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Innovative Solution Does a Power of Good in San Francisco

By Nina Ault, PE

For its 110,000-square-foot project across a number of floors in San Francisco, the software firm Atlassian wanted 100% mobile workstations in their open office space. This required a thorough evaluation of flexible power solutions and the associated architectural impacts.

One of the best parts of my job is when I’m challenged with providing an innovative solution to a client’s request. To meet this client’s needs, I conducted research online and spoke with different senior electrical engineers to understand the electrical code implications. We needed to find solutions to power mobile workstations from the ceiling to serve their flexible work environment. In addition, the solution had to be aesthetically pleasing and comply with the National Electrical Code – which was not an easy task.

We reviewed multiple overhead power solutions, outlining the benefits and downsides of each option to the architectural, contracting, and client teams. In conjunction with the contractor’s pricing efforts, the team ultimately decided on a flexible drop-down power reel neatly integrated into the architectural ceiling design while still maintaining the code required access.

By having the ability to move their desks to any configuration, the occupants are able to collaborate in unique and flexible ways. Our engineering solution helped Atlassian create a cutting-edge space that encourages their employees to work together.

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