Shared work environments are reshaping urban real estate markets in a significant way. WeWork operates turnkey office solutions in more than 30 cities. For the past several years, Arup has been working closely with WeWork to open a number of new workspaces throughout the United States and beyond.
From freelancers to large businesses, members can rent anything from a seat at a communal desk to as many as a 50-person office. WeWork’s priority for their projects is the creation of fast-tracked, uniquely designed spaces, which deliver the WeWork aesthetic, and are capable of hosting a high volume of users. The model is accessible, functionally attractive architectural layouts that provide all of the support needed for renting firms.
Arup partnered with WeWork to roll out over 50 sites across more than 15 cities. Our scope has included reviewing existing WeWork spaces currently in operation and producing a design standard for mechanical, electrical, and public health systems. Currently our work has encompassed the design of several sites located in several different cities including Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Seattle.
WeWork intends to grow considerably over the next few years and hopes to move into using Revit for both the documentation of their projects and subsequent facilities management. Arup is assisting with their strategy and design during this growing period. All spaces are designed in Revit using 3D LIDAR scans of the existing core and shell space to model existing conditions. This, coupled with the standards developed at the outset of each project, enables incredibly fast turnaround on designs and construction.
The work within WeWork
Unlike typical office layouts, WeWork caters to multiple ways of working. Its mix of lounge areas, private offices, phone booths, and brainstorming and conference rooms mean that their spaces see more activity than usual. Taking this into account, Arup performed energy and occupancy surveys to more accurately predict HVAC and electrical loads. Information determined from these studies was used to assist with site assessments, lease negotiations, and the eventual design of the spaces. Based on the surveys, our designs account for 24/7 accessibility, availability of heating and cooling in the off-hours, and diversified use — consequentially the optimised designs reduce the overall HVAC capacity.
The Arup team also collaborated closely with WeWork’s BIM team to produce highly coordinated BIM models of the spaces. These models were developed from 3D scans of the existing structure. The resulting development of shared models has facilitated our pushing the boundaries of interdisciplinary coordination.
Overall, Arup has provided consulting and engineering services encompassing structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering, as well as acoustic, audiovisual, IT and communications, lighting, and security consulting for over 40 WeWork spaces.