Deanna Willis Office Design April 07th, 2018 - 11:18:26
Employees have difficulty working productively in noisy environments since stress levels increase and concentration is lowered. There are many design tricks architects can employ to deal with poor acoustics. Using the correct materials in the correct location is key to achieving the proper level of sound absorption. For example ceiling tiles should generally be applied at a low ceiling height. If the ceiling is very high then other methods need to be applied such as lining the walls with fabric banners or acoustical wall panels to avoid the sound bouncing off of drywall or other non-absorbent materials. To keep voices from traveling too far it is useful to places highly-absorbent materials at mouth level throughout the office. Another effective technique in limiting a noisy environment is to create a monotone background sound known as white noise. This can be achieved in a variety of ways such as through the strategic placement of fans and air conditioners the use of water fountains or by installing a sound masking audio system.
Legal minimum office space per person. There is no prescribed minimum occupancy level for a modern office design. Within the UK Building Regulations the section dealing with Fire Hazards (Part B of the Building Regs.) advises a minimum area of 6 square metres (64 sq feet) for each person in an office premises. This figure can be achieved by equating the total headcount against the overall net internal area (NIA) and so doesnt necessarily limit the space for a single person with a desk. In practice offices will have a number of factors - mostly relating to Fire Escape but also the provisions of WCs amount of fresh air available through a ducted system etc. - that have an impact on the legal maximum number of people accommodated within an office building. The Means of Escape is the key criteria for density of occupation. Once a workstation office design layout is defined the Building Control advisor can determine if there are sufficient escape routes for the staff numbers.
Eco-Friendly Office Design Another recent trend is for companies to go green. Saving the environment is an important topic that both large and small companies must address. Regardless of the size of your business you can make a difference by conserving energy maximizing natural light in your office space using recycled materials and recycling creating a healthier workplace environment and purchasing eco-friendly office equipment. Ecoply is just one example of the materials are used today to make office furniture that is sturdy and useful but also breaks down in landfills more easily than traditional materials.
2. Collaboration Spaces Say goodbye to your private office (unless youre the boss of course) because open plan offices are becoming increasingly popular. Companies are trying to make the best use of space possible and office designers have found that giving everyone their own private area is just not the way to do this. An open plan office design also makes it possible for more employees to fit into the space allowing for expansion. Partitions are also getting lower as office designers have found that a space will look much bigger if people have a panoramic view. Some designers advise that a panoramic view whilst seated is preferable whilst others maintain that if the office can be viewed panoramic whilst standing that this is fine.