Wilmington, MA – Ebbrell Architecture + Design announced it designed supply chain software company TraceLink’s new 70,000sf global corporate headquarters in Wilmington, which opened in the spring. VBA Construction Management was the builder on the project.
TraceLink began designing its new headquarters in December 2020, which the company’s representatives said was a challenging endeavor mid-pandemic, in needing to anticipate the unknowns of the future of the workplace while addressing the company’s need to relocate. The design team at Ebbrell, led by interior designer Jessica Cargile, NDICQ, LEED AP, said they knew that TraceLink wanted a flexible/hybrid workspace that could accommodate 65-70% of its workforce at once.
“They didn’t want a sea of workstations,” said Cargile. “By creating five pods that each included breakout spaces, private telephone rooms, conference and copy areas, and a kitchen, each team has its own area, but no one feels left out or like they don’t have the same amenities as another group because it’s all equal, while still providing variety throughout the space.”
Miika Ebbrell, AIA, LEED AP, founder and principal of Ebbrell Architecture + Design, said, “Our goal was to foster employee engagement with design, and we accomplished that by creating flexible spaces that accommodate all work preferences.”
Phil Putnam, director, global, facilities & real estate at TraceLink, said the successful design includes important aspects to help employees, when in the office, be comfortable, while still being mindful of COVID-19 and health concerns. Cargile said, “We used an open ceiling concept with acoustical baffles throughout the space, with ample spacing for the workstations, which provide individual privacy for the staff. We ensured daylight was maximized throughout the office, incorporated fresh air design through the use of improved HVAC filtration, and added room for live plants in the design.”
Jennifer Bozec, facilities manager at TraceLink, pointed to the interior staircase as a great multi-purpose design element. “Not having to share elevators with other building occupants improves COVID safety and being in one contained space with one entrance improves security,” said Bozec. “The custom millwork, planters, and lounge space around it makes it welcoming and a wonderful gathering space for relaxing and small group work.”
With room for just 285 of its 400 employees, TraceLink incorporated the use of a software-based desk reservation system to manage demand. Putnam said the system has other advantages as well. He commented, “For safety’s sake, in the event of an emergency, fire or disaster, we know who is in the building and where.”
Putnam said his favorite aspects of the design are the areas of interconnection throughout the open-concept and the flexible arrangement. “We believe we have given our employees all the office options to work comfortably, safely and productively,” Putnam added.