Bick Group, a design-build firm specializing in mission critical facilities and intelligent buildings, or i- Buildings®, as Bick calls them, recently converted a 49,000 square feet former printing company building into its new headquarters. Bick Group, who acted as its own design-build contractor for the project, transformed what was part open-warehouse print shop, part office space into a into a state-of-the-art, showcase i-Building®. An i-Building® is one that combines a flexible, user-friendly building infrastructure with intelligent, well-integrated building controls and management systems. As a Tate Access Floors dealer, Bick Group understood that a key component in it's flexible modular infrastructure was a Tate access floor system combined with Tate's underfloor service distribution system.
The structure distributes modular, plug-and-play power, voice and data cabling, as well as HVAC delivery below a Tate raised access floor platform. Movable, adjustable HVAC floor diffusers not only save energy by letting air rise naturally instead of forcing it from ceiling vents, they also provide flexibility and better comfort for occupants. An environmentally-friendly Facility Management System automatically controls multiple building systems so that they function in an intelligent and complimentary manner. The system automatically regulates energy use based on daylight, weather changes and employee presence and space usage. Frank Bick, Executive Vice President, explains that "Because our Facility Management System dims or turns off lighting based on the amount of available daylight, our average power consumption for lighting is about .34 watts per square. Compared to the typical building's 1 to 1.5 watts per square foot, we're using a lot less energy for lighting, not to mention the associated reduction in cooling load from not having the lights on." According to Rick Tinucci, Senior Vice President, using a well integrated Facility Management System, an under-floor ventilation system, and natural lighting has resulted in a 25 percent annual savings in building operating costs. Plus, the inherently flexible building services distribution components under the raised access floor renders office moves, additions, and changes about one fourth as expensive as those in traditional buildings. The new headquarters was designed and constructed to achieve a Gold level certification under the US Green Building Council's LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system.