The BHGE Energy Innovation Center of North America is located on a 7.5-acre site that is strategically positioned between the Oklahoma City business and research communities. The prime location came with incredible views and easy interstate access, but also with irregular property lines and existing utilities. A strategic master plan was needed to maximize the site’s geometric shape, deliver up-to-date working utilities, and incorporate BHGE’s plans for future growth. The Miles Team considered multiple building layouts with each focusing on the showroom as the primary attraction. In addition to the physical buildings, parking for 100-plus employees, greenspaces, and sustainable practices were all planning considerations. After weighing sustainable strategies including building orientation, employee transportation, outdoor lab space, future growth, site access, and proximity of neighbors, the master plan for this state-of-the-art facility positioned the 120,000-square-foot facility in its current location. The building captures the beautiful downtown Oklahoma City skyline while accommodating a 275-car parking garage and enough space for future buildings, if and when needed.
The interior of the building consists of three main components: innovation, research, and technology; all prevalently represented in their spacious showroom where science and innovation are always on display. It is exposed through glass portals wrapping around the dynamic, high-research bays and their 60’ and 400’-deep, subsurface-research test wells. Within a flexible plug-and-play laboratory, large oilfield equipment can be manipulated in a controlled environment to simulate varied well conditions. Spaces typically accessible only to a limited group of applied researchers and engineers are exposed to engage and inspire GE’s customers and employees. The Security Operations Center (SOC) is located within a below-ground, hardened area to allow for the continual monitoring and operation of the entire complex and 7.5-acre campus. From within the SOC, a crisis-management center links the OKC Team to the GE headquarters and other Global Research Centers located in the United States, Germany, Brazil, India, and China. The research space also includes an electronics lab, machine shop, microscope room, and an outdoor laboratory with six megawatts of electrical capacity.
The prominence of laboratory space in the overall building design is symbolic of the magnitude of the research and work taking place within the facility. As the lead architects/designers, Miles Associates brought together a large team of national engineering consultants with the specialized, technical experience required to turn a set of needs and wants into the fully-functional facility. Miles led GE and the design team through an accelerated timeline to complete the master planning, programming, and complete design of the $65 million-dollar facility within nine months. Through proactive management, efficient project meetings, and tight monitoring of the critical path, Miles Associates was able to quickly integrate engineering teams, who were dispersed throughout the United States, with the varied user groups who were globally located throughout the GE network.
Note: This facility was formerly known as the GE Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center. Two years after the completion of this project, the facility was acquired by Baker Hughes. Miles Associates continues to work with the local leadership group and has been instrumental in the ongoing rebranding of the complex into the Baker Hughes Energy Innovation Center of North America. Throughout this acquisition, Baker Hughes plans to leverage the existing assets into a collaboration hub across its diverse organization.
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