Our Values In Action
The Comcast Technology Center: A Testament to Our Values
Rising 60 stories above the busy streets of Center City in Philadelphia, the new Comcast Technology Center is a symbol of who Comcast NBCUniversal is today — and where we are going in the future.
“The Comcast Technology Center is truly the embodiment of our corporate culture and values,” says Karen Dougherty Buchholz, Comcast’s Senior Vice President of Administration, who helped oversee the design and construction of the building. “It’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to employees, to the community, and to sustainability. It also serves to support the innovation and creativity that will drive our business forward.”
Committed to Our Employees
Completed in 2019, the 1,121-foot skyscraper was built as a world-class space for approximately 4,000 Philadelphia-based technologists; it also houses state-of-the-art television studios for NBC10 and Telemundo62 and is topped by a Four Seasons Hotel on the 12 highest stories. The tower is the newest of five buildings that comprise the Comcast Center Campus, which is one of the only technology centers in the heart of an urban East Coast city and provides a vibrant, stimulating destination for employees every day.
With a mix of open spaces and quiet work rooms — along with all of the hardware and software needed for innovation — the Comcast Technology Center reflects our determination to provide what our technologists need to be productive and happy at work. “The Comcast Technology Center was designed with collaboration and innovation in mind,” says Tony Werner, President of the Technology, Product, Xperience organization within Comcast Cable. “It’s a visual representation of our commitment to technology and creativity and a tangible example of the investments we’re making to attract and retain the best technologists in the industry.”
Employees from across the company were actively involved in the building’s development. From the early stages of the design process, we used focus groups and surveys to solicit employees’ ideas for the space, to ensure it would meet their needs. We also built a full-size model of a section of a single floor of the building in a Philadelphia suburb and invited employees to visit it, test products, and provide feedback. Approximately 3,000 employees shared their views through one or more of these channels.
When constructing the Comcast Technology Center, we put significant focus on creating an accessible space for our employees, especially those with disabilities. For example, we used different types of flooring — wood, carpet, and tile — in consistent ways, to provide a navigation aid for a sight-impaired person. Wood floors indicate “main streets,” tile indicates hallways, and carpet indicates workspaces.
Because we also wanted a space for employee events, the building includes a two-story, 500-seat amphitheater — named the Ralph J. Roberts Forum, after Comcast’s founder — that can be used for town halls, talks, TV show and film premieres, and other special occasions.
At NBC10 and Telemundo62, the stations’ 200+ employees are empowered to do their best work in their 80,000 square foot studios, which are the most fiber-optically connected in the world. “This building doesn’t just stand for innovation in technology — we are also innovating in journalism,” says Ric Harris, President and General Manager of NBC10 and Telemundo62. The two stations now operate in parallel world-class facilities in the Comcast Technology Center. “These studios have every technological advancement we could ask for, which provides the tools our news teams need to investigate and deliver the news faster. We are thrilled to be in this new space, right in Center City, where we are setting a new standard for Greater Philadelphia and our industry.”
Committed to Our Community
The Comcast Technology Center is also a reflection of our company’s deep commitment to the Philadelphia community.
While many corporate buildings are off-limits to the public, the Comcast Technology Center has a multi-level lobby that is open to visitors and filled with captivating features. The Universal Sphere™, for example, is an immersive experience that is free and open to the public. The experience is wheelchair accessible and service-animal friendly, and audio and closed-captioning devices are available for guests’ convenience.
Guests can also view the digital art installation “For Philadelphia” that spans the lobby’s ceiling. Created by world-renowned artist Jenny Holzer, the installation features writing by poets, architects, visionaries, and local schoolchildren — another way we worked to include the community in the new space. Text flows across the display in a range of colors and effects to mirror and amplify the voices represented. In addition, more than 40 local artists’ and makers’ work is represented throughout the building. Visitors are also welcome to visit the coffee bar in the upper lobby and the restaurants on the ground, 59th, and 60th floors.
“Our goal was to establish a premiere destination that couples innovation with community engagement in the city of Philadelphia — something everyone could be a part of and feel proud of,” says Buchholz.
Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs on the fourth floor is also an important part of our community-building efforts. LIFT Labs works with tech entrepreneurs to refine their ideas and jump-start their companies’ growth. The 13-week LIFT Lab Accelerator program, for example, gives startup founders the opportunity to work one-on-one with mentors from our partner Techstars, as well as with product experts from Comcast NBCUniversal. While not open to the public daily, the LIFT Labs space was designed to host community events for entrepreneurs.
In building the Comcast Technology Center, we sought to provide opportunities to local companies. As part of an Economic Opportunity Plan, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, we developed a series of specific inclusion goals for suppliers and the on-site construction workforce. All told, we spent more than $300 million with more than 140 diverse-owned contractors, with approximately 30% of the overall construction workforce being people of color or women. (For comparison, we spent $100 million with diverse suppliers when we built the neighboring Comcast Center a decade ago.) In 2017 and 2018, the Comcast Technology Center was ranked No. 1 for Economic Opportunity Plans by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce.
Committed to Sustainability
Finally, the Comcast Technology Center is a manifestation of our commitment to sustainability. The building is on track to be double LEED Platinum certified — the highest-level certification for an environmentally friendly workplace. A “daylight harvesting” system makes the most of natural light, using overhead glare detectors to increase or decrease interior LED lighting as needed. A mechanical shade system, controlled by rooftop weather monitoring sensors, raises or lowers window shades automatically.
Instead of a standard HVAC system, the building is heated and cooled with an energy-efficient chilled beam system — the largest of its kind in North America. In the cafeteria, an anaerobic digester breaks down food scraps, helping to minimize the amount of waste going to landfill. A living, green roof absorbs and retains water to reduce demand on the sewer system. And, we are encouraging environmentally friendly commuting, as the Comcast Center Campus is built directly over a subway and train station and includes numerous bike racks for those who want to ride to work.
To learn more about the Comcast Technology Center, visit our dedicated website.