Spectrum Design Architecs | Engineers

GE Energy Customer Application Center

Salem, Virginia

The proposed Customer Application Center at GE’s Salem facility expresses a sleek, modern, and technology-driven identity using high performance glazing with a ceramic frit for sun control in a curtain wall facade. The vertical butt joints and horizontal mullion extensions are designed to minimize visual clutter and photovoltaic panels, manufactured by GE, are integrated in the building design.

The area above the main entry will be accentuated with a stainless steel woven mesh with integral LED light strands that project any programmed display.

GE’s wind turbine technology inspired the sculptural steel construction that supports the roof and second floor framing, both of which shape the interior aesthetic of the new lobby space while providing passive branding. Conferencing areas are arranged for maximum visibility. They showcase operational activities from the open lobby and are fully glazed with electrostatic fogging glass, enabling privacy as required. Flat panel monitors in multiple locations will be available for presentation and display. The two-story interior glass wall is canted outward to amplify the visual connection with the upper conference areas. A centrally located balcony cantilevers into the two-story lobby above the discrete reception area.

Located at the heart of the west wing is a large, technology-ready, open area designed to showcase display models, provide small group seating areas, and additional support spaces for tiered lecture classrooms and teaching labs.

An upper level corridor overlooks the first floor and is visually energized by the operations and displayed technology of the Remote Diagnostics Department.

The Customer Application Center demonstrates that GE is at the cusp of cutting-edge technology. The new lobby is shaped by its structural and environmental systems, calling out to the innovation and technology of the workplace.

The design team for this project will employ an integrated team approach bringing all stakeholders into the pre-design through post occupancy process. Throughout all phases of design and construction high performance building strategies will be developed looking at 7 key areas:

Sustainable Sites: This project will incur less energy for construction through the re-use of the existing and previously developed site and building structure. The design will encourage alternative transportation modalities.

Water Efficiency: The proposed site development will improve the existing site water quality. Through the utilization of energy efficient systems and low flow plumbing fixtures water consumption will be reduced.

Energy and Atmosphere: The design of the new mechanical system will retire many outdated higher energy consuming systems in operation for a reduced annual energy cost that could approximate upwards of 40% decrease over ASHRAE minimum guidelines. Extensive day lighting, technologically advanced energy efficient equipment and renewable solar energy will be employed to further reduce energy demand.

Materials and Resources: The majority of building materials will be selected based on contributing to a healthy environment through sustainable resources, low off - gassing of materials and interior comfort. Indoor Air Quality: increased ventilation effectiveness exceeding ASHRAE ventilation standards and natural light penetration deep into the building section will contribute to a healthy indoor environment.

Innovation in Design: The building itself will be a showcase for GE products and at the same time the building will reveal innovations in environmental design while providing communication on specialty systems operations to the public.

Regional Priority: The design and construction team will concentrate on regionally sourced materials and systems to showcase regional assets and cut down on unnecessary transportation and energy costs.