Leinfelden-Echterdingen, March 01, 2021: The modern work environment now involves much more than simply office space. Novatec, an IT specialist based in Leinfelden-Echterdingen near Stuttgart airport, has made this idea its mission. In collaboration with Stuttgart-based consulting and planning company Drees & Sommer, and Bülow AG, a project developer and investor in the Vision One office campus – Novatec has produced an innovative concept that addresses the individual needs of each employee. The modern work environment is also ‘green’ – and the Bülow AG building was promptly awarded the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) Gold certificate in recognition of its sustainability. As soon as the coronavirus situation permits, Novatec will officially open the new work environment, which is only a few minutes away from Stuttgart Airport.
The special feature of the project is that, instead of enforcing change from the top down, Novatec sought employee input from the very start of the project in 2016. Their wishes and suggestions were accepted at any time, evaluated for feasibility and relevance, and implemented if appropriate.
“The employees’ biggest concern was the flexibility of the office space and workplaces when the makeup of a team changes,” explains Novatec project leader Markus Scheel, “so the question was how to quickly assign additional workplaces to a team without lengthy coordination processes.”
The outcome was 158 modern open workplaces in a harmonious setting. Spread over three floors including the roof-top terrace, the 3,700 square meter space adheres to the ‘form follows function’ principle. In other words, the individual areas are designed according to their function. The homebase, where all the threads of the company come together, accommodates administration, service teams and management. There are ‘think tanks’ for focused cooperation, as well as quiet rooms for confidential meetings or focused work. The communication areas, on the other hand, have a more open design. Employees who want to get some fresh air or gaze into the distance can escape to the rooftop terrace or enjoy a coffee in the ‘Floating Market’. Sophisticated sensors detect the presence of people and measure temperature, air quality and humidityin real time. Displays located in the entrance areas to the three floors allow employees to see at any time where there is a free workplace.
Novatec managing director and cofounder Michael Schuchart is very pleased with the result: “The move into the Vision One precinct represents a great step forward for us, and has created ideal conditions for agile working. We not only benefit from our new workspace, but are also well positioned with regard to infrastructure and transport. Everyone can find a suitable space, whether for collaborative work, a conventional meeting, a think tank, or pair programming.” Tim Dersch, Workplace Consultant at Drees & Sommer agrees: “Our aim was to inspire every employee with the new work environment. We have been able to create a space that motivates and promotes a sense of identity and unity.” Drees & Sommer has supported the project with a range of services, including development of the office and design concept, and extensive project management.
Focus on sustainability and the feel-good factor
Because efficiency and sustainability are meant to be hallmarks of the new work environment, both Novatec and the client, Bülow AG, primarily engaged companies from the local region for construction and fitout. The project managers were also guided by sustainability reports when selecting materials for fitout, including furniture. In the Vision One project, environmental awareness also extends to mobility. Special facilities are provided for employees who come to work by bike: A separate entrance, 120 bike parking spaces, e-bike charging stations, and showers and changing rooms. And those coming by electric car can easily charge their batteries at one of the seven charging stations.
“The DGNB Gold certification underscores the consistently high sustainable quality of the building. In addition to good energy efficiency, close attention was paid to healthy interiors, as reflected in the use of low-emission building materials. The use of previously built-up land and additional renaturing measures have significantly upgraded the site, which is in a prime location,” says Mark Pfeifer, Bülow AG’s Planning Manager.