Headshot of Laura Soma

Laura Soma

Sustainability Manager

Meet Laura

Laura Ovsak

Project Manager

Meet Laura

GLY celebrated a big move to Eastgate’s Cascade Yard last December, a change spurred by the impending redevelopment of our former location.

After calling Downtown Bellevue home for over 10 years, the move presented the opportunity to start fresh and build a vibrant space that enhances our brand identity and creates an ideal working environment for today’s employees. We faced challenges associated with any office move: a pending lease expiration and pressure to move quickly; balancing wants, needs, and wishes within a strict budget; and making environmentally sound decisions at every step.

Sustainability, one of our corporate values, may have been our biggest hurdle – as it can be for our clients. Tenant improvements [TIs] generally come with strict budgets, building constraints, and landlord parameters that make it more difficult to maximize energy efficient systems and sustainable materials. Our project was no different. Yet with creativity and tapping into the experts, sustainable TIs are achievable no matter your canvas or budget.

With only 15 months to find, design, construct, and move into our new offices, members of our Interiors | Special Projects [ISP] team got to work researching locations and amenities, budgeting and planning, and building out the space.

Project Manager Laura Ovsak checks out GLY's new space shortly after finishing interior demolition.


We set clear goals from the start to guide every decision and keep us on course. Greatest among these:

  • Remain in Bellevue, our home since 1975.
  • Create a healthy, enjoyable, functional workplace with accessible amenities so we can perform at our best.
  • Maintain a limited, responsible budget.
  • Maximize sustainability to live our mission and Northwest culture, with LEED certification.

Our ambitions needed to fit not only within a reasonable price, but also a 1970s building with other tenants.

Cascade Yard is located in the Eastgate community of Bellevue, WA. One of its most attractive features? Lots of trees!

How We Did It

The process for our TI was the same as any GLY ISP project. We partnered with Weaver Architects, Prime Electric, Hermanson Mechanical, Patriot Fire Protection, Cochran, and the rest of the team in an integrated fashion, found win-win solutions, and built the job safely and efficiently.

Some choices were particularly impactful for budget, sustainability, and/or quality, beyond GLY’s standard practices such as a minimum 75% waste diversion. For example:

  • The office layout prioritizes the views, maximizes daylight, and reduces power demands. Private offices sit in the interior, but face outward, so natural daylight floods into both private and open workspaces. Triggered by sensors, many lights go the entire day without turning on! The layout also gives everyone in the office a view to the trees outside, regardless of where they are at.
  • We reused over 80% of our office furniture including desks and partitions, break room appliances, and feature pieces. For example, we split a large live edge table in two. Each section now provides a collaboration space at separate ends of the office.
  • Low-emitting materials provide better indoor air quality. For example, while the majority of the office features exposed concrete floors [the most environmentally sustainable choice], the training and conference rooms use carpet with low emitting certifications, Health Product Declarations [HPDs], Environmental Product Declarations [EPDs], and even a Declare label. Paint is either zero or low VOC and ceilings are Greenguard Gold Certified for low chemical emissions.
  • GLY managed LEED administration instead of hiring a third-party consultant, which can be a significant cost for smaller tenant improvement budgets.

Our role as both builder and client was especially interesting, like stepping into our other clients' shoes literally instead of figuratively!

Open workspaces and private offices receive ample daylight. Employees enjoy views to the outside from nearly every location in the office.

The feature walls include large metal photo panels—one of the many pieces of furniture and accents carried over from the previous office.

In addition to nine bookable meeting rooms, employees can use the phone room or wellness room for quiet space or conversation.

Additional Highlights

Optimal Location

  • Cascade Yard’s amenity building with dedicated fitness facility, showers, café, and gathering areas frees up space for our office layout and provides additional options for meetings and breaks.
  • We're within easy walking distance of the Eastgate transit station, allowing many employees to use public transit.

Thoughtful Features

  • The training room's glass operable wall opens to the kitchen and break area for larger gatherings and events.
  • The break area is open with multiple seating choices so we can get up and eat meals away from our desks. We run into people who we might not see otherwise and have some great conversations.
  • Visitors at reception enjoy creature comforts such as a beverage bar and comfortable chairs along with a salvaged coffee table from our previous office.
  • Plentiful meeting spaces are very important with an open office. Nine bookable rooms accommodate a range of group sizes from two people to 49 in our training room. A small phone room handles impromptu virtual meetings or private calls.
  • A private wellness room provides private space for new parents, prayer, or quiet moments.

The break area and kitchen connect to the large training room via glass operable walls, which open up for larger events.

The lobby features a large meeting table that we repurposed into a smaller coffee table.

Everyday Essentials

  • Standard dishes and silverware serve day-to-day use, along with compostable plates, cups, and silverware for larger functions. You’ll be hard-pressed to find disposable plastic materials anywhere in the kitchen.
  • A Bevi machine replaces canned and bottled drinks, saving nearly 40,000 cans and bottles annually. It can even add caffeine or immunity boosters to your water!

The Bevi machine replaces disposable cans and bottles.

The Team

Many thanks to the hardworking team that made our vision a reality including:

GLY Leadership

  • Principal Bill DeJarlais
  • Project Manager Laura Ovsak
  • Superintendent Aaron Ost
  • Sustainability Manager Laura Soma
  • Project Engineer Jeff Hammond

Project Partners

  • Weaver Architects
  • Prime Electric
  • Hermanson Mechanical
  • Patriot Fire Protection
  • Cochran
  • Apex Facility Resources
  • PBS Supply
  • ProClean
  • TubeArt
  • Creo
  • Metropolitan Appliance
  • B + H
  • Legacy
  • Sessler, Inc.
  • Washington Commercial Painters
  • Solar Arts
  • Servicemark
  • Zesbaugh
  • Washington Architectural Hardware
  • All New Glass
  • JS Perrott Casework
  • Superior Steel
  • SASE Concrete Supply
  • Wrecking Ball
  • Otto Rosenau
  • Dusty Robotics
  • Rose Environmental
  • Safway
  • Scarff Law
  • Sound Control
  • JLL Brokerage