Space Use

  • How Coworking is Shaping the Workplace of the Future

    Designing Workspaces that Work for the Users

    Published 10-14-2020

    Employees are driving the design of their workspaces like never before—demanding more collaborative environments, flexible spaces, and personalized technology. As a result, the focus of workplace design and operations, and overall facilities management, is evolving “from the responsibility of managing the building to the opportunity to enable the people within that building,” says Melissa Marsh, AIA, founder and executive director of PLASTARC. Marsh points to the rise of coworking as the disruptive innovation that sparked this shift, and the purposeful use of technology as the force that will sustain it.

  • Measuring the Human Factor Value in Academic STEM Facilities

    How Design Trends for Modern Science Buildings Enhance the Occupant Experience

    Published 9-30-2020

    As the landscape for academic institutions grows more competitive, determining how human factors impact the design of STEM facilities is becoming a significant consideration when it comes to attracting students and research faculty. As a result, team members at Francis Cauffman Architects are developing a set of metrics to identify and assess the value of design features that influence occupant experience in academic STEM spaces with the goal of creating an index that can be used to inform future renovation and new construction projects. Human factor points are allocated to spaces and design features that have a demonstrated positive impact on student enrollment, result in high levels of user satisfaction, and accommodate the teaching and research goals of the facility. In a post-COVID world, this additional evaluation tool may be more important than ever.

  • Expediting Laboratory Design Within a Changing Environment

    Early Involvement of the Entire Team is More Critical Now than Ever

    Published 9-16-2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for the research community to respond quickly to changing markets and to understand the value of laboratory spaces that are flexible, adaptable, and scalable. We’ve seen stadiums converted to makeshift hospitals, “drive-through” testing sites pop up in vacant parking lots, and testing laboratories continually ramp up production to expedite results. This quick-thinking behavior has been inspiring to witness but daunting to execute. Laboratories, by nature, are among the most complex building typologies, where the utmost importance is protecting both the health and safety of their occupants and the integrity of the research. The complexities of the resulting design can be challenging to undertake, but when faced with the extreme circumstances of a pandemic, it is possible to expedite the process with a combination of strategies.

  • Workspace Designed for Diversity and Inclusivity

    Broadening “Diversity” to Include Work Styles that Differ by Generation and Team

    Published 7-29-2020

    Northwestern Mutual recently completed a headquarters project that uses built spaces to support diversity and inclusion among people with different work styles, disabilities, generational differences, genders, and body shapes. Architects followed the principles of universal design, and facilities designers used innovative furniture and varied spaces to accommodate differences among employees and to increase user engagement and productivity.