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GREEN SCENE: Humanistic and Sustainable

New York
GREEN SCENE: Humanistic and Sustainable
JJFD's JJ Falk in her office
When designing facilities, people who will occupy the space must be a central element of planning, says JJ Falk, managing principal of architecture and interior design firm JJFD. This humanistic design naturally involves sustainability—infrastructure, air, circulation, and natural light, are conducive to human activities. She points out that studies show a 15-25% decrease in turnover and increases in productivity when sustainability, energy efficiency, natural light, and worker comfort are design priorities. The environment impacts well being, energy, and job satisfaction, she adds, and once a job is completed, the better people feel in a space and the greater the role they play as a company profit center.
Samsung's network call center in South Carolia, designed by JJFD
Her design for Samsung's network call center in South Carolina maximized natural light from large windows and skylights; the project also included locally sourced finishes and furniture, as well as Greenguard-certified products. Many clients are pursuing sustainable design, but not necessarily LEED accreditation, like client JPMorgan Chase, whom JJ has worked with at One Chase Manhattan Plaza, 4 New York Plaza, 245 Park Avenue, and MetroTech Center—all fast-track projects which aren't conducive to certification paperwork. Though LEED-less, these clients still think green—JJ says they're more conscious than before about the sustainable attitude of the construction process, sensitive about energy use and water conservation, and use more natural products and recycled materials in their spaces.