IceStone Dazzles in the Magic City

Project Profile: IFB Headquarters

Location: Miami, FL

Project Architect: Egan Simon Architects

Project Fabricator: Environments in Stone

Square Feet: 45, 245

Construction date: June 2010- March 2012

Expected LEED certification level/ Date: Gold, summer 2012

IceStone is most often specified for counters, bathroom vanities, desktops, and other horizontal surfaces, but rarely installed in vertical applications. We talked to Lance Simon, Design Principal of Egan Simon Architecture about the International Finance Bank in Miami, FL which features IceStone as flooring, wall cladding, planters, and concierge desks.

IceStone: The IFB Headquarters is on track to receive LEED Gold certification. Who pushed for sustainable materials and energy management systems?

Lance Simon: It was a united decision. We’ve been using a lot of sustainable materials since our first project with IFB over a decade ago. Their Operations facility had cork, modular carpet, and an arrangement that maximized natural light while minimizing HVAC, but this was our first opportunity to do a complete sustainable project with them.

IceStone: So persuading the client to go green wasn’t an issue. Can you talk about some of the challenges of the project?

Simon: Finding elegant, but durable, materials. Though the client wanted to build a sustainable facility, there were times we really pushed the vendors and contractors to help them fully comprehend what sustainability means and the value it can provide. For example, giving employees a great work environment means providing them with good, controllable light, air, views, variety of spatial scale, and making it all easy to maintain. This leads to pride of place, good morale, higher productivity, retention, and even recruitment of better talent.

IceStone: Can you tell us about the design? There is a substantial amount of IceStone in this space!

Simon: The building needed to be a statement of the client’s growth, strength and unique personality. We endeavored to re-envision classic Florida, capture the ever-changing aura of the Magic City and do it with contemporary corporate ambience. By matching the terrazzo to the IceStone, we were able to give the feeling that the space was carved out of a single material. This also made the relatively small lobby feel much larger. Sapphire Snow [IceStone] is a really powerful material that draws attention to itself; the bold blue and the fantastic sparkle of the recycled glass entices and directs people to “Interaction Areas” such as the Concierge Desk and the Teller Line.

IceStone: What other sustainable projects are in Egan Simon’s pipeline?

Simon: Most notable is Step Up on Vine, a supportive housing project in Los Angeles. It has already been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for its innovative synthesis of two critical components: systems for environmental and user sustainability. This renovated facility uses a variety of products with recycled content and renewable energy systems, and the operational component includes job training and counseling for both residents and those still homeless.

IceStone: We love projects with purpose! Any closing thoughts?

Simon: I always say that solutions are good, and resolutions are better. Any time you have challenges that are resolved with something better than you expected, that’s a nice surprise- every project is an opportunity to be creative.

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