McWaters tailored each department's area to their specific needs. The communications department utilized the Steelcase Answer system with lower separation panels to help facilitate collaboration while the finance and human resources departments have more separation between workspaces and the common areas to help protect privacy and sensitive documents, and the executive suites are outfitted with more traditional style to keep the executive feel. This approach meant McWaters could recognize different work styles and habits and give each employee what they truly needed to support their day to day work. Each department was designed with their own collaboration space that was tailored to their needs. Steelcase Post and Beam, Turnstone Campfire Big tables, and Coalesse Topo Lounge seating were just some of the products used. Private offices were created with Steelcase Privacy Walls and Steelcase Elective Elements desking systems. The glass fronts of the offices not only created an open feel, but allowed natural light from the exterior windows to filter into the interior spaces. "There's a great diversity of appearances and functions among different departments while retaining consistency throughout the building," said Mac Bennett, CEO at United Way. "It's something we really appreciate as an organization."
The design team addressed the issue of lighting by recommending a non-negotiable budget line for Symmetry Float desk lamps. For each workstation, the design team also took color into careful consideration when selecting finishes for the work surfaces. They chose to go with white finishes so that the light would reflect back and make the space brighter. The pops of yellow throughout the space not only provided a way to incorporate the United Way brand, but they also created a bright, cheery feeling to the space.
McWaters worked with the design team to decide whether raised flooring throughout was the best option or whether they would create ramps down to each level. Eventually the teams decided that ramps would take away too much space from workstations and collaboration areas. The raised floors also had the added benefit of being a better fit for the budget by allowing electrical wiring to run underneath, creating a more flexible space that didn't depend on existing electrical outlets or expensive trenching in the subfloor.
McWaters professional relocation team coordinated with the design team to create a plan of action that would allow the United Way to efficiently move their employees with minimal interruption in the day to day operations. A system of crates for each employee's files and personal office equipment was used to move from the existing space to the new space.
McWaters Account Managers and Designers:
McWaters Relocation: Robert Myers
McWaters Flooring: Chip Salak
Architectural Partner: 1x1 Design
Project Management Partner: LCK