American Family Insurance: The Spark
American Family Insurance’s new social impact hub, the Spark, sets a prime example for corporate responsibility – integrating sustainability, innovation, and an intelligent building system centric to the user experience. The building’s inception led to the launch of The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, an initiative to address the community’s greatest profound social and environmental challenges using coaching, data analytics, and educational boot camps.
The 158,000 square foot, eight-story facility has collaborative community spaces for the public and permanently houses American Family’s DreamBank and StartingBlock Madison. Both groups provide professional assistance and training for entrepreneurs. The state-of-the-art building features occupancy and CO2 sensors for ventilation, temperature and humidity control, automated solar shading and lighting control, and smartphone interfaces to decrease energy use and cultivate an enjoyable work environment.
The Spark meets all LEED prerequisites including: water metering, advanced energy metering, cooling tower water use, a high level of points under optimize energy performance, enhanced indoor air quality strategies, and quality views. Innovative energy and water design features include; rain and condensate water being reused for cooling tower make-up, air infiltration management, an optimized building envelope with triple pane glazing, dedicated and variable outdoor air delivery with heat recovery and humidity control, LED lighting, high efficiency condensing boilers, and premium water-cooled chillers tied to a geoexchange system to increase efficiency.