Duke Energy shows off 'workplace of the future'

Duke Energy shows off 'workplace of the future'

Print
Email
|

by BOBBY SISK / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Bobby: BSisk@WCNC.com

WCNC.com

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 27 at 1:48 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Workers have begun moving into the new 48-story Duke Energy Center in uptown Charlotte.

The building is part of the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus at South Tryon and Stonewall streets.

It was built with energy efficiency and the environment in mind. Officials are calling it the "workplace of the future."

"It's like moving to a new house," said Brooke Whalen, a Duke Energy employee. "I work in HR as a senior business management consultant."

Whalen is among the first employees putting the new workplace to the test.

"I've always wanted a window seat and now this is the seat of all seats," Whalen said, describing the view from her desk on the 22nd floor.

Whalen's workspace is designed for comfort and creativity.

"It definitely encourages collaboration and working with your co-workers," she said.

The desks move up and down. Workers can adjust the height of their desk for comfort. Overhead bins are self-closing, and ergonomic chairs adjust to each employees needs.

When an employee shows up to work, a light at their workspace automatically comes on. It automatically turns off when the employee leaves.

"It's not just the classic kind of 9 to 5 worker. You've got people who are mobile and who travel a lot," said Dennis Wood with Duke Energy Real Estate Services. "We're trying to afford the opportunity for people to really be in a space that works for them."

To encourage more recycling, trash bins are small and recycling bins are larger.

"These blinds up here actually track the sun," said Wood, describing how the blinds automatically adjust according to the angle of the sun.

The elevators use less power. Lights are on sensors to adjust for natural light.

Wood, who oversaw the project, says monitors in the building display how much energy is being saved.

"At least 20 percent," Wood said.

Recycled materials are everywhere -- from the insulation in the walls, which is made from denim,   to the carpet on the floor.

Offices are located in the center of the building, making sure each employee has a view.

"I think this particular location offers a view of the city that many people haven't seen yet," Whalen said.

"I think that's impressive in its own way because this building really anchors the south end of downtown," Wood said.

The top floor of the building is still under construction and won't be finished until early next year.

Duke Energy wouldn't disclose how much it's costing to outfit those floors, but we did learn construction is coming in 20 percent under budget.

It'll be 2012 before all of Duke's space is full of workers. Duke is leasing 21 floors of the building.

Print
Email
|