Employers and designers have already discovered the positive impact of office space design on employees and now they compete to create completely new concepts. However, elements that top out the entire buildings are still underappreciated. Apart from beautiful views, roofs have also a great potential. It’s worth using this additional space as it brings lots of economic and health-promoting benefits.
Climate Has A Real Impact On Finishing
The first element worth taking into consideration while planning any project is location. Closed office space and interiors aren’t exposed to climatic conditions, but building’s façade is a different matter. Climatic zone in a given location should be definitely taken into account during design process. Hot countries with moderate climate have a clear comparative advantage as atmospheric conditions aren’t unpredictable and don’t change rapidly. In terms of Poland, we can’t completely forecast the next month, let alone the upcoming years. Thereby, it’s worth thinking about elements that protect the roof. In the face of inevitable climatic changes, it’s important to make a decision whether façade should be closed or open. In the light of this decision, the next stages and the concrete project of façade will be crucial.
It's Time To Relax
Working in the office bring lots of negative factors. According to the report prepared by the Analysis and Technical Studies Team from Analysis and Documentation Office, up to 46% of the employees complain about distracting sounds. The surveyed are subject to annoying noise from machines and office equipment such as photocopier, telephone and fax. In spite of low decibel level, they’re a distracting element that makes concentration of even 37% of the employed impossible. Street and road noise also have a negative impact on the employees (21%) and the least disturbing element is loud behavior of employees (12%). In times of open space, which are to provide cooperation between employees, it’s important to find time to breathe and time for yourself. For this purpose, the so called chillout rooms are becoming more and more popular. These are rooms or designated zones that favor relaxation. It’s worth thinking about using space that allows for maximum reduction of undesired effects so that employees could relax and cut off from the environment that causes stress (for instance, during a break). In view of these factors, using roof or attic is a perfect solution to design a relaxation zone. Some greenery, sofas, puffs, or even game consoles, which are introduced more often, can minimize the stress level. It’s established that it has a positive influence on locating these rooms in the office because employee’s productivity increases thanks to a moment of relax.
To Play Green
If climate is more favorable, it’s worth thinking about introducing some green elements to the project. What’s more, transforming façade of the office into a garden is also interesting. This solution brings lots of benefits. First of all, it reduces noise in the building by ca. 8 dB, improves microclimate by producing oxygen and reducing carbon, and specially selected species of plants purify the air from dust, fleck and fumes by filtrating damaging substances from the air. Greenery keeps rainfall water which later vaporize to the atmosphere, having impact on increased air humidity. What’s more, vegetation is a perfect layer of thermal insulation because it accumulates warm in the winter period and protects against overheating during summer. This is a great facilitation because temperature on the roof in summer can total 80oC, whereas garden on the roof decreases temperature to only 30oC.
One of the examples of the garden roof is the University of Warsaw Library designed by the landscape architect – Irena Bajerska. Its two-tier form contains many differentiated green elements and even a flowing stream. Another green project is executed by office-conference and hotel complex "Posejdon" in Szczecin, which will be launched in 2019. It’ll be the most ecological building in this part of Europe. There will be a sky bar with the view of the midtown on the roof. What’s more, glazing and protection of greenery in the form of winter garden may turn out to be a great idea, which will allow to maintain greenery in a cooler climate. Investors from Warsaw who specialize in the building of the Forest office complex plan to design terraces on the roofs with, for instance, mini-greenhouse or open-air gym.
A short time of reflection can bring many different solutions making your office building very attractive and filled with additional functions. However, it’s worth remembering that burdening the roof is limited so some solutions won't be possible. Location of massive elements and heavy materials has to be well-thought-out at the design stage and then consulted with architect and building constructor. If norms and the right means of precaution are provided, many concepts can be brought to life.