The challenges of modern office landscapes
The requirements for attractive office landscapes today are very diverse. Employees should feel comfortable and be able to work productively. The prerequisites for this are adequate climatic conditions, good room acoustics, lighting, the provision of opportunities for retreat, but also areas for informal exchange. Modern working with desk sharing, video calls and short meetings are further keywords. On the employer's side, in addition to the well-being of the employees, high productivity and low ancillary costs are aimed for, whereby the latter depends on space consumption and ancillary costs.
Optimising the office landscape: Sustainable planning for people and the environment
As an engineering office for building physics and acoustics that wants to create added value for people and the environment with its services, it was a central concern for us to get the most out of our new office premises in VidmarPlus at Waldeggstrasse 42a in Liebefeld-Bern.
In a workshop process with representatives of the employees, we determined the needs and concerns that the office landscape should fulfil and how we want to shape our future collaboration. Using detailed room-climatic and acoustic simulations, we checked the behaviour of the new room layout and the arrangement of the workstations. In terms of sustainability, the interventions were to be minimal and still achieve the required effect.
In the end, only the meeting rooms will be mechanically ventilated and air-conditioned. The work zones and hybrid offices are naturally ventilated manually via the windows. CO2 sensors with corresponding traffic lights signal the room quality in the work zones and show when ventilation is required. In order to keep the temperature comfortable in summer, windows were specifically automated in addition to the automated slat blinds in the work zones. These ensure that the rooms cool down overnight so that they can start the next day with pleasant temperatures.
3D simulation of the air flows during night cooling
The room acoustic measures were kept to a minimum and, where possible, installed separately from the thermal storage mass. Through the targeted placement and the corresponding materialisation, it was possible to keep a large part of the storage mass free and still ensure pleasant room acoustics. Thus, very good values are achieved for speech intelligibility, level reduction and reverberation time.
3D simulation of room acoustics with different scenarios (left: 3D view, right: 2D view)
Design and optimisation of workplaces with room acoustic elements.
Successful office design
Thanks to the early involvement of the employees, the use of our expertise and our many years of experience, we now all feel very comfortable at the new location in VidmarPlus. The needs of the employees and the company management could be united and optimally implemented together.