Best Office

To expand its North American presence, BASF Corp. built a five-story, 325,000-sq-ft headquarters in suburban Florham Park, N.J. The company had previously been located in a smaller shared building nearby.

The $130-million structure, which took two years to build and can house 1,400 employees, could become the greenest office building in the state, as it aspires to LEED-Double-Platinum status. To achieve that goal, the building is oriented on a north-south axis, reducing electricity use by taking advantage of natural daylight to illuminate 75% of the offices. The upper three stories also cantilever out 20 ft on both facades, allowing shade to cool the lower floors. Rainwater collected on the roof and funneled into an on-site cistern means 40% less water needs to be piped in to the property. Native plants, requiring 85% less water than typical varieties, dot spacious outdoor sitting areas. Some 20% of all construction materials were recycled, and 10% of materials came from local suppliers.

In the interior, an in-floor heating and cooling system makes sure fresh air is channeled to all employees, who can also adjust temperature levels to their liking in their work zones, reducing overall energy consumption.

BASF also used many of its own products that it says are more eco-friendly than other products. Fly ash was mixed in with its cement, for example, to reduce the amount of both cement and water used. Porous pavers made of recycled glass line the courtyards, which reduce the stormwater runoff into local streams.

Such moves caught the attention of ENR New York judges, one of whom called this project "innovative and green-oriented."

The project took two years to complete and came in on time and under budget. Helping to keep costs down, work was conducted in two shifts. As a result, the firm was able to avoid paying the overtime salaries that would have been necessary if only single-shift workers were on the job. The move generated labor savings of $300,000.

Other efficiencies stemmed from the use of building information modeling software, which made it easier to coordinate above-ceiling mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, saving time during installations, BASF says.

BASF North America Headquarters, the Green at Florham Park, Florham Park, N.J.

Key Players

Owner: BASF Corp.

Developer: The Rockefeller Group Development Corp.

General Contractor: Turner Construction

Lead Designer: Rotwein and Blake Associated Architects

Structural Engineer: McNamara Salvia

Interior MEP Engineer: WSP Flack + Kurtz

Core & Shell Engineer: AKF Engineers

Submitted by: BASF Corp.

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