Seeking to relocate the headquarters for its State Office of Vital Records and Georgia Department of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), The State Properties Commission engaged Atlanta-based Facilitec to manage and execute the renovation of its new building and relocation of its offices and close to 100 employees.

Previously housed in a reclaimed 1940’s elementary school building, Vital Records’ progressive director recognized that the relocation provided the opportunity to resolve many of its existing workspace issues. Vital Records and EMS executives wanted to create a more open, collaborative workplace, atypical of most state government offices. This progressive and open design would encourage more employee interaction and teamwork than was feasible in the former space. Additional objectives for the new headquarters were to design space which would enhance the environment for both employees and visiting clients and increase employee productivity and workplace functionality.

Facilitec was part of a real estate and design team that worked with Vital Records in the initial planning phases to help select an existing building near the Atlanta airport for its new headquarters.  Renovation of the 2-story and approximately 33,000 square-foot building coupled with new state standards, which dictated smaller workspace sizes, presented numerous design challenges, however, the building’s large and open floorplans allowed Facilitec’s architects and designers to include unique features to address Vital Records and EMS’s workplace needs.

In addition to moving the 20 million files from a fixed-storage to a moveable file system for all of Georgia residents’ birth, marriage and death records, Facilitec designed a large on-site training room, including the latest teleconferencing and audiovisual technology.  To accommodate group work and private space, Facilitec incorporated multiple collaborative spaces and huddle rooms, while including lower partitions in workstations and glass walls in private offices and conference rooms for privacy.  The new headquarters also features a large glass-walled room for employees who spend much of their time on the phone with customers and need privacy.  This room was lined with benches, giving employees the opportunity move around the room or find more private space when discussing sensitive client matters.

Employee and visitor health and well-being was also an important objective in the new space. Facilitec incorporated vibrant colors in the furniture and carpet to create a more cheerful environment, especially in the public waiting area where visitors often bring children. The carpet pattern was selected and installed to create a walking track inside the building, and sit-stand desks also encourage movement, promoting employee health and camaraderie. To enhance building security, Facilitec designed the front reception/lobby area to include a security desk and lined public areas with bullet resistant panels.

With 87 workstations, 6 private office, multiple collaborative spaces, training and records rooms, a kitchen/break room and more, Facilitec successfully managed and executed the renovation and relocation of the Vital Records and EMS headquarters, directing a collaborative effort among several groups, including Scott Contracting, Inc. for construction and Office Interiors and Teknion for the furnishings.  Kirk Diamond led the Cushman & Wakefield team of Erin Smith, April Parrish and Steven Taylor for real estate.