Greetings from Two Pierce Place

Posted: 11/1/2016

On October 21, Civiltech’s headquarters relocated. We have moved just down the street to Two Pierce Place in Itasca and upward to the 14th Floor. The process of moving an entire office is challenging as there is a lot more involved in constructing a new space than just selecting carpet and paint colors. We were fortunate to work with some very talented architects that encouraged us to think about how we work. We questioned how we could improve our workflow and how the new space could facilitate that. We also asked ourselves what type of work environment we wanted to foster. Answers to these questions would help us create an environment to work efficiently and effectively, to ultimately better serve our clients.

What struck us the most during the process is how the workplace has changed. We had been in our previous space for 15 years and it served us well, but times have changed. The need for individual desk space has decreased as more work is performed on computers rather than on paper or plan sheets. The need to store less paper has also greatly diminished the need for rows and rows of file cabinets. And most significantly, more emphasis is placed on encouraging a collaborative work environment.

Our industry has changed too. There used to be clear lines between Phase I, Phase II and Phase III. Now those lines have become blurred and our once isolated departments need to interact more than ever. Our new space integrates all of our design groups much more cohesively and allows for cross discipline collaboration. In addition to traditional conference rooms, our new office has “huddle spaces” that provide an area for small groups to meet in an informal setting. Even our breakroom has been designed to double as a training facility. All of this occurs in a technology driven environment where even televisions replace whiteboards. Video conferencing capabilities are critical in order to work seamlessly across offices, resulting in time and money savings.

As we watched construction unfold in the new office, it became time to decide exactly what we would be taking with us. Fifteen years is a long time to stay in an office space and a lot of “stuff” had accumulated over that time. For weeks leading up to moving day, every Thursday a big red dumpster would arrive and would quickly be filled with old reports, plan sets and miscellaneous other long forgotten items. It was fun finding treasures like old holiday party photos even though some of them should have stayed missing. Dumpster after dumpster of each of our histories made its way to the trash. It couldn’t help but feel like a fresh beginning.

Moving day successfully came and went, and we are settling into our new space. One of the great things about our new location is that it provides us with a birds-eye view of the Elgin-O’Hare construction project. For transportation engineers, it doesn’t get better than that! Watching the construction is a daily reminder of how civil engineers have an impact on the world. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day efforts of plan preparation, responding to comments and obtaining permits, and lose sight of the fact that we, as transportation engineers, affect people’s lives and have a lasting impact on our built environment.

We are embarking upon a new era in Civiltech’s history and this is an exciting time for us! If you’re in the area, stop by, we’d love to show you around.