Noble Drilling Invests in the NEXT Generation of Offshore Crews with State-of-the-Art Training Facility

06/15/2014 | Ziegler Cooper

Noble Drilling is a leading offshore drilling contractor for the oil and gas industry and has been at the forefront of developing in-house talent. Rapid growth and significant technology enhancements are challenging offshore drillers to create a long-term solution to bring new talent into the industry and educate them as quickly as possible through training programs. Ziegler Cooper was contacted to develop a design for a new 29,146 sf training facility called the Noble Excellence Through Technology Center (the NEXT Center). Now completed, the facility provides state-of-the-art simulator and classroom-based training for its offshore drilling crews both domestically and internationally. The NEXT Center offers multiple courses that include cyber control, conventional drilling, dynamic positioning, power management, stability and ballast control, well control, crane operations, maintenance, subsea operations and major emergency management. 

Visitors and employees enter into a well-branded reception featuring a large, blue and yellow Noble logo stained into the concrete flooring. Large scale floor-to ceiling wall graphics feature “oceanic” imagery, reinforcing the Noble culture and mission. A model ship encased in glass sits behind the central reception desk where just overhead images of Nobles core business are projected. Off the lobby is a large indoor break out space and kitchen area where up to 65 trainees can have a meal between classes. Large circular lighting fixtures create interest down the main corridor and floor-to ceiling wall graphics continue the branded “oceanic” theme.

“We are excited about the opportunities the NEXT Center will yield for our team members around the globe as we continue to broaden and expand our training programs,” said Bob Newhouse, –Vice President, Learning & Development at Noble. “Training is essential to our success and this new facility will help ensure our team members remain leaders in our industry in terms of safety, operational integrity and professionalism.”

The design concept features three large training room’s that seat 24 trainees in a class room setting with folding partitions that open up to create one large room for up to 72 in a conference setting. Room wizards at training rooms allow meetings to be managed seamlessly via web, laptop or smart phone. Wayfinding elements reinforce branding by mimicking maritime ship signage with stenciled lettering.  Simulator rooms and classrooms throughout the facility are transparent and strategically placed adjacent to each other to allow Noble to walk clients through the “observation deck” to view and experience what is taking place within the training sessions first hand without interrupting the classrooms.  Due to the close proximity of the simulator rooms and high volume of alerting sounds during training Ziegler Cooper worked with an acoustical consultant to design partitions to isolate sound transmission between rooms.  The simulator rooms also include raised access flooring to allow for flexibility within the room in case the layout of the simulator equipment needs to be modified.   Six private offices and 25 open offices are included for instructors and on-site staff. The center includes a shower facility and a large outdoor deck and grill area is available for company events. 

About Ziegler Cooper
Through research-based design, we refine and adapt our principles of architecture, while exploring a building’s limits. Our design solutions reflect a fresh approach that respects the context, reinterprets the historical tradition and transcends the immediate circumstances to connect with the client’s vision. We pursue innovation with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our firm seeks to explore the influences of a building as they pertain to the uniqueness of the site, setting and client. We believe inspirational architecture has the power to uplift the human spirit and provides a constant vision of excellence.  For information about Ziegler Cooper, visit