As an international clothing retailer, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) bases its headquarters in Pittsburgh but also keeps offices in a handful of other cities around the globe. Manhattan’s historic Tiffany & Co. building houses AEO’s New York Design Center. This important space functions as a hub for the company’s brand designers as well as teams of merchants and people in production.
Reimagining the Design Center’s spread while preserving the structure’s historic identity—which features high ceilings measuring 20 ft. and a domed-roof Tiffany Glass skylight that had been covered during a long-ago renovation—were important goals for a recent renovation. Also of the utmost importance was the creation of a healthy environment conducive to facilitating employee creativity and collaboration while ensuring adaptability in the space to suit the organization’s evolving needs of the future.
The installation of Tate’s STONEWORKS 8-in. raised access floors paired with underfloor air distribution (UFAD) allowed the design team to avoid the use of excessive overhead ductwork or drop ceilings, either of which might have marred, obstructed or even eliminated the grandeur of the high ceilings and the since-restored domed-roof skylight.
Using UFAD flooring did more than just free up the overhead space to more easily highlight the office’s classic architectural features and make daylight more accessible. The product also helped improve energy efficiency, since underfloor air distribution can reduce energy costs by up to 20%. In addition, the raised floor system offered an indoor air quality benefit—UFAD’s stratified airflow is designed to improve ventilation effectiveness by delivering air at a low velocity through the raised floor, which allows the air to naturally rise to a ceiling return, pulling away contaminants and carbon dioxide.
In sum, utilizing Tate’s STONEWORKS raised access floor panels enabled American Eagle to achieve more natural daylight in the Design Center while improving airflow and enhancing office aesthetics. These are all things that generally make a work environment more comfortable while facilitating creativity, collaboration, and well-being. Or, as stated on Tate’s website: “This solution has been shown to enhance productivity, decrease absenteeism, and improve the building’s value—not to mention, it significantly contributes to LEED and WELL certification.”