Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2010 Contents 102 WA's Best Commercial Designs 2010
"Benefits include greater attraction and
retention of staff, the impact on clients when
they enter our office, "time at task" and reduced
time off work," explains Greg.
"Indirect benefits from natural ventilation
and greenery include improved air quality and
increased natural lighting from a large central
atrium is a plus."
Greg points out that the community aspect
is exemplified by the reception desk which is
extended to act as a bar after 5pm.
" e space adjacent is not the meeting rooms,
it is an open gallery where we have artists
displaying their work and guest speakers
presenting on a wide range of urban design topics
to staff and clients. It is a space for interaction,
education, presentation and recreation."
While organisations and design companies
have long been "talking up" the capacity for
good design as a facilitator for long-term social
and financial wellbeing, HASSELL's Alison Terry
says satisfaction surveys are starting to become
more common within those organisations
interested in evidence-based decision making.
" ese are not necessarily, or only, undertaken
by global companies but those who have a
more sophisticated, evidence-based HR and/or
property and/or management approach,"
" e quality and objective of satisfaction
surveys varies, as does the regularity with which
they are used. ey are best used as a longitudinal
mapping device rather than a one-off 'test', for
example, a post-occupancy survey.
"In summary, while the 'body of evidence' is
growing, satisfaction surveys do not necessarily
have rigour or consistency like the methodological
tradition of science (which sets the bar). ey are
also often, misguidedly, used to validate bottom
line outcomes like reduced square metre operating
costs, which, again, skews the picture.
" e value of current survey data is also
complicated by the fact that not all organisations
who undertake testing are willing to broadcast
their results. Hence, there is both a data quality
and quantity issue around satisfaction."
Alison says there is no short answer as to "what
design measures to avoid".
"But more and more it's not about 'talking up'
a design, it's about proving it works and bringing
the employees in on the process. ey are the ones
who can really tell if it works. at's the value of
post-occupancy reviews and why we need more
Architectural, urban and interior design firm Cameron Chisholm Nicol's new Hay Street o ces (far left, top centre and bottom centre)
feature abundant social space, while the HBO+EMTB designed KPMG fitout (far top right and far bottom right) covers 7000sqm.
Cameron Chisholm Nicol images courtesy of Cameron Chisholm Nicol, photography Greg Hocking; KPMG images
courtesy of HBO+EMTB, photography Adrian Lambert and Robert Frith, Acorn Photo Agency
O ces should be designed to allow the
maximum number of sta to benefit from the
maximum amount of natural light.
Good air quality is essential and while it typically
remains at the mercy of air conditioning
systems, natural ventilation is beng used more
often. People like to be able to open windows,
but this is unlikely to become common practice
in high-rise o ce buildings.
Good workstation design is essential.
Organisations and designers should get users
involved in the process of establishing the shape
and design. Some organisations even have
national design guidelines in place.
OPEN PLAN VS CELLULAR
Most organisations work in teams. Open plan
encourages interaction, team building and
communication, but there needs to be a good
balance between interaction and privacy. Private
breakout spaces are becoming increasingly
popular as part of open plan environments.
Showers and changerooms, becoming known as
"end of trip facilities", are on the increase, often
because sta are asking for them. Sta rooms,
otherwise known as work cafes or breakout
spaces, facilitate both social interaction and
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