5 Trends in Modern Office Building Design

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Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) provide many of the features required in efficient modern office building design. Fox Blocks contribute towards excellent indoor environmental quality, sustainability, and design flexibility, all of which save a building owner money.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) forecasts that office building construction will increase by 2.2 percent in 2020. Commercial builders looking for a competitive edge should consider the following trends in office building design: excellent indoor environmental quality (IEQ), sustainability, design flexibility, and implementing the whole building design method. More importantly, office design in 2020 must include features that protect against virus transmission in the workplace.

These trends in office building design provide short- and long-term savings, furnish a safe, healthy, and productive workspace for the employees, and contribute positively towards the environment.

Five Trends in Modern Office Building Design

5 Trends in Modern Office Building Design

1. Excellent IEQ

Office buildings designed for good IEQ ensure a healthy, and acoustically and visually pleasing workspace for the safety, comfort, and productivity of the workers and visitors.

To ensure good IEQ, builders and architects should include these four features in their designs:

  • Air- and moisture-resistance to stop moisture accumulation in the walls. Moisture in the walls can cause unhealthy mold.
  • Avoid the use of products with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritations, nausea, headaches, and damage to the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system.
  • A wall system with high sound reduction.
  • Should provide employees with window view workspaces. Employees with window views perform 10 to 25 percent better on mental health and memory recall tests and 6 to 12 percent faster than workers in windowless rooms.

Fox Blocks ICFs provide an excellent building product for creating an office building with superior IEQ.

  • Fox Blocks ICFs provide air- and moisture-resistance.
  • Fox Blocks do not contain VOCs.
  • Fox Blocks Series ICF provides exterior and interior wall systems with high sound reduction and achieves an ASTM E90 Sound Transmission Classification (STC) rating of greater than 50.

2. Sustainable Office Buildings

Designing sustainable office buildings creates structures with reduced utility and maintenance costs, along with fewer repair expenses due to the building’s strength and durability. Moreover, sustainability increases recruitment and retention rates and long-term value to the investment. Sustainable building designs for new construction projects can lower operating costs by 13.6 percent.

Lowers Utility Costs

  • The yearly utility cost per employee in a green office building is $675.26 lower than in non-green buildings.
  • Sustainable design reduces utility costs by maximizing energy efficiency in cooling, heating, and lighting and installing water-saving products such as low-flow toilets.

Improves Durability and Reduces Maintenance Costs

  • Sustainable practices utilize durable, long-lasting products that decrease the need for maintenance and repairs. For instance, durable products promote fire-, wind-, moisture-, and termite-resistance, all of which save money through lower repair, maintenance, and replacement costs.

Adds Value to the Investment

  • New green building projects achieve an increased asset valuation of 5 percent over non-green buildings.
  • A study in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found a 16 percent increase in labor productivity in green firms over non-green firms.

Building and Developing Sustainable Office Buildings with Fox Blocks ICFs and Truegrid Permeable Pavers

Two products that provide an excellent design option for designing a sustainable office building include Fox Blocks ICFs and Truegrid Permeable Pavers. Fox Blocks ICF wall systems create energy-efficient, disaster-resistant, and durable office buildings. Truegrid Permeable Pavers offer a non-toxic, ground-water neutral, affordable, and maintenance-free stormwater permeable paving system. It is also more durable than asphalt and less expensive than concrete.

3. Should Provide Flexibility

Flexible office building design allows for simple and cost-effective ways to change room function and layouts to accommodate the changing needs of a business or new tenant. Flexible office building design uses modular products that save money by allowing for new configurations of the walls, interior components, and furniture as the needs of the office building change, eliminating the need to demolish, transport the refuge to a landfill, and then rebuild all over again.

Fox Blocks Offer Design Flexibility

The ease of shaping and cutting Fox Blocks ICFs allow the flexibility and strength to accommodate all styles of office building design. Moreover, Fox Blocks permit for moving and updating the wall system with minimal disruption to the rest of the structure, which contributes to maximizing the building’s value and future potential.

4. Whole Building Design

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The whole-building system approach treats the office building as one energy system in which each element affects the performance of the whole building. The whole-building design makes efficient use of water, electricity, and other natural resources and strives to lessen materials and waste. The whole-building system aims to produce a durable structure with lower utility and maintenance costs in order to create a comfortable and safe workspace with a healthy indoor environment.

5. Protects Against Virus Transmission in the Workplace

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, office building design must now include strategies that prevent the spread of viruses in the workplace. A few strategies include creating office workstations at least six feet apart and closed floor plans. Also, improving air ventilation, office wall partitions, designing with antimicrobial products, and increasing automation and voice activation to limit skin contact can limit the spread of viruses.

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In 2020, office building design trends strive to save money and provide a safe, healthy, and productive workspace. For more help with office building design, please contact Fox Blocks professionals.