Office Building Design – Tips and Ideas for Architects
Office re-designs, both structural and cosmetic, are likely to be pricey for businesses. This means it is important that businesses get the design right and create something that truly works. So much hinges on the design of the building so there needs to be careful consideration with regards to architectural style and choices.
When you as the architect get this right, the impact on the success of your client’s business will be exponential: recruitment of the best talent, retention of the best staff, committed and loyal employees who want to come to work each day, increased productivity, the best customer journey and a business that lives, eats and breathes its ethos, values and brand.
So, let’s have a look now at some tips and ideas on what makes a good office and how architects can make this happen through design, materials and innovation.
Architecture Tips for Office Building Design
- Employee Health and Wellbeing
Employee health and wellbeing hold real sway in any business these days as employers become increasingly aware that they must look after their staff if their business is to prosper. In a pressurised working environment so many working hours are lost each year due to employee “burn-out” and the impact it has on a person’s mental health. Factoring such things as natural light and ambient temperatures into your design can significantly improve the day-to day working-life of your employees, promoting wellbeing, increasing productivity and reducing absenteeism.
Expansive windows can be visually extremely attractive but are not without disadvantages: vast areas of glass can lead to huge fluctuations in office temperature depending on what the weather is doing outside and can make any air con system go crazy. Even the most loyal and committed employee struggles with a working environment where the temperature vacillates on a daily basis between blowing either too hot or too cold. To keep the visual impact of the windows but avoid the above, consider timber louvres in your design prototype. Timber louvres not only reduce the glare of the sun but can also greatly reduce cooling costs of the building. And with natural light still entering the building, they rule out the need for artificial lighting systems which are renowned for creating headaches and general employee malaise. During winter months, timber louvres will allow the warmth and natural light of the sun still to infiltrate the building, thus reducing heating costs. Not only will employees benefit from the natural light but will also appreciate being able to gaze out from their office space on the outside world. Alongside the benefits named above come the natural beauty and character of wood which will add a distinctive look to any new build. Your client will understandably be blown away by the benefits!
- Exterior Design
For your client’s business to prosper in its long planned for new office space, the exterior design and aesthetics of the building are paramount. First impressions remain lasting impressions so be sure to be creative as you draw up your plans. Glass and steel have been the building materials of preference over recent years but with so much concern for the planet, sustainable and environmentally friendly materials are key. Fresh faced office buildings with a carefully constructed balance between glass, steel and timber can make for a fantastic look where the rustic of the timber meets with contemporary design. Not only will timber cladding add to the aesthetics of the building, it will also add dramatically to its environmental credentials through the inherent thermal properties of the wood itself.
- External Space
If your client is fortunate enough to have external space around the building, incorporate it into your design. Be creative with your use of shade structures, add plenty of seating opportunities and suggest selected plants, shrubs and natural greenery. Employees will really appreciate and benefit from the opportunity to take comfort breaks outside. Carefully thought out seating arrangements will also afford the opportunity for outside meeting spaces making a big impression on employees and prospective business clients alike.
- Other Users
In designing an office building, it is important to consult with the client on who else will be using the office space: visitors, potential clients, community members, interested hirers etc. The impact the building and its space has on that initial encounter is key to whether they feel comfortable, valued and whether, most importantly, they want to come back. So, wow them from the outset, inside and out with the aesthetics of the building, its carefully thought out design and the flexibility of office space, its environmental credentials and not least its bathroom facilities! Avoid the clinical cleanliness of most toilet facilities in office blocks. Make them light, airy and pleasant to use. It matters not just to your employees but to visitors and prospective clients too. Remember too in your design that your client should be planning the building not just for the present but also for the future so be sure to map flexibility into your design.
Learn More with NORclad
For any architect, the possibilities of office building design are exciting and endless. Be sure however to talk to your client, understand what they want and be bold enough to make suggestions which you know will create a state-of-the-art building and working office environment. If extra outlay at the outset makes for happier and more productive employees, that has got to be a major financial consideration for your client. A successful business will soon recoup the additional outlay.
At NORclad we know just how much our timber products can greatly enhance any building, not just optically but environmentally and sustainably too. We have a vast portfolio of timber products and past and present projects that we’d be delighted to share with you.
To learn more about how we can contribute to your design of the ultimate office building, please contact us today.