Awe Sum Organics Headquarters
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Bob von Elgg
Design as a Statement of Success and Respect for Health
When international organic food importer Awe Sum Organics’ business grew to a staffing over-capacity point, it was clear that more space was critical to accommodate the challenges of their rapid growth. Awe Sum Marketing Director Elizabeth Posner and CEO David Posner chose to see the growth problem as an opportunity to move into a fresh new location and create an inspiring, healthy and ecologically conscious headquarters.
After a glowing testimonial from a close friend who had hired Seacliff Construction & Design for home remodeling, Elizabeth interviewed and hired Seacliff to coordinate and build their dream headquarters. Together they worked out a strategy for implementation and construction of Elizabeth’s goals. Specific points of importance were to:
- Build a LEED Certified headquarters
- Establish a strong downtown Santa Cruz identity
- Evoke health, organics, ecology and professionalism
- Create a beautiful, relaxed and efficient working space for all Awe Sum staff
To meet these goals, Seacliff Construction & Design managed construction and permitting, and helped coordinate sub-contractors. Santa Cruz designers Lorri Kershner and Myra Consulo were brought on-board for space planning, materials selection, paint selection, and interior design.
The Old Selman Glass Paperweights Gallery Building
Located in downtown Santa Cruz, one block off of Pacific Avenue, the 5,200-square-foot building’s most notable occupant was the L.H. Selman Gallery, manufacturers and designers of fine art glass paperweights. Built in 1969 for PG&E’s accounting department, it had sat vacant for nearly 4 years by the time construction began.
In addition to construction and design, Seacliff was instrumental in meeting stringent permitting requirements for this prime downtown location. Awe Sum Marketing Director Posner found the City of Santa Cruz permitting and parking requirements a real challenge and stated that she is, “Proud of what her contractor, Seacliff Construction, and her designers accomplished.”
Meeting LEEDS Requirements and Beyond
Gutting the building was essential in order to transform a dark and dated building to a top-of-the-line, LEED compliant office space. Skylights were enlarged to let in optimal tural light. Recycled and LEED certified flooring materials were installed. Old doors were re-purposed into desk tops and a multi-zone high-efficiency HVAC system was designed and installed. “No VOC” paints, carpets and materials were used throughout the renovation.
Beyond LEED compliancy, Awe Sum’s headquarters is the home of the first installation in Santa Cruz County of DIRTT “Breathe Walls” interior plantscapes, lush wall hangings made of specialty plants that naturally remove the negative ions and CO2 from the air.
The results of an open-minded CEO and Marketing Director, backed by an innovative and caring design and construction team, speak for themselves in the slides above.
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