order management, centralized facility document storage, contracts storage, scheduling preventive maintenance plans and creating and monitoring internal work orders. Today, MathWorks utilized this system for over 2,500 work orders, managing 800 assets, 300 vendors and 20+ cellular devices.

    BEST PRACTICES: LARGE PROJECT (OVER 75,000 SF):  These nominees include best practices in construction or renovation for projects or affected area over 75,000 square feet.

    Abt Associates Workplace of the Future (nominated by Chapman Construction/Design):  After 52 years at their Wheeler Street location, Abt Associates needed an office that could better accommodate the workflow of their growing Cambridge, MA team. Not only was this space inefficient, it was a hindrance to employee collaboration and company workflow. So they began a three-year multi-phase change initiative to provide more efficient space, improved technology, and enhanced employee experience while minimizing risk and disruption to their business and employees.  They now occupy a 90,000-square-foot “Workplace of the Future”, a space that maximizes employee productivity by increasing their health and wellness and fostering collaboration among Abt’s 3,000 global employees.

    Wentworth Institute of Technology Center for Engineering, Innovation & Sciences (nominated by STV|DPM):  Since obtaining university status in 2017, Wentworth Institute of Technology’s greatest accomplishment has been the construction and delivery of its new Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences (CEIS). The $55M facility is part of a multi-year, $300M improvement plan and is one of many campus renovations/upgrades that has taken place during WIT’s current President, Zorica Pantic’s 15-year tenure. The four level, 78,000 SF facility houses space for Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Experiential Learning Programs, a lecture hall, manufacturing laboratories, and the Office of the Provost. WIT’s CEIS was designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification v.4 and the building is intended to be a visible demonstration of sustainable design. 

    Microsoft New England Research & Development Center (NERD) (nominated by Sasaki Associates, Inc.):  The Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (NERD) is a cornerstone of innovation in Kendall Square. This location, one of Microsoft’s six R&D sites, engineers multi-platform software products. With increasing pressure on recruitment and retention, as well as a tight real estate market in Cambridge, Microsoft chose to fundamentally rethink its sense of place at the NERD Center.  How do you design a space where people can concentrate while still being part of a team? A layered approach supports different levels of interaction and focus. This project utilized a highly complex delivery schedule to maintain continuous operations. Phasing required multiple packages from the design team, a rolling approval process with the landlord and city officials, and continuous feedback from staff to improve processes. 

    Boston University, Myles Standish Hall Renovation (nominated by MDS|Miller Dyer Spears):  Myles Standish Hall is an historic 1926 residence hotel with an abutting Annex located at the intersection of Beacon Street and Bay State Road in Boston’s Kenmore Square. Studies indicating the building’s envelope was at risk of failure created a near crisis and necessitated the building’s renovation. This project required overcoming many challenges. These included maintaining occupancy of the building during construction, defining the scope of the renovation and reducing risk to BU, replacing 80% of the overall facade while preserving its historic character, modernizing the outdated interior, maximizing bed count and space use efficiency while making the facility fully accessible, linking Myles Standish Hall to its abutting Annex with new internal connections on all levels, and creating a vibrant living-learning community for students, all while responding expeditiously to the project’s urgency. The 203,000 sf renovation was delivered using a design/build approach with elements of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). The project is considered by BU as a benchmark in reducing risk and maximizing value to the University. Upon completion, the project team returned a 6% savings from the GMP back to BU. 

    Confidential Project (nominated by Unispace):  This global investment management company is working on a multi-phased project, renovating their 18-floor headquarters to create a sophisticated workplace that strategically connects groups and fosters collaboration.  This client has a time-honored tradition of serving a wide range of institutional clients around the world. As their business model is changing, they want a workplace that reflects their collegial and collaborative culture and will bring them into the future.  The team worked together, floor by floor, to design and construct a modern, sophisticated atmosphere that creates spaces where various groups can connect and support this financial institution as they evolve.

    ClearMotion Headquarters Relocation (nominated by Timberline Construction):  ClearMotion Inc., a global automotive technology company, has relocated their new corporate headquarters to accommodate a growing product portfolio and demand from their customer base. The 120,000 square foot phased renovation fully transformed the space into a modern office and research and development facility. It involved a two-story renovation of open concept office space, huddle rooms, conference areas, modern research and development laboratories, a lobby and cafeteria. The facility has six major laboratories to enhance ClearMotion’s advanced industry technology in road sensing software. Timberline constructed a vehicle laboratory, prototype machine shop, dynamometer laboratory, design laboratory, electrical laboratory and materials laboratory. Lead architectural designer on this project, Shannon Sickler states, “From the moment Timberline Construction was brought on to the ClearMotion project, it was clear that their team’s knowledge and confidence was the perfect match for this project. 

    Bentley University, Multipurpose Arena (nominated by Acentech):  Bentley University’s new 76,000 SF Multipurpose Arena offers a state-of-the-art venue to support a variety of events that bring the Bentley community together. In addition to hosting the university’s NCAA Division I hockey team, the arena is designed to serve functions such as concerts, career fairs, orientations and alumni events. Tiered seating for 2,000 surrounds the rink which can be transformed into a large open floor area with at-grade access for even larger events.  To meet these ambitious goals with a limited budget, the design, construction and client team established a dynamic design process to facilitate decision-making and design review. The team emphasized energy efficiency, in what is typically an inefficient building type, with a robust envelope, efficient mechanical systems and creative system synergies. In addition to recapturing waste heat to augment a number of mechanical processes, a 500kw photovoltaic array on the arena roof comprised of 1,400 panels provides more than 40% of the building’s energy use. Bentley Arena is the first standalone ice arena to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

    PTC New Global Headquarters (nominated by Margulies Perruzzi):  PTC, a global provider of technology that transforms how companies design, manufacture, operate, and service things in a smart connected world, recently relocated its global headquarters from suburban Needham to a new 17-story, 400,000 SF office tower in Boston’s Seaport District. PTC’s vision for future growth drove a business transformation for the new 250,000 SF, technology-rich headquarters and a dramatic shift to a new way of working with an activity-based, open office and free address concept for the workspace. PTC’s three project goals for its new headquarters were to: 1. elevate the PTC brand and profile of the company; 2. deliver space that attracts and inspires talent and taps the potential of its urban setting; and 3. create a world-class technology experience for customers.PTC recognized the opportunity to meld its role as a technology innovator to make its headquarters a global model for excellence in the use of “disruptive” workplace technology. At the heart of PTC’s new transformational headquarters is the Corporate Experience Center (CXC), an interactive showcase for PTC’s innovative technology, including its Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) platforms. PTC’s new headquarters houses 1,000 of its 6,000 worldwide employees across all company operations.

    Citizens Bank Corporate Campus (nominated by Elkus Manfredi and MovePlan):  In 2016, Citizens Bank had a major decision to make. The company had several older properties with upcoming lease expirations that were in need of costly renovations. After an extensive cost analysis, Citizens decided to purchase a parcel of land in Johnston, Rhode Island, to create a campus setting that would be home to more than 3,000 colleagues. They knew the complex needed to deliver the best possible experience to those employees, one that fosters colleagues’ interactions within a balance of collaborative and quiet work spaces, supports healthy lifestyles, and provides a daily connection to a rejuvenating natural environment—all program elements key to Citizens’ focus on employee wellness. Buildings include Citizens’ first purpose-built contact center; two four-story office building wings; and an amenities building with a 700-seat cafeteria, fitness facility, and dedicated wellness clinic. The fifth building serves as the complex’s main entrance and connector, providing a central circulation function as well as hosting a bank branch, learning center, art gallery, coffee shop, and informal seating areas. 

    John Hancock/Manulife Boston Consolidation (nominated by Workspace Strategies):  John Hancock/Manulife consolidated its 4,200 Boston-based staff into the Back Bay during 2018, completely vacating its 465K RSF building in South Boston. This project was completed in under one year and required exceptionally close team work between the Business, Corporate Real Estate, IT, HR, and the Strategy/Change Management staff. Benefits included bringing all Boston-based employees to one location (two connected buildings) in the Back Bay, space efficiency improved by over 30%, including significant reductions in square feet per seat and square feet per headcount, eliminating 400K net RSF of office space from the portfolio, reducing long-term vacancy in all buildings by up to 25%, and reducing the real estate burden to the business by over $30M per annum.  The project included moving over 3,200 staff in five months, impacting 28 floors in three buildings, touching over 1.04M RSF, changing space standards for the majority of the organization, moving into unassigned seating for almost all staff, which included the officers, who also moved out of private space, ugrading the technology support with the installation of 3,200 high-definition monitors and 2,600 universal docking stations, and more.

    Reliant Medical Office Building (nominated by Dellbrook/JKS):  This project involved the total renovation of the former Babcock Power Building into a 120,000 square foot medical office building for Reliant Medical Group. The 4-story Worcester building’s adaptive reuse featured significant demolition and remediation, repair to the existing masonry exterior and total renovation of the interior finishes for medical office space and clinical treatments.  Reliant, which serves over 320,000 patients annually and is one of Worcester’s largest employers, had traditionally operated out of leased spaces. In an effort to minimize real estate costs, Reliant decided to move from leased space to owned space. Providers from 5 different locations now occupy this new space at 5 Neponset Street. By combining these facilities into one, Reliant Medical Office Building offers a wide range of services, including primary care, pediatrics, MRI imagining and mammography. In addition to the operational efficiencies of consolidating leased spaces into owned spaces, the patient experience has improved due to the fact that Reliant can now offer many services under one roof. 

    Juniper Networks (nominated by Fort Point Project Management):  Going from cubicals to more open office space, Juniper refreshed their 150,000 SF office in Westford, leading to a design that resulted in increased collaborating and efficiencies amongst staff and operations, while also allowing for future growth. Previously scattered across 3 partial floors, Juniper renovated its space and restacked to take 2 entire floors, totaling 150,000 SF.

    BEST PRACTICES: MEDIUM PROJECT (20,000-75,000 SF):  These nominees include best practices in construction or renovation for projects or affected area between 20,000 and 75,000 square feet.

    Circle Health Dracut (nominated by Maugel Architects):  Circle Health Dracut is Lowell General Hospital’s first ground-up satellite facility for Circle Health. The satellite facilities are part of the LGH’s strategic plan to extend the reach of LGH patient care into the communities surrounding Lowell. The LGH vision is to provide patients with “complete connected care” by linking patient records throughout their healthcare system, no matter where the patient receives the care and from whom, whether it be primary care and specialists at a satellite facility or at the LGH hospital campus. 

    Desktop Metal (nominated by Unispace):  To help shape the future for this ground-breaking start-up, the team created a collaborative and flexible mecca that empowers teams to revolutionize the 3D printing industry. Desktop Metal creates cost-effective and accessible 3D metal printers unlike anything on the market. As a fast-growing company vying for top industry talent, they needed a space that reflects their vibrant brand, facilitates growth and fits the diverse workstyles of their people. As an R&D-focused company, workstations are adjacent to a testing and prototyping lab. Large glass windows connect these spaces and serve as a conduit for cross-team engagement.  Conceptually, the space references the metal that is the company’s foundation as well as raw materials such as wood, brick, and steel I-Beams as accents. Soft home-like furnishings add balance to the industrial look, while dynamically angled lighting creates interest and movement, offering a welcoming and inspiring feel.

    Experian (nominated by Unispace):  Like Experian’s approach to credit reporting, the project team leveraged technology and data to create a new workplace that is welcoming and refined, while connecting employees and visitors to the company’s global identity. Experian uses data to create opportunities for consumers, businesses and society, so the team knew that their digital integration uniBIM process would mesh perfectly to create a space that gives them room to grow and where they can connect with clients to showcase their global brand. The project was completed entirely using TI dollars so we saved costs by reusing existing workstations, while skillfully incorporating lighting and art to create focal points throughout the office. Statement light fixtures add energy to the café, giant Hush lights help with acoustics in the open collaboration zones, and accent lighting in the waiting area adds sophistication to create a residential feel. To further bring in a local context, ArtLifting, an organization that commissions art from artists that are impacted by homelessness or disability, provided focal art throughout.

    Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals (nomnated by Maugel Architects):  Maugel Architects designed the tenant fit-out of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals’ new 30,000 SF research and development facility in Hopkinton. Located at 35 Parkwood Drive, Spring Bank is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of a novel class of therapeutics using a Small Molecule Nucleic Acid Hybrid chemistry platform. Their new space features multiple laboratories and office workspace. The modern lab spaces use the latest technologies in life science design with laboratories for chemistry, biology, analytics, instrumentation, and other specialty labs

    TechTarget (nominated by Unispace):  TechTarget hired Unispace to help them consolidate from three floors to two in an effort to better use their space and create a more collaborative environment for staff. To help the consolidation, the design team reduced each person’s individual footprint from high-walled individual 6x6 cubes to full open plan benching. While each person still has a dedicated workstation, the open plan only features a handful of offices. Workspace is broken up with a variety of collaboration spaces featuring lounge furniture as well as tables and chairs that enable employees to get up and move away from their desk. 

    Curran Management LLC (nominated by Dacon):  Specializing in commercial property development, Curran Management wished to transition a preexisting 1980’s building to mixed use thereby attracting executive clients. An unconventional structure presented modification challenges in electrical reconfiguration, ADA compliance and design modernization. Additionally, 48% of the 6.5-acre site was covered in wetlands which limited parking capacity and traffic flow.

    Home Base Veteran & Family Care (nominated by Margulies Perruzzi):  Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, and related conditions for veterans, service members, and their families around the globe. The organization needed an expanded facility to double its capacity and respond to growing demand for its programs and services.  The project goal was to design a healing, transformative space specifically tailored to patients’ needs. The high-performance design concept creates a behavioral health environment that provides flexible space with robust technology, promotes a comfortable “living room” feel, and maximizes privacy for patients. The clinical side includes 20 individual therapy rooms, three large group therapy rooms, and a patient/family lounge.  All therapy rooms are unassigned, online-bookable consult spaces for clinicians, who readily deviated from the private office model in favor of sharing treatment and respite areas with patients. Counseling rooms have a residential, less clinical vibe, and lounge spaces are conveniently located for patients amidst clusters of consult rooms. Three, glass-fronted large group therapy rooms feature privacy glass that turns opaque at the flip of a switch. 

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP (nominated by Fort Point Project Management):  For Kirkland & Ellis, an international law firm with the goal of providing “the highest quality legal services available anywhere,” the design focus for their new office space in Boston was necessarily one of understated elegance. A location on the upper floors of the 200 Clarendon Street tower in Back Bay further accentuated the need for a sleek, refined aesthetic that would highlight, rather than compete, with the stunning views offered from all sides.

    Duck Creek Technologies (nominated by SGA):  When Duck Creek, a highly innovative software company that prides itself on powering people to shape the future of insurance, acquired a local startup they needed a new workplace that would redefine the culture for merging companies. The goal was to create a one-of-a-kind design that fosters entrepreneurship, ignites collaboration and catalyzes disruptive innovation. The new 30,000 square foot corporate headquarters has become home to “Launch Pad” a dynamic, customer focused, flex innovation center and a new employee café, “The Commons”; as well as an open office environment with multiple opportunities for experiential design installations and collaborations.  Duck Creek also wanted to highlight their key clients throughout their space. To accomplish this, SGA designed a blade installation that illustrated the company’s logo from one perspective and a coded configuration of interchangeable client logos from the other. The entire space is a testimony to Duck Creek’s openness, agility and ingenuity.

    BEST PRACTICES: SMALL PROJECT (UNDER 20,000 SF):  These nominees include best practices in construction or renovation for projects or affected under 20,000 square feet.

    Autodesk 3F Expansion (nominated by STV|DPM):  Autodesk, a global leader in 3D design and make software, secured an additional 18,000 square feet of expansion space. The location houses the Autodesk Technology Center in Boston, more commonly known as the BUILD (Building Innovation, Learning, and Design) Space – a versatile and collaborative workspace with a focus on the future of innovation in the building industry. The expansion includes an executive briefing center, several multi-purpose education classrooms (including a KIVA) and events spaces as well as a unique 2,000-sf bridge connector space to Falcon Street within the IDB. Moreover, the bridge infrastructure was developed and designed to be robust enough to house a BUILD expansion in the future.  The expansion realized Autodesk’s vision of connecting these areas back to the BUILD Space and developed an interesting and unique design for tying the bridge space into the overall program. Building 23, 3rd Floor East has become a favorite internal destination and dramatically improved the overall Autodesk Employee Experience. ?

    Fidelity Bank Front Street Worcester (nominated by Maugel Architects):  At Fidelity Bank’s new Worcester location, Maugel not only designed the aesthetics of a new space, but also brought a new branded branch template to life. Fidelity’s goal for this space was to create a modern, welcoming and fun environment for their staff and customers to enjoy. Pulling inspiration from their new logo and branding package, Maugel worked side by side with Fidelity and their graphics team, to select fabrics, furniture, paints, flooring and counters to become the new interior finish standards for all new Fidelity Bank branch renovations. The 3,000 square foot tenant fit-out, located on the building’s first floor, utilizes the building’s large exterior windows and high ceilings to give a bright, open feel to the bank. A new teller pod provides a modern twist to traditional teller lines, creating a welcoming and more interactive platform for customers and staff. 

    The Trustees (nominated by Unispace):  The country’s first preservation and conservation organization, The Trustees is a non-profit that works to protect landscapes and landmarks throughout Massachusetts. The Trustees needed to expand their workspace—creating an environment that connects employees and visitors to the natural and cultural places they care for. 

    Exchange at 100 Federal (nominated by Perkins+Will):  Situated adjacent to Post Office Square and Norman B. Leventhal Park, “The Exchange” aims to complement the Square’s urban vitality. The Exchange achieves this goal of engaging the community by providing a new public realm and civic amenity. Typical financial district blocks have solid ground floors and overlook opportunities for public circulation and gathering. “The Exchange”, however, establishes a new paradigm for Boston’s office buildings. The landscape is a mirror of the pavilion, thrusting forward to the corner of Franklin Street like a ledge emerging from the ground. The prow of the landscape echoes that of the pavilion, creating a gently elevated perch. The Exchange renews the Ground Floor plane of 100 Federal, previously private for tenant access alone, by opening to the public an interior passage from Federal to Congress streets. Renovated elevator lobbies utilizing lighter, brighter materials helps bring daylight further in the depth of the lobby.

    You can vote here!  Remember, voting closes at noon on Friday, April 12th!  And register today, so you can find out who wins in all categories!

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