The CEO of a Dallas high-tech firm says that it chose to retrofit an old downtown building rather than build a new one in the suburbs, which was a less expensive option, for a number of reasons that go beyond the bottom line.
“While the economics favored migrating to a purpose-built facility in the suburbs, we believed strongly that the company, which had been a corporate resident of Dallas since its founding, should remain in Dallas and seek to restore an older building,” says J.W. Roberts, head of General Datatech. “Such a project would help preserve history, be more environmentally responsible, and produce a facility with dimension, texture, and character—as opposed to more typical, generic spaces.”
The company has applied for LEED Gold status on the retrofit. Among the building’s new green features are:
• A 30,000 gallon rainwater collection system that handles all of the irrigation needs for a native plant landscape.
• A 100-kilowatt solar array.
• Digital signs located in common areas and outside conference rooms that are used to display company news, upcoming events notices, and other information in lieu of using paper posters and notices.
The office space was configured so that “a project manager sits next to an engineer and an account manager, who sit beside a structure/cable expert and a logistics manager,” Roberts says. “We are all within arm’s reach of each other, which ensures ease of communication and collaboration.”