Project DescriptionAs the global market leader in the development, production, and marketing of actuator solutions for controlling heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems, Belimo strives to differentiate itself from competitors through higher customer benefits of its products and services with a focus on customers’ success. Belimo works collaboratively as a team to achieve its goals and the recent growth of the company drove the need for a larger facility that is able to speak to the company’s mission and values. Belimo’s new North American Headquarters, perched dramatically on a 34-acre site in Danbury, CT, was beneficial to teamwork, communication, and a realignment of the company’s vison and goals. The 195,000 SF building program comprises 129,000 SF of logistics and manufacturing space, 15,000 SF of test labs, and 51,000 SF of office space.
Stated Goals for the project:
• LEED Gold Certification
• Building to be expandable in two or three stages
• HVAC installation to incorporate and reveal Belimo products - “systems on display”
• Employee and visitor entrances arranged to ensure a positive experience
• Maximize access to daylight and views for both office and manufacturing staff
• Promote employee health with amenities such as fitness, outdoor areas and food service/ café
• Consider special needs of the Abilities Beyond employees
The new building makes a bold statement in support of the company’s mission and leadership goals for a healthy, communal, and efficient work environment. Belimo thrives on design and innovation, fairness to customers and employees alike and is committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability. The project’s directive was to reflect these values and the culture of Belimo throughout the design where the response created a building that is both utilitarian and dynamic – forward-looking with clean lines and a high level of transparency, while providing uniqueness to a modern office environment.
• The exterior design seeks to reflect the value of Belimo
• Belimo thrives on design and innovation
• Belimo believes in fairness - to customers and employees alike
• Belimo is committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability
Immediately upon entry, the lobby reflects Belimo’s commitment to the customer with a well-appointed, two-story customer lounge space and interactive product display area. Belimo is proud of its products, thus company products such as bright orange actuators can be viewed in intentionally exposed ceiling plenum vignettes throughout the facilities. Brand colors are strategically integrated both inside and out through the project palette and material selections. Bright white surfaces are combined with medium value, small pattern gray flooring, and natural maple veneers to focus the eye on accents of Belimo’s orange and blue color scheme. The open office environment is not new to this company; however, in the new space it is achieved without the traditional tall panel systems detrimental to communication and efficiency. The low-profile office furniture prevents isolation and allows for ease of collaboration, and teaming. Although individual work areas are assigned, the workplace design strategy was to provide options and choices of work settings for team-based and individual “heads-down” work. Huddle rooms, cafes, and soft seating areas invite staff to gather informally or focus on tasks. The office component is integrated with the manufacturing component through the sharing of design elements and finishes. The company’s manufacturing employees have direct access to office staff and share facilities such as the cafeteria, multifunction spaces, and the fitness center.
Design issues were addressed through a desired workflow, combined with the topographical constraints which dictated the building’s dimensions and configuration. The team had to be sensitive to the needs of the surrounding residents and worked closely with them to make sure these needs were met. Truck access and maneuvering criteria also influenced the geometry. receiving and shipping occurs on the south end of the building for better optimization. The office block, which contains the main building entrances, is located on the southeast corner to benefit from a passive solar orientation and conform to the topography. The main access road approaches from the southeast to further support this location. Future expansion of the warehouse would occur to the North – allowing the building scale to be mitigated by the rising topography. Surface parking areas were located on two different levels and the office program was distributed on three different levels to minimize the building footprint and maximize daylight and views.
Special attention was also given to circulation and space access to ensure an obstacle-free work environment for the Ability Beyond employees. Belimo employs 30+ employees from Ability Beyond (abilitybeyond.org). AB has existed for more than 60 years, and are leaders in serving people with disabilities in Connecticut and New York by providing person-centered, cutting-edge, and cost-effective services to people with a variety of challenges. Also, rather than move their North American Headquarters to a neighboring state, Belimo decided early on to stay in Connecticut, and more importantly to continue to support the city of Danbury and the local workforce.
Ultimately, Belimo’s stated goals, company values, and brand are visually, aesthetically, and physically achieved in their new facility. The project maximizes work flow in Logistics/Manufacturing, promotes employee health and well-being through amenities such as fitness, outdoor areas and the food service/café, and increases collaboration and an overall positive experience. The delivery of a brand-new, state-of-the art facility reflects Belimo’s success as it enters its fifth decade in business, and makes a significant statement about the company’s commitment to Connecticut and the region. The project is anticipated to achieve LEED Gold certification.