What is important when you build a new office building?
The office building is one of the defining structures of the 20th century. In the last 120 years, less than 1/20th of our population went from working in an office to over 50%. Not just in the US, but in other developed nations as well, including many in Europe, and Japan. If you’ve ever driven into a city, the majority of the skyline is dominated by office buildings, sure there are hotels, apartments, and stores, but offices make up a gigantic chunk of urban vertical space. And if you’ve driven outside of big cities or small ones, no doubt you’ve seen the miles and miles of office buildings populating the suburbs as well. The pandemic may have changed where a lot of people work, but office buildings are still here to stay.
Over the years, office buildings sure have changed. Technology has become ever more important, while sustainability has also climbed to the top of priorities. Additionally, thanks to the uncertainty brought on by the COVID19 pandemic, office buildings are now being built so that they can accommodate different business styles in the case that people may have to work from home again.
So, as of 2021, what are the most important specs in building an office?
An office building break down
What exactly is in an office building? An office building can be composed of (but not necessarily limited to) the following types of spaces.
- Offices, where the work gets done.
- Conference rooms, for meetings and presentations.
For both clients and employees.
- Parking areas (interior and exterior)
- Social gathering spot
- Dining area/cafeteria
- Stores/convenience shops
- Child care facility
- Fitness area
- Lockers for employees.
- Outdoors meeting/congregation area
- Restrooms (public and private)
- IT office/closets for servers and IT specialists who support the office building.
- Maintenance/custodial storage closets
That should cover the basics. These factors enable an office building to be functional, productive, and relatively flexible, but it leaves out a few important details. What are the trends? What about the hot-button things that a cutting-edge company would want in a new office building?
Multiple use shared conference areas
One of the biggest problems facing modern offices is a lack of space. Having a conference room with multiple uses helps everyone get along with less room. Some features of such a space involve:
- Movable furniture. This way, the space can be changed to adapt to more people or different styles of meetings. Old conference rooms would often be dominated by a giant, immobile table, now freedom of movement is better.
- A projector/smart board/presentation wall. A wall that functions as a big screen with some discreet plugins for laptops, phone casting, or other visual aids is ideal in any conference room. Having only a demonstration device that requires inputs frees up more space from bulky computers.
- Often, these rooms will be put in a central location, so that people from various parts of the office can use them at their leisure.
Multiple use lounge & lobby
The theme here is the same as the multi-use conference room. A big lobby/lounge for relaxation, meeting clients, and working is a newer trend of the last several years. Not only do some people get tired of working in cubicles and need an open space, but the lounge also provides more room for various departments to meet up. Providing more space than a conference room is ideal for big meetings, and the lounge enables workers to change up their work habits and let their hair down a bit. Benefits include increased employee satisfaction and better.
Rooftop green space
A garden or space for local wild plants to grow on the roof is becoming more and more common. Most people spend many stressful hours working in cold, gray offices and need a change of space. Spending time in nature has been proven to relieve stress, and lets employees get back to work rejuvenated. This results in more employee happiness and better productivity. The office building’s green space can support flowers favored by bees and other pollinators, or support at-risk local species and benefit the environment as a whole.
Location is still king
You have probably heard “location, location, location.” before, and for good reason. Location determines a huge number of factors in choosing your office space. It should be the number one consideration, as it affects:
- Accessibility to both clients and employees, shipped goods, and utilities like water and gas.
- Taxes and property fees.
- Money spent on resources like water, electricity, and heat.
- What kind of special resources you will need. In rainy or cold climates, an indoor parking lot might be a lot more important. In hot sunny places, coverings may be needed outside of the building for people to be comfortable outside.
- Total profit, as costs and productivity are largely determined by location.
- Future growth or lack there of is another thing hugely affected by where the office is built.
- Storm water/extreme weather management. Drainage, storm protection, and adverse weather controls are becoming a bigger and bigger part of construction in all buildings nowadays.
- Parking needs enough space, no matter what.
- Access to renewable energy. As solar becomes more and more viable for rooftop and window voltaic cell operation, access to good solar can make a huge difference in building costs.
Get started on the office building of your dreams
If all this seems a bit much to keep in mind…that’s because it is. Not just any construction contractor can get build you the office building that serves your company perfectly. You want it to be future ready, and able to work well in a changing world. This is where Reliable Commercial Construction can help you. We are a large group of experienced commercial contractors who do our best to provide relentless service in getting everything you want built on budget, and on time. As the COVID19 restrictions lift and the economy gets back on its feet, get started on your project today, before prices and wait times jump. We can offer consultation, building, planning, and more.