At its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Bayer announced on April 15 that it was going to spend $17 million to update its buildings in an effort to become more energy efficient. The plan will also boost employee collaboration the company says.
The planned improvements focus on two buildings which house the largest number of employees, approximately 825 of the 1,500 employees at the suburban Robinson Township campus. After completion, expected by June 2013, the buildings will feature open-area workspaces designed to boost employee collaboration and environmental sustainability.
The new working environment will integrate and showcase Bayer MaterialScience products in the design. For example, Bayer invented polycarbonate, a synthetic thermoplastic resin used in a wide range of products. Bayer MaterialScience's Makrolon MAK clear polycarbonate will be used at the workstations, allowing natural light to filter throughout the workplace. LED (light-emitting diode) light fixture lenses will be made of the polycarbonate material, as will lobby architectural panels displaying the Bayer logo. Another Bayer MaterialScience product, Technogel, will be incorporated into employee and guest seating throughout the buildings. The polyurethane "liquid solid" substance provides greater ergonomic comfort.
"Innovation is part of Bayer's DNA, and we want our North American headquarters to reflect that," said Bob Kumpf, Bayer MaterialScience LLC chief administrative officer. "We're excited that this new work environment will allow employees to work together more efficiently and, at the same time, demonstrate how our products contribute to an efficient, attractive and sustainable work environment."
Additional energy-efficient design features include: Energy Star-rated heating and cooling systems, low-flow plumbing to reduce water usage by 20% to 40% and GThurm windows, a line of energy-efficient windows, recently launched by Graham Architectural Products. The windows feature Graham glass-reinforced polyurethane technology, which employs a unique polyurethane resin supplied by Bayer MaterialScience LLC. In addition to stability and durability, the windows offer thermal insulation and environmental friendliness.
Bayer is pursuing LEED-CI (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Commercial Interior) gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the project.