Space Use

The Hybrid Workplace: Home Sweet Office

Creating the Right Post-COVID Environment for Employees to Do Their Best Work

Published 10-5-2022

Among all the questions about the post-COVID workplace, a common realization is taking hold: Organizations must be especially mindful of employee needs in their return-to-office planning. The pandemic upended not just the professional but also the personal side of workers’ lives. One of the things that distinguishes this new era is the much larger role empathy and understanding will play in the design process, says John Campbell, president of the architecture firm FCA. The new workplace will feature a variety of recalibrated space types that are more purposeful, employee driven, and less unitized. 

Benchmarking Data Can Drive Both Quantitative and Qualitative Space Decisions

Data Collection Should be Centralized to Support Decision Making

Published 9-21-2022

Collecting “big data” is always a good first step for benchmarking, but the data will benefit facility design only if there is an equally strong system for applying it to make informed decisions. Using a variety of technology tools, Flad Architects of Madison, Wis., has developed what they call a data warehouse, a central place where everyone within their firm can store and evaluate data to use when benchmarking space metrics across all projects in all sectors. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods are used to conduct space utilization studies including new sensor technologies that provide a high level of accuracy.

Academic Institutions Repurpose Large Teaching Spaces for Today’s Pedagogy

Emphasis is on Active Learning and Accessibility

Published 9-7-2022

You had a few of those big lecture classes in college—rows of students sitting in tiers, facing an instructor with an overhead projector or maybe a PowerPoint presentation. But recent studies show that students learn better and achieve more when they actively engage in their learning rather than passively listen to a lecture. Higher ed students will likely continue to spend about half their time in lecture halls or large-format classrooms designed for 75, 150, or even 250 people, so universities need to adapt these spaces with improved audiovisual systems and more room per student.

Space Strategies 2023

October 16-17, 2023
Boston

At this conference, you’ll get the critical space planning data, metrics, processes, and solutions that you’ll need to meet goals for successful hybrid workplace initiatives, increased flexibility, higher space utilization, and change management. This includes multi-purpose spaces, improved space allocation processes, more effective data collection and reporting, better workplace engagement and experience, lower occupancy cost, and greater organizational performance.

Unum Group Optimizing Space for the Future Hybrid Workplace

Universal Seating in Fully Flex Environment, Shift to Coworking for Satellite Offices, and New Campus-Based App Help Increase Efficiencies and Reduce Overhead

Published 8-3-2022

Even before the COVID pandemic, many companies were looking to optimize space and decrease costs. Unum Group, an insurer with international operations, has taken a multi-pronged approach: reducing its on-campus footprint by creating one-size-fits-all work spaces, moving to flex-for-all seating, switching nearly half of its long-term off-campus leases to coworking rentals, and developing a Modo® Labs app for space utilization and company communication. The app offers real-time access to concierge services, online food ordering, and organizational information. In the United Kingdom, employees can also use the app to make seat reservations and ensure they have a desk when coming to the office.

Space Planning Considerations for Scrum Teams

Designing Scrum Spaces That Optimize Agile Product Development

Published 7-6-2022

Agile product development using scrum teams of nine to 12 people continues to be a popular approach for quickly delivering tangible project results in a fast-changing marketplace. Originally established in the late 1990s as a nimble project management framework for rapidly creating new software products, it has since become prevalent in a wide range of other sectors, including scientific research, architecture, telecommunications, media, finance, and emerging technologies.

Repurposing Commercial Space for Life Sciences and Biotech

Building Metrics Must Be Carefully Considered for Suitability

Published 6-22-2022

Funding for life sciences is booming, causing a space demand surge in already tight markets across North America. Companies that are ramping up production or spinning out of university labs often lease space in new or in-progress buildings but can have trouble finding the perfect fit. Commercial building inventory, both built and under construction, consists mainly of office space with systems that are incompatible with modern research missions. Outside of a few biotech-focused cities—Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle, for example—it’s hard to find a developer that understands lab space needs, so a life sciences company might hire an architect to work with developers on a redesign. Space considerations include zoning constraints, floor-to-floor heights, minimum floor plate, and electrical capacity.

How the Pandemic Transformed Future Workplace Design and Organizational Strategies

A Research-Based Forecast of the Post-Covid Workspace

Published 4-27-2022

While the global pandemic changed many fundamental elements of daily life—including travel, education, and the economy—its impact on the workplace will perhaps prove to be the most disruptive and long-lasting. Research conducted by MillerKnoll reveals how years of remote working, empty real estate, workforce redistribution, and limited social interaction have profoundly changed workplace expectations and organizational strategies for employees and employers alike. The research study, called The Case for a Thriving Workplace, indicates a massive shift in future planning approaches to workspace design and organizational structure that are more human, holistic, interactive, and flexible.

Stony Brook University’s New Ultra-Low-Temp Walk-in Freezer Farm

An Energy Efficient, Lower Cost Alternative to Traditional Point-of-Use Freezers

Published 4-13-2022

Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine in Stony Brook, N.Y., has increased its capacity for ultra-low-temperature freezer storage, a need that became critical nationwide in early 2021 when the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine required that level of storage, limiting which hospitals and pharmacies could offer it. Stony Brook’s new 560,000-sf Medical and Research Translation facility contains a low-temp walk-in (LTW) Freezer Farm suite with eight minus-80-degree-Celsius permanent storage chambers and a minus-20-degree-Celsius storage corridor with a combined capacity of over 1.8 million samples. This is the equivalent storage of 80 traditional point-of-use (POU) stand-alone freezer units.

Bakar BioEnginuity Hub Raises the Bar for Urban Adaptive Reuse Projects

UC Berkeley’s New Life Science Incubator Transforms the Future While Preserving the Past

Published 3-30-2022

The Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH), a newly opened life science incubator in Woo Hon Fai Hall on the University of California Berkeley campus, sets a new standard for adaptive reuse of historically significant buildings. Originally completed in 1970, the 94,000-sf cast-in-place concrete building was designed by famed San Francisco architect Mario Ciampi as the home of the Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive. Considered an iconic example of mid-century brutalist architecture, the building was found to have significant seismic vulnerabilities after a campus-wide assessment was conducted in 1997. Despite installing temporary reinforcement bracing that improved the building’s seismic rating from “very poor” to “poor,” the museum ultimately moved to a new location in 2014, leaving the massive complex vacant until a decision was made in 2018 to transform it into a life science research incubator that also preserved the building’s historic legacy. While the bold adaptive reuse goal was laudable and widely supported, the architectural engineering and mechanical challenges of retrofitting the historic building to support the needs of a modern flexible life sciences lab were unprecedented.