The New reality demands from us – architects and engineers – review demands to offices design. Starting from the flexible and remote working schedule, following requirements for hygiene and social distancing, including creation of new terms for psychological comfort during the quarantine which will be unavoidable in future.
We decided to start from ourselves and create an office by engineers for engineers, to create engineering hub. In the first place we started to dream which office we would like to have in new reality conditions, sitting in the tight apartments during the quarantine in our city one on one with our kids (which also studying remotely), so where we would like to go? We wanted to created ecosystem, atmosphere, comfortable space, an emotion – and then, finally, working places or square meters.
Next, we went into deep empathy for the design thinking methodology. We conducted surveys of companies and people whose opinion we respect, who we listen to, whose culture and way of life are close to us. We interviewed several large international technology companies, several foreign engineering companies and international consultants, developers and international office operators. They were asked what challenges they face now in their offices and what kind of offices would they like to have in the new reality?
Gathering insights, brainstorming over the problems, we set out to find a solution. Then brainstorm after brainstorm, iteration after iteration, idea after idea and we started to create. We wanted to create first of all an idea, an architecturally and engineeringly competent idea, simple but technological, an idea in which you can comfortably maintain a balance between life and work. We also wanted to create an architectural / engineering / design project by immediately thinking / analyzing / coordinating everything with each other / simulating whether it will work / beauty which does not require further post design and too complex details / whose heart is the BIM model and DATA which will be used throughout the project life cycle from materials and equipment procurement to construction, operation at the level of space management, asset management, preventive maintenance planning and maintenance.
What did we do? What offices do we see in the new reality and what do end consumers expect? Which features are important and come to the edge and which are not needed at all?
We predict that in the future the offices will be from 1.5 to 2.0 people per table, given the possibility and desire for remote work. People today do not need everyone to sit in the office and at the table, the time of the industrial era has passed, the scheme of the plant and the conveyor belt shouldn’t be applied to office workers. But when a person comes to the office, he should be comfortable in terms of space, microclimate, lighting, social distance and hygiene. So, we create flexible equipped workstations, from stationary with a powerful computer and two monitors to mobile where you can work with a laptop or tablet or even a phone, where you can work standing or lying down, where you can take a video conference alone or with a colleague. This can be a meeting with the team or the customer, where there are outlets and good internet.
LOTS OF SPACE
We want to create a lot of space for people in the office. It should not be hundreds of square meters from which the minimum number of m2 per person is squeezed out. It is necessary to respect the personal space of people, both in terms of social distance and area of activity, privacy, physiological characteristics. Since we spend most of our time in the office, it has to be a fun. It should be a balance between life and work. There should be a lot of different work space (seats, standing places, lying down places) , creative and multifunctional places that inspires (swings, sofas and chairs, plants and aquarium, children’s area or area where you can do something with your own hands. — a prototype). Where a large desktop is enough. Where you can find a beautiful view from the window and can sit with a colleague to plan the day. Where there is a place for you and kids (who have no one to leave at home), or a dog or a cat. Where you can find a pace for a hobby or play the guitar in a soundproof Skype box alone or with friends in the event zone.
LOT OF GREEN
Personal plants in the workplace instead of sad partitions with a neighbor. Automatic drip irrigation which you can adjust to your type of plants and not worry that you forgot to water or went on vacation and your plants forgot or flooded. Microgreens for salad — please grow. A vegetable garden that can be eaten for lunch, with an automatic watering- please too. People want to grow something while living on the asphalt in challenging cities. There are also greenery in the aquarium where water and sewage are supplied and hydroponics with fish and herbs.
ZONES FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
It’s great when during a break at work or at the end of the day you can run around the office, or skate on rolls or skate. And you don’t look weird. Whether to do workouts or to do yoga. You can even ride on a bike around the office, or bring your bike with a bicycle machine in winter and turn the pedals on work. You can arrange a fashion show with a red carpet or a hairstyle contest also. Activity today plays an important role in human life.
AREAS OF PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION
Today, you can work anywhere and from any device, without having to sit at an office desk on an office chair by the window. The main thing is to have a good Internet, good microclimate, enough fresh air and daylight, a positive atmosphere, good company to communicate and delicious coffee that does not make you sleep, and if you sleep at lunch there is a place somewhere in office — not to waste time on the road. Therefore, there should be more places where you can work sitting, standing, lying down, having a cup of coffee, having a sandwich, next to a colleague, or yourself during a video conference. Where you can bring a kid and he/she will have something to do. Where you can bring a dog and there will be a mat, a bowl of water and food.
MULTIFUNCTIONAL ZONES FOR EVENTS
Areas for various events. From speeches and presentations, workshops, meetings to concerts and rehearsals. Where there is a large screen, good sound, usb charging for phones, where you can comfortably sit or stand or lie down. There is a cafe/bar where you can drink coffee, eat cakes or drink wine/beer during the event.
First, the office should be comfortable in terms of microclimate and then it should be smart, safe, cool. The office should be with a comfortable temperature, people should be neither cold nor hot. Sufficient fresh air per person even when many people enter the meeting room on the signal of CO2 sensors the ventilation system should supply more fresh air to the meeting room and not to the office. There should be no drafts, and for this purpose it is necessary to correctly calculate the size and location of air ducts and ventilation diffusers, the speed of air movement in the air ducts. Fresh air heated in winter and cooled in summer supplied to the outer contour of the office, and exhaust air is removed from the middle of the building. Separate heating and ventilation circuits for each zone with their own sensors and control options, both in workplaces and meeting rooms and in small cramped Skype boxes for two, rest areas where you can lie alone and even along the treadmill. CO2, temperature and humidity sensors. All this must be calculated on the basis of the BIM model and simulations made in modern software packages in order to be comfortable in real life, without failures and experiments.
LOTS OF SUNLIGHT
Everyone needs a lot of sunlight. Plants and people. Vitamin D is produced in the sun, and everyone needs 30-45 minutes a day to be in the sun with as much bare skin as possible. So we want to create such conditions that in the office you can comfortably walk in short skirts or shorts and T-shirts, and stand or lie or run near the huge facade glass. We turned the office upside down, did not slip under the windows and moved away, giving the opportunity walk / run / sit / lie in the sun along the facade, watch the movement around, switch your eyes to look at the city and thus be completely distracted from the monitor. This decision will encourage you to get up from work, walk and exercise for the eyes. Arrange a daily meeting while standing or walking on the treadmill in the sun.
For the first time, the sequence of manufacturability, which is aimed at collecting data on engineering systems, their analysis and creating comfort in the office, it’s in the first place and then the coolness. Technology is aimed at personalizing and creating comfort for everyone, everyone’s comfort and not altogether. Technology is aimed at sustainability, reducing energy consumption and pollution through data collection and consumption analysis, and then the ability to influence it to be more comfortable and consume less resources. Automatic drip irrigation of your plants, which can be adjusted to different types of plants in each workplace. USB sockets in the rest places, on flexible workplaces, in the kitchen and cafe where it is possible to charge your device. Contactless mixers of water, drying, soap. The lighting, which can be adjusted zonally with a bluetooth device, can change both the brightness and the warmth of the light. Wireless IoT sensors of CO2, temperature and humidity that can zonally control the microclimate and lighting. Blinds with solar panels on the south side of the office.
PARKING FOR BICYCLES AND SHOWERS
We promote a culture of commuting by cycling. Especially in quarantine. Especially in a big city and crazy traffic jams. When cycling, you are always in good physical shape, always positive and happy, saving time on the road, do not stand in traffic jams, do not pollute the environment with CO2 emissions.
But as experience has shown, people want to bring an expensive bike to the office, so as not to worry while working that it could be stolen. They want to show their new bike to colleagues, and not take everyone to the underground parking lot in turn. From time to time I look at my bike on the way to the toilet or over a cup of coffee, proud of the fact that I go to work by bike or already in the morning passed training. Cyclists will understand. After taking a shower, hang a towel on the dryer and then transfer it to a personal closet, so as not to forget tomorrow and not to wipe with a T-shirt. Bring a set of shirts and underwear for the week at the beginning of the week and hang them in your own locker so you don’t have to carry a backpack with things and a wet towel on your back every day.
Personal locker for things, clothes, shoes, rollers. Personal mailbox for the courier who delivers your order without the need to meet or go to the post office to pick up. Personal plants or even a vegetable garden or micro greens. Favorite workplace and the ability to reserve it in advance when you plan to come to the office. Preset light, temperature, ventilation in the workplace when you are in the office. Reserved parking for a bicycle, a favorite place to meet depending on the mood or temperament of the customer.
A FEW NUMBERS
We did not chase the squeezing of m2 or tables so that more people could be seated and sold at a higher price. In the new reality, there will be 1.3 / 1.5 people per job. So if correct, then the numbers should be multiplied by a factor of 1.3 / 1.5
— Teams working places – 122 (159/183)
— Mobile working places – 23 (30/35)
— Working places on the rest zones — 19 (25/29)
— Working places in meeting rooms — 52 (67/78)
— Sitting places in the event zone – 45 (58/68)
— Sitting places in the dining room/café/bar – 32 (42/48)
— Total working places: 216 (280/324)
— m2 per person during being in the office — 7,7 (5,9/5,1)
— m3 of fresh air per person:
• office – 42 м3/h per person;
• meeting room / lounge zone – 36 м3/h per person;
• kitchen – 53 м3/h per person;
— 0,2 м2 of microgreen per person;
— 2,7 м2 of façade glazing per person;
— 4 sockets +2 usb-socket per person;
— 1,1м2 of physical activity zones per person;
— 3 lounge zones;
— 7 СО2 controllers;
— 1 м2 sunblinds with solar batteries per person
Everything is transparent, clear, predicted! It`s just a beginning, stay tuned!