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World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Cape Cod, United States

Thursday 07 Aug 2008

Not just for Christmas...

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designLAB create a new home for International Fund for Animal Welfare in Cape Cod 

designLAB architects has revealed their design for the new World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare(IFAW). IFAW's mission is to "provide a better world for animals and people" and the design incorporates this concept with a sustainable but fitting and attractive design for the Cape Cod project.

The 54,000 sq ft design is striving for a LEED Gold certification by minimising the negative impact of the building on its surroundings. Creating a new home for a unique organization such as IFAW required thinking about a different kind of workplace. Because of IFAW’s commitment to the environment, incorporating water conservation, habitat restoration and energy efficiency into the workplace was as important as efficiency, value and other typical office design concerns.

Sustainable features include the reconstruction & clean up of a contaminated site; the restoration of habitat with native shrubs, trees, and grasses; rainwater treatment through the use of bio-swales and rain gardens that absorb rainwater runoff, and the on-site treatment of all wastewater produced in the building through a state-of-the-art septic system. Other sustainable initiatives include utilising energy efficient mechanical systems, materials with high-recycled content, and certified wood from managed forests. In addition, passive solar technology is utilised on the wrap-around glass curtain-wall to maximize the benefits of daylighting while minimising the need for heating & cooling.

The level of sustainability in this building has been made largely possible due to its location and simplicity. Three simple, clean volumes are arranged around a reclaimed, brown field site, establishing a central gathering space reminiscent of a coastal drumlin or rural Cape Cod meadow. The design is light and airy, reflecting the barn structures which are all around the local area and creating an enviable workspace for the organisation's 165 local employees.

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