Green Building Trends in Interior Office Design

The right interior office design can have a positive impact on employee attitude and productivity.

The right interior office design can have a positive impact on employee attitude and productivity.

Even though office workers spend a large proportion of their time indoors, companies don’t always place a high priority on the design and interior features of their work space. Lobbies and meeting rooms typically get the most attention because they are used to impress clients or customers, while the more functional workspaces may be ignored.

As a result, research has shown that office workers’ productivity can be impacted; some environment’s are so poor, it’s estimated that workers only spend three days out of five actually working. A dull, poorly lit, uncomfortable work space can lead to lack of focus, even depression, that is not conducive to productivity. The right office space design can have positive benefits on health and performance so here are some office design trends to consider for the year, as forecast by Kenneth Freeman, head of innovation at Ambius.

  • A splash of color can be an inexpensive way to brighten up an office space and can stimulate creativity and productivity; color experts claim shades of green are “the color” for 2017.
  • Office plants can increase productivity by 15 percent, which may be another benefit of the color green! Air plants and succulents are trending for office use right now as they are robust and long-lasting.
  • Adoption of the WELL Building Standard: a certification to support the health and well-being of employees based on air, light, and comfort is driving workspace design that is more compatible with long hours behind a desk.
  • Flexible design. While not a new concept for enhancing working environments, is gaining in popularity — with modular soft seating, desk pods, meet-point tables and breakout furniture.
  • Since 75% of all emotion is triggered by scent/smell; fragrant environments can not only provide a powerful customer experience but also make staff more productive. Or so they say!

How is your work space looking,feeling  and smelling these days?!?


The New World of Virtual Reality in Construction

Virtual building design is making a dramatic impact on the construction industry.

Virtual building design is making a dramatic impact on the construction industry.

Okay.  You are an architect in Hong Kong, and you’re working with a construction company in San Francisco. You can both “look around” a computerized 3D model of your building (this is not new technology) but now you can also actually feel what it’s like to be right inside the structure by wearing virtual reality (VR) headsets, getting a 360-degree view. And, by wearing the same headsets, you can do this together and make real time changes even if you’re on opposite sides of the world.

Welcome to the world of virtual building design – a big leap for the construction industry, which has traditionally been more interested in bricks than clicks.

Building information modeling (BIM) – or developing a 3D digital prototype of a project – has been trending.  Using 3D gaming technology and cloud-based software, industry leaders are now bringing together building design environments and workflows into a single, navigable view. Users navigate these virtual designs almost like a video game.

The opportunity for reducing errors, keeping tabs on and tracking large complex projects while also saving money (30% of a project’s total budget is usually spent correcting errors not visible in the design stage) are the obvious benefits of this VR computer-aided design. It’s definitely disruptive technology, and it’s spawning new, streamlined building design practices that will change the nature of construction forever.


Can Green Buildings Make Us Smarter?

Green is good -- outside or inside an occupied building.

Green is good -- outside or inside an occupied building.

A recent study published by Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) suggests that Green Buildings create optimized conditions for health and productivity. In a series of experiments, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors for both “green” and “conventional” buildings were simulated in a controlled environment that included office workers, and the researchers measured variables such as carbon dioxide variation, ventilation and exposure to volatile organic compounds in the building atmosphere.

The results? On average, cognitive scores for the two groups of workers were 61% higher for those working in a building with green features than with conventional construction.  In other words, green building can potentially deliver a smarter workforce.


Architizer Site Now a Resource for Architects and Builders

Medical library in Dusseldorf, Germany displaying Sto Façade & Glazing materials.

Medical library in Dusseldorf, Germany displaying Sto Façade & Glazing materials.

Launched in 2009, Architizer has become the largest business-to-business data resource online for architects, builders and materials suppliers. The site enables design professionals to post images of their projects along with related lists of vendors who provided the building materials required to construct them. Today, the database encompasses the work of 40,000 architecture firms and more than $4 trillion worth of projects.

Architizer thus provides a clever form of “endorsement marketing” in which fellow architects and designers can shop for ideas among the posted projects, which can turn into referrals for suppliers. The site has become a powerful tool for design industry leaders to not only showcase their products, but to learn more about the tremendous range of architectural materials available from suppliers worldwide. For example, there are 47 projects from around the globe that illustrate what can be created using products from Sto. It’s an eye-opener.


The Top 100 American Architecture Projects

The South Florida Headquarters for the FBI by Krueck + Sexton Architects is on ArchDaily Top 100 list
Photo Credit © Nick Merrick - Hedrich Blessing

The South Florida Headquarters for the FBI by Krueck + Sexton Architects is on ArchDaily Top 100 list Photo Credit © Nick Merrick - Hedrich Blessing

ArchDaily sorted through thousands of architectural projects that have been completed in recent years and highlighted those that — in their opinion — represent milestones for our times. The top 100 projects they chose make for a compelling compilation of case studies and references that can serve as an invaluable resource for the millions of architects, students and industry specialists seeking the nation’s most important and inspiring architectural projects. Many of the architects involved in these projects have provided additional information, including virtual models, interactive plans and high-quality photographic images, as well as the material and product specifications that were used for construction.


New York’s Lofty Archipelago

New York High Rise Archipelago

New York, the city that popularized the skyscraper, now has an abundance of unusually tall ones. There are now 21 buildings – mostly in Manhattan — with roof heights greater than 800 feet; three were completed within the past 36 months.

A number of these high-rise towers are residential developments, including a few needle-like structures that have generated controversy for spoiling views, driving up prices and catering to absentee owners from abroad. However, many of the recent projects represent some of the best work of modern architects from around the world, including Sir Norman Foster’s 50 United Nations Plaza building, which boasts a pool in the penthouse.