- JPMorgan Chase has redesigned its four-story Polaris building in Ohio to adapt to an evolving future-of-work model, the bank announced in a Friday press release.
- The six-year renovation project was intended to transform the sprawling 27-year-old facility into a flexible and collaborative workplace with smart technology.
- The firm said it recycled 80% of the building materials used for the renovation, exceeding the LEED green building standard’s 75% requirement.
The renovation included the installation of nearly 7,700 rooftop solar modules and more than 32,000 solar panel carports in parking lots. The bank said the panels are able to meet 75% of the two million square feet building’s electricity needs, making it one of the biggest commercial offices to utilize renewable energy systems.
JPMorgan Chase’s global head of property management Michael Norton, who manages the firm’s property and facilities management activities across more than 7,000 properties, told Facilities Dive that the solar program generates nearly 15 megawatts, with the rooftop component comprising 2.8 MW and the carports totaling around 12 MW.
“One of our biggest commitments is to become 40% decarbonized by 2030. Columbus is a big playground for us. We have massive-scale parking lots, so that was really our first look. It gets sunny and hot in Columbus, so solar was good for us and we underwrote that program,” Norton said in an interview.
Technology and system upgrades in the Polaris building involved mounting more than 17,000 LED lighting fixtures and 2,600 occupancy sensors, which are expected to halve the building’s lighting energy consumption. JPMorgan said that the building is now equipped with intelligent lighting control systems that allow automatic dimming for daylight harvesting and individual fixture lighting controls.
“All of this makes life easier for facilities managers and engineers. They can access building management systems remotely and see how the A/C is operating…or check whether there’s a power outage,” Norton said.
The office has also fitted automatic faucets and automatic flushing toilets. The faucets can save about half a gallon of water per minute, with the automatic flushes believed to be able to save about 1.6 gallons of water per minute.
The renovated space features a new Private Bank client center, upgraded meeting rooms, a large food hall and two restaurants. It also includes cafes and collaboration spaces for community events.
Brandon Hayes, executive director of global real estate at JPMorgan Chase in Columbus, revealed that workspace renovations in the building interior, which began in late 2019 and hit a pause during COVID-19, were completed in 18 months post-pandemic. He said this compares to the three to four year period originally planned.
“From a workspace perspective, we built that space to be very flexible. COVID has changed the way we work to one that includes a hybrid structure, so we wanted to make sure all of our spaces are technologically enabled. All of our desks are sit-stand desks, and most of our desks are movable,” Hayes said in an interview.
The Polaris building recently achieved LEED Gold Status from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Meanwhile, the investment bank is building a roughly 70-story office tower spanning 2.5 million square feet on New York City’s Park Avenue, following through on a plan that took shape years ago. The smart building will serve as its world headquarters, Norton noted.