WRT was selected to create the interior design for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's new headquarters in Morristown, NJ. The Foundation will be the lead tenant in a four-story office building being developed and built by the Morristown Parking Authority as a model green building. Founded in 1974, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's mission, according to the organization's website, is to "support and encourage those educational, cultural, social and environmental values that contribute to making our society more humane and our world more livable." The new building is targeting a LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) rating of Gold, with the possibility of obtaining a Platinum rating.
The project includes the design for 13,000 SF of office space. A central feature of WRT's design is the inclusion of a biowall, a system invented by Canadian Alan Darlington. Dr. Darlington will be collaborating with WRT on the biowall, which has only been implemented in one other structure in the United States (the Biohabitats, Inc. headquarters in Baltimore). The hydroponic system, with plants suspended from the wall, creates a feature that is at once aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. The wall is a biofilter, where CO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are removed from the air before it is circulated throughout the building.
"The biowall seems to fit into exactly what the client wants for their new space: to speak to their mission as an organization that funds the arts, education, and the environment," said WRT architect Sam Robinson, AIA, LEED® AP, who is serving as director for the project. "It is also an excellent demonstration of biophillic design. We found out, after proposing it to the client, that the Dodge Foundation has funded work on biophillic design, including that of Steven Kellert, the professor of social ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, who has written widely on the subject. So it seems like a natural fit."
"WRT understood our goals right away," said Dodge Foundation president David Grant, "and we appreciate the creativity and flexibility they are bringing to the project. We hope and trust that visitors to the new office will not only learn something about environmental design but also be inspired to take the case for going green back to their own organizations."
Other WRT personnel working on the project include Principal Charles Tomlinson, AIA, CSI, CPT, LEED® AP, project architect Antonio Sofan, LEED® AP, and staff architect Mounir Tawadrous. In addition, the architecture and planning firm Minno & Wasko are working as subconsultants to WRT.
WRT also designed a green roof for the building, which will reduce rainfall runoff up to 80 to 90 percent, mitigate heat island effects, and create habitats for butterflies and birds. – less–ZoomInfo