Commercial real estate has its own niche of interior and exterior design. Buildings in the 21st century take several factors into account when the blueprints are being drawn. Design and materials translate into Eco-friendly elements with green spaces and green technology. Businesses are using space efficiently with a team building focus in mind. Functionality is as important as the structure’s aesthetics with strategic moving parts. IT departments are smaller as the work space takes on more of the responsibility. Companies are also branding their offices based on their products, services, and culture. Here is a look at these variables driving the new design trends in commercial property.
Building Design and Materials
The environment’s health has not been lost on commercial design experts as they consult with clients. Decision-makers are presented with several features such as recycled materials, LEED, natural light, and employee-friendly common areas. The use of these innovative solutions continues to change the traditional design paradigm.
Recycled Materials: Entire projects are using new items manufactured with recycled materials. However, used furniture and lighting in pristine condition are also options that accommodate the overall “new” office premise. This aligns with good stewardship of non-renewable resources used to make the initial products.
LEED: Harvesting daylight and using light sensors in rooms that are underutilized helps buildings earn a LEED status. Intuitive HVAC systems have carbon dioxide sensors or heat wheels that operate under the same principle of low-use office space. Low flow toilets and sinks with sensors and water fountains with built-in filters are more of the innovation coming online with commercial design.
Natural Light: Sky lights and massive windows are becoming more common place in the new design trends. Floor plans that incorporate this strategy increase the ROI with utilities and conservation. It also has the potential to increase worker productivity and make the work environment happier.
Common Areas: Building designs have the potential to boost employee morale with common areas. They can be indoor or outdoor green spaces, fountains and even Koi ponds. The typical break room with bland tables, chairs, and vending machines are being replaced with comfy chairs and flat screen televisions.
It Is All about the Work Space Size
Gone are the cubicles with high walls dividing employees and cutting into interaction and collaboration. Instead, designs have more open space with shorter partitions or none at all. Additional changes are seen with small team rooms in lieu of large conference rooms or several of varying sizes. Privacy issues are being addressed with phone booth sized areas for employees to join conference or Skype calls.
Commercial office spaces are becoming versatile with a new level of functionality. Sliding doors or partitions offer the flexibility to subdivide space based on the number of people attending a meeting or office events. Desks have joined the re-design revolution with height adjustment capability allowing workers to alternate between sitting and standing during the work day.
Integrated IT Platforms
Wireless is the wave of office connectivity. Wall and desk outlets have USB ports integrated with traditional ones offering employees a new freedom to conduct business from anywhere in the building. Laptops, tablets, printers, and VOIP are more resources using this innovative feature. This facilitates the open space and Eco-friendly trend for the industry.
Logos are being bolstered with space branding. Restaurants have been utilizing this strategy for decades. Professional and medical offices are opting for this unique statement with furnishings, colors, carpeting, and lighting.
These are just a few examples of forward-thinking strategies to consider during the decision-making process. Results from the changes to existing norms in commercial design trends demonstrate improvement in several metrics. The ROI, productivity, and creativity are up, while tardiness and absenteeism are down.