ASID HEADQUARTERS, Washington, D.C.
Designers: James Benya, Deborah Burnett – Benya Burnett Consultancy
Photos: Eric Laignel, Perkins+Will
In 2016, ASID challenged its design team to become the world's first to achieve both LEED and WELL Platinum status for its 8,000-sq ft office, which occupies a portion of a top floor in downtown Washington. The architectural team readily addressed the normal challenges of tenant improvement work, including 8-ft 4-in. ceilings, existing windows and limited budget. The greatest challenge, however, was achieving the lighting credits and optional "optimizers" specified by the WELL certification. Both LEED and WELL are points-based systems awarding the same achievements, including the use of daylight, preservation of view, and automated control for lighting and shading systems. The WELL (v1) lighting requirements, however, often conflict with the energy saving requirements of LEED (v3). Specifically, WELL circadian lighting requires exceptional color quality, and exacting Melanopic and vertical surface light levels, which often require additional energy. Given the costs and color limitations of 2016 LED technology, the designers succeeded by specifying a combination of legacy light sources, modern LEDs, providing peer review for color reflectivity contribution values, and specifying lighting and controls to protect occupant sleep and encourage occupant workplace engagement. Employee workplace surveys, occupant interviews and educational sessions informed tuning control set points. Project results include 19% absenteeism reduction, while 25% of occupants report enhanced sleep quality, complemented by daily lighting energy savings of 82%. The ASID HQ became the world's first double Platinum project in 2017.