In the series of articles A perfect office building: expectations and possibilities, part 2, we present how are the tenants' expectations met by developers' opportunities, especially at office space market.
On a stable ground
Ceiling construction is one of the most important elements of an office object. In the case of several-storey buildings, providing a stable groundwork is a must. For standard office spaces, ceiling carrying capacity amounts to 2.5-3.5 kN/m2. Increased expectations are for technical rooms (such as server rooms) or secret registries. In their cases, carrying capacity amounts to 5-8 kN/m2.
The amount of cables needed to proper functioning of a modern office is huge. Electric, computer and telephone networks, industrial television and alarm infrastructure - they obviously cannot run between workstations. Often there are also water, air-conditioning and central heating installations. All that causes tenants' expected standard to be raised floors, which allow to hide cables and pipes under the floor.
Depending on the expectations, the floors are raised by 60 to 600 mm. Higher ones are most often used in server rooms and other technical rooms. Floors are installed on pedestals. Basic ones are freestanding, they are sufficient for a typical load. In the case of heavier loads, stiffening pedestals or carrying grillages.
Raised floors are basically divided into two types: modular and jointless. The former consist of separate tiles, which can be easily dismantled and changed. Their biggest asset is easy access to installations. In turn, jointless floors are more durable which even enables to put partition walls on them. Monitoring and maintenance of installations is possible thanks to revisional openings.
Quiet under the roof
Also suspended ceilings can hide the cables and provide esthetic arrangement of space. They are now a standard in A-class office buildings and allow for adjusting for example lighting system to the tenant's requirements. In the suspended ceilings, providing 30-50 cm of space from the proper ceiling, there are air-conditioning, ventilation and fire systems installed. They are crucial for more and more widely noted acoustics of office space.
Using ceiling tiles having suitable thickness allows for adjusting the acoustic profile to room's requirements. In the case of open spaces, ceilings with lowered thickness can successfully absorb the noise made by office equipment or workers' talk. There are other requirements for conference rooms, where appropriate proportions of noise absorbing, providing free talking, have to be maintained. There also are yet different standards for the offices of management, where higher acoustic isolation will allow conducting confidential talks.
Window on the world
When choosing windows, it is important to note two basic factors: how soundproof they are and what is their permeability of sunlight. Office buildings are most often constructed in densely built-up areas or in the proximity of transport roads. It is then important to design the object in such a way that outside noise does not get through to the interior. In such case, windows are the most important. Modern technologies allow for almost complete blockage of the noise.
The windows are also important as a part of a modern, energy saving and employee-friendly office building. Appropriate permeability of sunlight allows for using renewable thermal energy, which, in turn, allows for reducing heating costs. Natural light, more favourable than artificial lighting, affects creating friendly and effectiveness-promoting work environment.
On the other hand, the office building should not be overly heated, as in summer it can lead to greater cost of air-conditioning the rooms. To protect from negative aspects of sunlight, external and internal sunblinds are used. They effectively lower radiation permeability.
In the next article from A perfect office building: expectations and possibilities series, we will talk about space arrangement solutions, offered by the developers.