Once LEED was introduced we saw a huge drive from interior design and architectural firms to bring panel heights down to 42” high. While this has been great for facilities looking to earn LEED credits for day lighting and views, the open office has gone from perceived privacy to blatantly invasive. What goes up much come down, and in this case what goes down must come up. We are starting to see that seated privacy is being demanded by educated facilities teams and architectural firms across the country. 51” is the new height. This allows people to still focus on the task at hand , allows for collaboration and still makes people have a sense of control over their work environment.
Storage used to be located above the worksurfaces, causing people to reach to access their belongings. Today storage is located below the main desk. Layers give an updated feel to the modern workplace and give the opportunity for more places to pile work.
We are no longer trying to fool ourselves into thinking that people use file drawers for files, and that desks are clean. When we observe how people work, it is a common occurrence to see personal items stuffed into lateral file drawers and files cluttering the desk space. Interior designers are becoming more mindful of how people work and designing a space that helps people work the way the operate best. Storage cabinets give space for personal effects and archival filling space is accommodated for outside of the compressed workspace.
A historically secluded generation has become infiltrated with young millennials who like to collaborate and do their best work through knowledge sharing. Gone are the days of the corner office and large personal work space. Today’s office has more common space than ever before and person space continues to shrink, while some companies have gotten away from assigned space all together.
Broadloom carpet has become a thing of the past as carpet tiles have taken over. Carpet tile has proven to be less expensive to maintain, is easier to install and even incorporates options to include padding. There are even recycling programs available for the end of the carpet’s life.
Asbestos and lead paint has filled buildings and schools for years. Today there are regulations and voluntary environmental programs to safeguard the general public. It is easier than even to find environmentally minded products that have been created using renewable materials. There is also an emphasis on what happens as the end of a product’s life and how to protect our environment from the disposal of these products.
The interiors movement is always changing, as well as regulations. As we become more aware of the consequences of the choices we make in the built environment, we alter our choices to provide the best long term decisions for our projects and facilities.