469,000-square-foot facility on track to receive LEED® Gold certification
Orlando - Trammell Crow Company announces the completion of Darden Restaurants’ new Restaurant Support Center (RSC), designed to achieve Gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction (NC) from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Upon final certification from the USGBC, it will become the largest LEED Gold NC building in Florida.
“Today marks a new era in Darden’s history,” said Clarence Otis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Darden. “Our new home is the embodiment of our goal to create a great company – a winning company financially and a special place to be; a place where our employees can pursue their personal and professional dreams.
The three-story, 469,000-square-foot facility, situated on a 57-acre campus, will house 1,300 employees who provide support to nearly 1,800 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 restaurants throughout North America. Within its new RSC, Darden will bring together all of its support center personnel under one roof for the first time. Previously, employees worked in 12 different buildings spread across a two-mile radius.
Darden’s commitment to sustainability can be seen in the many sustainable design and construction elements found in its new home. Among them:
- More than 90 percent of the waste generated from construction was recycled
- Use of systems such as a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system, and an automatic lighting system that dims or brightens according to the amount of sunlight entering the building will help reduce energy consumption by 16 percent
- Increased use of natural light (daylighting) made possible by a 114,000 square-foot glass curtainwall exterior
- A highly reflective roof system that reduces the heat island effect and helps maintain the building’s interior temperature
- Restrooms and irrigation systems using reclaimed water – saving nearly 2 million gallons of water annually
- Landscaping features including a bio-soil that promotes water absorption and the use of native trees, plants and grasses that require minimal water
Trammell Crow Company provided a broad scope of corporate and development services, from sourcing the site for the new campus, to selling the former campus, then assembling the team to deliver the new HQ vision. “Our selection of architectural firm Perkins + Will and general contractor Hardin Construction allowed us to create an open environment that promotes greater collaboration, idea sharing and innovation,” said Woody Coley, with Value² Partners, LLC,who led corporate services for the engagement.
“This is one of the most advanced, state-of-the-art headquarter facilities anywhere in the country,” said Bob Abberger, Senior Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company, who oversaw the project. “Bringing Darden’s vision to reality was a huge accomplishment for the entire team. Their commitment to sustainability made them the perfect client for TCC to showcase our leadership in sustainable design and development. This unique facility will not only enhance the productivity of Darden’s employees, but preserve the integrity of the surrounding environment.”
For instance, the building was designed not to exceed three stories in height to allow employees to move easily between floors using multiple staircases. The staircases were also widened to allow for impromptu conversations without blocking the movement of others. And each of the development kitchens for Darden’s six restaurant brands is located adjacent to one another, allowing culinary staff to easily interact and share ideas.
“Beyond creating an environment that allows our employees to develop stronger working relationships and deliver even higher levels of support to our restaurants, we were committed to ensuring our employees had input and involvement in shaping the development of this project,” said Drew Madsen, President and Chief Operating Officer of Darden. “We’re proud of the fact that many of the amenities found in our new home were the ones most requested by our employees.”
In honoring employee input and keeping with the company’s commitment to employee health and wellness, those amenities include a 5,000 square-foot fitness center as well as a wellness center, both staffed by Florida Hospital; an on-campus dining facility managed by Guckenheimer, a leading corporate foodservice provider; a 1/2–mile walking trail and an on-site financial services center operated by Wachovia.