Architectural floor planning is much more than designing how people will move through a building. It’s just as much about planning for technology and ‘future-proofing’ a facility to be adaptable from the start.
As cliché as it may sound, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to revolutionize how people interact with the world around them. It’s also safe to say that IoT remains a major disruptor to many industries. Now, more than ever, technology is placing an increasing demand on building design. And the need for future-proofing facilities is more real than ever.
IoT is changing how we think of our home, our work and our cities. Now, it’s changing architectural floor design.
According to Moore’s Law (Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel), “the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented.” Moore prophesied that this course would continue long into the foreseeable future. Though the speed of technological proliferation lagged at certain points in time, data density seems to be doubling every 18 months or so.
What this means in the simplest of terms is that IoT and sensor technology has already begun to determine the achievement of architectural design. In an article published by Architect Magazine https://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/wework-takes-on-design-research-and-the-internet-of-things_o, “IoP [Internet of Places] takes IoT beyond its current uses in smart thermostats, alarms, and lights to address a larger question that far too few architects ask: Does their design work for their clients?”
How IoT Is Revolutionizing Architectural Floor Planning
Have you ever heard or read the term “future-proofing?” If not, it is a vital thing to consider when sketching up a design of your future office space. Savvy building owners and facility managers understand well the importance of flexibility in today’s modern architectural design. This means designing office and workspaces capable of assimilating new technology that supplements their property’s value.
Wanda Lau, the author of the aforementioned article entitled WeWork Takes on Design Research and the Internet of Things, wrote:
“Many factors preclude design firms from conducting post-occupancy evaluations: they no longer have access to their projects or their occupants; they lack a business case for studying what is likely a one-off design; and they, as well as their clients, have moved on to other commitments.”
This takes us back to Lau’s question: “Does their design work for their clients?” It’s possible that the lack of post-occupancy evaluations has contributed significantly to the lack of future-proofing.
“The situation is different for WeWork. The company has access to every square foot it has renovated and leased, as well as to the space’s occupants. And it is important for the company to know how well a location’s “unit mix”—what it calls the ratio of private offices, meeting spaces, and open desks—works so it can tweak the formula at the next location.”
Known as evidence-based design by those in the industry, this technique historically belonged to healthcare architecture.
However, WeWork similarly uses research data from finished projects to inform future architects and designers—the “opportunity WeWork has to study its properties does not exist anywhere else, on this scale,‘” said Joshua Emig, head of product research at WeWork.
WeWork has 110 project sites that adhere to its brand image, giving its product team a good amount of direction in the analysis of the architectural design. Of course, each site must use the same layout—such as the same furniture, as one example.
For each similarity all 110 sites share, the WeWork team can sharpen its research and increase the variables, like pricing, views, and other things that make one project more successful than previous ones.
Apparently, WeWork’s model has the power to possibly influence product manufacturing.
To delineate spaces, the collaborative-workspace provider uses miles of aluminum storefront systems. Jason Andersen, WeWork director of building research, stated that the company has designed a frame with sections that require 16 percent less aluminum than other products, which saves owners and tenants on shipping and overall material cost.
WeWork isn’t the only disruptors making an impact on architectural floor planning.
Architectural Floor Planning Meets IoT
For our example, one need look no further than Gridd. This is a smart raised access flooring system featuring Gridd Mobile, a mobile application that allows users to view the wiring layout of an office space via augmented reality.
Customarily, floor renovations are expensive, labor-intensive, and make assimilating new technology more difficult than it should be. If the tenant eventually moves out of the space, potential occupants will need to refinish the floor to fit their needs.
However, Gridd® technology is designed in such a way that it doesn’t need to be affixed to the structure; it uses gravity to lock the floor pieces into place.
Such flexibility increases property value and maintains structural integrity.
No tools are needed to assemble or disassemble the flooring system and it can be covered with a secondary decorative floor such as carpet tile, vinyl , rubber, or even hard surfaces such as wood, ceramic tile or carpet. Once more, Gridd® is a great alternative for an adaptable solution to cable management.
With this type of technology, organizations can build-out their office environments anyway they wish and be afforded opportunities to reconfigure the design as needs arise. Not only that but real estate owners can now keep up with the rapid pace of technological advancements like IoT.
FreeAxez manufactures the Gridd® and Gridd Power® adaptive cabling distribution systems. After 20 years and 30 million sf installed, keeping our clients buildings’ adaptive and future-ready is the reason why Google, SAP, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, LinkedIn and hundreds of others have relied on us for cable and power management in their HQ buildings, all through word-of-mouth.
Gridd is the bridge between architecture and technology. Buildings with Gridd® deliver on the needs of occupiers now and in the future.
Save costs in design, construction and occupancy.
If you would like to join the revolution, all you need to do is contact us today! One of our incredible team members will be more than happy to send you your own demo kit of the product so you can see it in action yourself.