Under a cloudless blue sky in late November, the RS&H team joined Brown & Brown leaders, contractors and construction workers and signed their names to the long, white steel beam. “Built to Last” was inscribed in Sharpie amongst the signatures.
The beam topped off the new, 11-story Brown & Brown headquarters on Beach Street in Downtown Daytona Beach. Set to open late this year, the RS&H-designed office will stand over the Daytona Beach skyline as the home base for the company, with 10,000-teammates located throughout the U.S. and offices in London, Canada and Bermuda.
Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO) is a leading insurance brokerage firm, providing risk management solutions to individuals and businesses. With more than 80 years of proven success and thousands of teammates, the firm is known for its industry knowledge and superior customer service.
“This is the beginning of the next step of our organization,” said Brown & Brown President and CEO J. Powell Brown at the topping-off ceremony. “Our revenue this year is $2.35 billion – the next step is to get to $4 billion. That will occur right here.”
Clear, Coastal Views
The sea breeze was strong enough to remind everyone at the ceremony that the “World’s Most Famous Beach” is just a mile away. From the open-air veranda on the 11th floor, Brown & Brown teammates will see the ocean.
The rooftop area with a bar, ample seating, flexible AV connections, a full commercial kitchen, boardroom, club room and conference room on the top floor are just a few of the building’s features. The views of the neighboring park and Halifax River – not to mention the Atlantic Ocean – are stunning. The same goes for the open-air deck above the second floor on the south side of the structure.
But the clear, coastal views can be taken in from almost anywhere inside the building. The RS&H design team utilized a curtain wall system with five different glass infills – clear, insulated glass, shadowbox glass, insulated metal panels and louvers. Even the restrooms have natural light pouring in through opaque glass.
As a result, the east side of the building features floor-to-ceiling windows inside and a uniform glass envelope outside.
“We designed the building to have all the mechanical and plumbing systems on the west side, along with stairwells, restrooms and the elevator bank,” said Daniel Heumann, RS&H’s senior project manager architect.
Workplace Culture-Changing Interior
The interior of the building will reshape the way that Brown & Brown teammates work. The east-facing views will remain open for all to see. Open workspaces and collaboration zones are favored over rows of offices. The first two floors will offer training spaces for Brown & Brown’s ever-growing workforce.
“Programmatically, we wanted to keep the space consistent from floor to floor,” said RS&H Senior Project Manager Kris Bolt. “You’ll have centralized elevators, restrooms, conference areas, even break spaces. There is also a lot of flexibility in spaces, such as the cafeteria – which can be utilized 8 hours a day.
“You won’t see a lot of single-function spaces.”
One Team, One Vision
At the topping-off ceremony, contractor Barton Malow Vice President Len Moser explained the purpose of this 1,000-year-old ritual is to pour life into the building.
“We started this journey back in January (2019) with a big dream and great expectations,” Moser said. “We’re very proud of our relationship with Brown & Brown, with RS&H. This is an awesome team that is assembled here, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.”
More than 1,000 tons of steel and 26 million pounds of concrete have already been added. With the glass exterior now being assembled, work will soon turn to the interior. Brown & Brown plans to move into the space at the end of this year.
“The most fun thing about being an architect is watching a building go from paper to an actuality,” Bolt said. “It was great to be at the topping-out ceremony and sign the beam with the client and see the excitement and passion they have for this project.”
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