HP in Conway Open, Humming With Customer Support

by Jamie Walden  on Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 12:00 am  

Gensler of San Francisco designed the interior, per the directions of HP, to encourage employees to work wherever is comfortable, unless they're on the phone. The building has several lounge areas with "funky lighting," Marnitz said, to encourage a boundless work environment.

The building structure and exterior, designed by The Wilcox Group of Little Rock, also achieved LEED certification.

The building is designed to keep its lighting from polluting the night sky. With no light traveling upward, the HP building cannot be blamed for the ambient light that masks starry skies, said April Ambrose, a project manager at Viridian, a green building consulting firm in Little Rock that worked with HP on the Conway project.

Many of the floors are a mixture of concrete and recycled glass, which acts as filler and a decoration. The trendy furniture is also made with some recycled material, Ambrose said.

HP received hefty incentives to locate the operation in Conway. The state provided $10 million for infrastructure from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund, while the Conway Development Corp. built the structure to HP's specifications. The city of Conway also offered $2.2 million to prepare the site.

HP tried to be bike friendly by adding bike parking inside and outside and including a shower area for those who ride bikes during sweltering Arkansas summers.

Marnitz added that the facility had an exercise room. HP is also working with a local vendor to provide exercise classes for pre- and post-shift workouts. Marnitz said HP couldn't yet identify the vendor.

The parking lot also encourages eco-friendly cars. The lot includes 70 spaces for low-emission, fuel-efficient cars and 258 spaces for compact cars. Those spaces are closer to the building than other spaces.

The north side of the building, when it's completed, will house a cafeteria, Marnitz said, for employees who want to save gas money or avoid the lunch rush.

"So employees won't have to get in the car and drive somewhere to get lunch. They can literally just walk to the cafeteria, grab some food and eat here on site, Marnitz said. "So it's really kind of self-containing for everybody."



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