workplace: a recruitment asset
Attracting and retaining a talented workforce in today’s competitive marketplace is influencing commercial development and space planning. Stakeholders are looking to the physical space to support their primary objectives as well as offer work-life amenities in proximity to or integrated into the campus atmosphere. Coupled with a more open, flexible work environment, facility programming is entering a new generation of design.
Breaking down barriers to workplace collaboration and infusing flexibility with modular furnishing creates new opportunities and challenges in building systems design. Consulting teams evaluate access to environmental controls, power and network connectivity within the modular environment while balancing system sophistication, energy code and client operating requirements.
The campus cafeteria has evolved into a food court atmosphere as owners seek means to enhance the work-life experience. This has resulted in a growing trend of third party operators on-site with unique system requirements and expectations to support their bottom line.
The adoption of wellness centers into the campus environment is the latest evolution is facility programming. Integrated as easy access clinics, multipurpose gymnasiums (that can dual as a large presentation area) and exercise centers with supporting locker room and towel services, creative solutions are being developed.
AMAZON | RUFUS 2.0 CAMPUS
The new 4.1 million sf headquarters is sited on the north end of Seattle’s downtown core. The development of the 3-block campus has fueled additional mixed use development, however at the time; access to complementary services was limited for the number of anticipated employees. Opting for a 4-tower, vertical campus, Amazon introduced a wide variety of work-life amenities including retail floor, open dining and restaurants, and multipurpose activity spaces to promote collaboration, social engagement and wellness.
MICROSOFT | MAIN CAMPUS
Partnering with Walgreens, Microsoft made the trip to the doctor’s office and pharmacy a little more convenient for its employees. Delivered through the Living Well Health Center, staff has access to primary and preventative care on-campus.
A waterfront campus is an asset to creating a desirable work life experience. Maximizing the opportunities presented by the setting while mitigating the risk exposure in a climate, such as Seattle, presents unique challenges to systems design. Programmatically, a wireless network is mobilizing the workforce to take advantage of the exterior viewpoints while product specification is protecting the investment through outdoor rated solutions.
CITY OF SEATTLE | CONSOLIDATION & INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENT
Seattle’s Municipal Tower houses several critical functions for the city including mission critical infrastructure to support emergency response, traffic control and utility technologies. So when the city broached the idea of increasing the workstation capacity by 20% the building systems’ needed to be evaluated. Bringing together a team of subject matter experts, the programmatic and technical aspects of this project are being addressed as the workspace configuration options are evaluated and their impact on the mechanical, electrical, vertical transport and mission critical programs.
Technology is playing a critical role in realizing the operational and productivity objectives associated with the workplace. Stakeholders are looking to technology as a means to carry out critical functions, connect enterprises and mobilize creativity to happen anywhere anytime. Leveraging the advantages of converged technologies, they are also capitalizing on the flexibility and total cost-of-ownership savings achievable through a common backbone infrastructure. These systems are delivering highly integrated technology and audio-visual applications, transmitting surveillance information and controlling access reflective of the corporate culture. Likewise, they are supporting more sophisticated wireless networks to extend creative productivity beyond the desktop on any device.
With these advancements in technology and the workplace environment comes the need for responsive mechanical and electrical systems. Properly heating, cooling, powering and illuminating these spaces for human comfort while meeting aggressive energy and conservation goals are challenging design teams. Consultants are evaluating how to effectively deliver environmental comforts throughout the modular, high-density work spaces accounting for white noise, task lighting levels and air distribution.