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Aaron Ross Ross: “The idea was simple: create space for nature to reinvade the campus setting and then let people go outside and experience it.”

SAN DIEGO—Connectivity to nature is hugely important to employee well-being and can also lead to more synergies among buildings within an office campus, BNIM’s principal and director of landscape design Aaron Ross tells GlobeSt.com. Work spaces that inspire employees to run at lunch or talk shop with colleagues as they take a brisk walk are becoming strong recruiting tools—likely now even more so than the ping pong tables and slides of the early 2000s, the firm reports. And according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, those living in the Western US region are about 50% more likely to exercise on an average day than are those in the East South Central and West South Central regions of the US, so in the West Coast this is an even more decisive factor of worker happiness than elsewhere.

San Diego’s Pacific Center Campus Development, designed by BNIM, melds active campus design ideas and innovative workplace strategies with native plant ecosystems, innovative water strategies and the much-cited productivity benefits of being surrounded by nature. A redevelopment of an existing 20-acre campus for a major Fortune 500 technology company, the PCCD design transforms a generic vehicle-oriented suburban-office development dominated by surface parking and water-dependent lawns into an immersive, pedestrian-oriented campus environment. A result of intense multi-disciplinary collaboration, the project creates a cohesive series of indoor and outdoor spaces that reconnect the users to each other and to the indigenous landscapes of northern San Diego County.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on GlobeSt.com and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.

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