DNB New York people working in breakout space

Shaping brand evolution through sustainability and technology

DNB, New York

Norway’s largest financial services group, DNB set out to create a new, dynamic workplace. Framed by panoramic views of New York City and the Hudson River, the space offers choice to employees and represents the organisation’s evolving brand and culture.

Supporting collaboration and engagement between employees and customers, the design integrates sustainability features and advanced technology in a comfortable, people-centred environment.

At a glance

  1. Using workplace strategy to identify and meet project objectives, while designing for the future.
  2. Creating an adaptive framework of spaces for collaboration and focus.
  3. Achieving WELL Platinum & LEED Gold Certification.
person at teapoint in office design for DNB
Green wall sustainable design for DNB
person working in booth breakout in office design for DNB

Mirroring brand heritage through innovative design

As a 200-year-old Norwegian financial institution, the workplace reflects DNB’s brand and identity through materials and finishes inspired by Scandinavian design. Warm oak and walnut wood tones, and deep hues of blues and greens represent the natural landscape of Norway. The design of the reception was informed by the structure of a Viking ship with a unique connecting space that features a Northern Lights installation. This landscape stands in quiet contrast to its vibrant New York City backdrop.

DNB’s space balances the physical demands of the business and the needs of its people – just as urban and natural environments balance each other. The workplace offers an adaptive framework of environments for congregation and focus.

man admiring view in casual area in office design for DNB
people socialising at teapoint in office design for DNB
person at reception and people in breakout area at DNB workspace

An in-depth discovery process geared towards the future of work

A thorough discovery process helped us meet DNB’s strategic objectives by engaging in interviews, utilisation studies, surveys and social network analysis. This enabled us to identify how teams should operate, the common collaborators and what behaviours to nurture. Additionally, the findings demonstrated the importance of wellness and sustainability which guided the project to WELL Platinum & LEED Gold Certification.

Understanding how DNB’s teams worked in the present, and how they would evolve in the future, led to a variety of space types. These include multiple meeting areas and alternative work points to support different workstyles. Collaborative space was a key component of the design. So, a quarter of the floor plan is dedicated to communal areas including a reception, social hub café and a multi-purpose conference space.

person working on work floor at DNB
DNB New York people working in breakout space with technology
woman working in booth and woman working on table

Designing to meet WELL and LEED standards


  • At least 90% of ceilings and 75% of insulation (by area) meet strict Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) standards.

Air quality

  • Air quality measures in the office exceed ASHRAE standards by 30%.
  • CO2 monitoring systems manage changing occupancy levels throughout the day. These systems allow for real-time adjustments to the HVAC system, ensuring optimal air quality control.
  • Air quality control during construction helped minimise potential contaminants and pollutants that could impact the indoor environment.


  • 81.81% of construction waste (by weight), including 6 main streams, are diverted from landfill.


  • Energy efficiency measures include ENERGY STAR-certified equipment, which accounts for 96.6% of all newly installed equipment.
  • A high-efficiency lighting system reduces energy consumption by 20% compared to ASHRAE standards.
  • The lighting system includes automatic controls based on natural light levels and occupancy sensors that manage 80% of the lighting, promoting energy conservation.


  • Acoustic performance meets the highest requirements for HVAC background noise, sound transmission and reverberation time.


  • Newly installed pantry faucets support water use reduction by 31.81% compared to LEED standard baseline.
  • All newly installed pantry faucets are WaterSense labeled, which was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


  • 83.57% of regularly occupied areas provide access to outside views.
person working in work lounge
man giving presentation to colleague

2022CoreNet NYC Corporate Real Estate Awards for Excellence - Project of the Year



Completion date



New York


25,000 sq ft


WELL Platinum


Aaron Thompson

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