What Life Is like Working in the Perfect Office Building

Sit­ting just off Inter­state 35 south of San Mar­cos, Texas is one of the most effi­cient, safe, healthy, and com­fort­able office build­ings in the entire State of Texas. As one of the first build­ings con­struct­ed using the Bau­tex Block Wall Sys­tem, our office is the best case study for demon­strat­ing the per­for­mance and ben­e­fits of the Bau­tex Block walls.

Com­plet­ed in the spring of 2014, this sin­gle sto­ry 3,900 square foot build­ing has expe­ri­enced the typ­i­cal Texas extremes of pro­longed drought, tor­ren­tial rains, ice storms, and even snow. Short­ly after we moved into the build­ing in May 2014, an ener­gy mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem was installed in order to track the real-time ener­gy usage and over­all cost of pow­er­ing the build­ing.

Specif­i­cal­ly, we want­ed to col­lect data on the heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion, and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem (HVAC) sep­a­rate of all oth­er elec­tri­cal loads. Pri­or to con­struc­tion, two dif­fer­ent ener­gy mod­els were con­duct­ed to deter­mine the pro­ject­ed heat­ing and cool­ing cost of a base­line tra­di­tion­al wood frame build­ing com­pared to one con­struct­ed using the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem. The mod­el pre­dict­ed a $385 per month heat­ing and cool­ing cost for the wood frame build­ing, and $125 per month for the Bau­tex Block build­ing — a $260 per month sav­ings (67.5% reduc­tion)!

After four years in the build­ing, we have been aver­ag­ing $123 per month in heat­ing and cool­ing costs and $243 per month in total ener­gy costs. This includes a full serv­er clos­et, employ­ees, com­put­ers, lights, hot water heater and a kitchen. The office has a large open vol­ume with 14’ wall heights and drop ceil­ing.

A Better Work Experience

The ther­mal per­for­mance of the wall sys­tem and build­ing as a whole is not just expe­ri­enced through low­er elec­tric­i­ty bills, but through direct expe­ri­ence. For exam­ple, the office was closed for a long and par­tic­u­lar­ly cold week­end over the New Year hol­i­day and the HVAC sys­tem was acci­den­tal­ly set to Emer­gency Heat, which means that the sys­tem would not turn on until the ther­mo­stat in the build­ing got into the 30’s. The morn­ing when every­one returned to the office, we found that the inte­ri­or of the build­ing had not fall­en below 67 degrees despite out­door tem­per­a­tures spend­ing most of the time below freez­ing.

Like­wise, dur­ing the hot sum­mer months, the ther­mo­stat is set to 80 degrees over the week­end. On Mon­day morn­ings when every­one gets back at work, the tem­per­a­ture inside the build­ing remains 76 degrees, and the air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem hasn’t run all week­end.

While the extreme ener­gy effi­cien­cy of the build­ing is great, the sound reduc­ing prop­er­ties are one of our favorite aspects of the office. The inte­ri­or is sur­pris­ing­ly qui­et even though we’re so close to the Inter­state and our noisy man­u­fac­tur­ing oper­a­tions are just 10 feet direct­ly behind the office build­ing. The sound reduc­ing prop­er­ties of the Bau­tex Block are evi­dent the moment you first walk through the front door. Vis­i­tors often take a sec­ond to process what is dif­fer­ent once they enter the build­ing. A high sound trans­mis­sion class (STC) rat­ing is eas­i­ly mea­sur­able, but the actu­al expe­ri­ence is dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to describe. It makes for a calm and peace­ful space to work in despite the high­way traf­fic and the rum­ble of Bau­tex Block being man­u­fac­tured just feet away.

Chris Leonard, Direc­tor of Oper­a­tions and Tech­ni­cal Ser­vices at Bau­tex, not­ed, When I come inside from the man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty and the door shuts behind me, the quiet­ness of the office is some­thing I look for­ward too. It allows you to not be dis­tract­ed by out­side noise and to focus on what you’re work­ing on.”

Are You Ready for The Bautex Experience?

As a build­ing mate­ri­als man­u­fac­tur­er, we knew we were going to have a chance to eat our own cook­ing” by build­ing our office using our insu­lat­ed con­crete wall sys­tem. And while we had all par­tic­i­pat­ed in the devel­op­ment of the prod­uct and the prod­uct test­ing pro­gram, we were all still pleas­ant­ly sur­prised at the qual­i­ty of expe­ri­ence the Bau­tex Block Wall Sys­tem pro­vides to build­ing occu­pants. Ener­gy sav­ings are fan­tas­tic, but the qui­et and com­fort­able inte­ri­or spaces cre­ate a won­der­ful envi­ron­ment in which to work.

If you are ready for the Bau­tex Expe­ri­ence for your­self, check out our web­site at www​.bau​texsys​tems​.com or just stop by the office next time you are in Cen­tral Texas. We would love to give you a tour so you can expe­ri­ence Bau­tex first hand.