A Fit-Out "Fit" for Employee Satisfaction
Ally Financial’s New Office in Charlotte, NC
As the pandemic waned, many employers struggled to bring employees back to the office. This was not an issue for Ally Financial Inc. On the contrary, the firm’s employees were eager to start working in its new Charlotte office, the Ally Charlotte Center, which was completed in 2021.
Located in the city’s uptown area, the Ally Charlotte Center comprises 26 stories and nearly 750,000 square feet. The structure, which houses 2,100 employees, boasts comfort, convenience, and conservation, as evidenced by the building’s trifecta of certifications: WELL Core & Shell Gold, LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors, and Wired Certified Platinum.
Notable features include bipolar ionization for air cleaning and purification, 400 audiovisual spaces equipped with the latest video-over-IP technology, sound attenuators for air delivery, demand-controlled ventilation, a Genetec security system with full access control, and energy metering systems. Additional amenities include a giant video-game wall, a golf simulator, a two-story fitness center with an outdoor lawn, a NASCAR driving simulator, collaborative spaces. “The fit-out was planned with people’s entire day in mind,” says Syska project manager Daniel Johnson. “Objectives extended beyond making desks look nice and ensuring the highest standards of air quality.”
“The fit-out was planned with people’s entire day in mind. Objectives extended beyond making desks look nice and ensuring the highest standards of air quality.”
Syska, which served as the engineer of record on both the core & shell design and the subsequent fit-out, made many of these features possible. Daniel, who worked on both projects, explains that Syska’s role on the fit-out encompassed MEP and FP engineering design, security design, audiovisual design, telecommunications design, sustainable design, BIM/Revit, daylight modeling, and high-efficiency heating and cooling. He notes: “We worked closely with Ally and our project partners to not only leverage the most advanced technologies of today, but also future-proof the space so the space stays modern.”
These efforts met with great success. Following a series of awards for the core & shell component, the fit-out recently won the 2023 Platinum Engineering Excellence award in the building/technology systems category from the New York Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies. And the larger Charlotte community has embraced the space surrounding the large audiovisual display, which was intended to serve as a town hall center.
“Today Ally is a pillar of commerce in Charlotte. The new office reflects its impact on the city.”
Daniel adds that the public can also access the building’s outdoor plaza and ground-floor retail. “Today Ally is a pillar of commerce in Charlotte,” Daniel observes. “The new office reflects its impact on the city.”
Daniel appreciates the positive feedback from users and the A/E/C community, but perhaps the most gratifying reviews came from sources close to home – his neighbors. A husband and wife who live down the street work for Ally. “As soon as I learned this, I told them about my involvement in the fit-out,” Daniel reports. “Fortunately, they love the space.”
Images ©CONNIE ZHOU / JBSA