Monday, July 30, 2012


DIRTT - it's not as dirty as you think.  Last week I had the opportunity to visit Wilson Furniture's DIRTT Showroom and gained a lot of knowledge about the new DIRTT approach.  It's far from dirty, it's actually a clean, sleek and unique approach for an office or home.

The DIRTT approach is less a modular wall system than it is an adaptive approach to rapid construction.  The wall system creates customization and various reconfigurations.  When I visited the DIRTT showroom, I noticed you can mount and integrate pretty much anything you desire within the wall system, some elements included work surfaces, displays, etc.

Benefits of DIRTT:
  1. Adaptability
  2. Speed of Installation
  3. Material Efficiency
  4. Lower Cost
  5. Sustainability
Examples of DIRTT

All of the benefits of DIRTT are possible trough ICE software, which is an end-to-end application that ensures the precision and quality of the manufacturing process, according to  It was interesting to see how ICE was applied.  The program retains all of the information regarding contact of the original install, and allows the client to design new environments using the palette of elements already graphically displaced in inventory, which makes the process fast and efficient.

DIRTT is an exciting new product that's going to shape the future for modular walls and Interior Design!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ideal Office Space

Good morning!  Today's post is about designing the ideal office space for a tenant.  There are two options for design services.  First, is for the Tenant to use the Landlord's architect and the second, which is the strategy I recommend, is to hire a tenants space planner and pay them from the tenant improvement allowance that is given to the Landlord. 

Finding the ideal office space can be a difficult process; however, by selecting the right architect/space planner, it's critical in building an ideal space that meets the tenants business and operational needs and goals. 

After the tenant makes a broker selection, the next step is to get an architect/space planner involved.  Once the space planner has done their  job of meeting with the client, gathering information on their office culture, workspaces, budget, future requirements, etc, then the required amount of usable SF is estimated.   Planning is the most important phase in the real estate process. It is the strategic road map that guides clients to achieve maximum success and savings. It must be done properly to accomplish optimal results.

By doing the programming up-front, the Tenant Representative will now have a better idea of the required space square footage that meets the tenants needs and to better position and identify ideal buildings.

According to Coy Davidson, from Colliers - Houston, the increased focus on the detailed planning of works space is driven by several factors:
  1. Minimizing Real Estate costs
  2. Emphasis on productivity
  3. Changing demographics of the work force
  4. The accelerating cycles of change
A Prototype Space Plan is designing a plan around the most efficient and productive layout for the tenant, instead of planning around a specific building.  There are pro's and con's of both, but some of the benefits of doing a Prototype Space Plan include the below:
  1. Image
  2. Efficiency
  3. Productivity
  4. Build-out costs
Office tenants are best served when their own architect/space planner, not the Landlord's is engaged early on to work with the broker to determine the best possibly occupancy solution.

Here are some examples of office spaces completed by the Tenant Architect:

Genband - CB Richard Ellis

Bell Helicopter - Jones Lang LaSalle

Radio One - Studley

Accident Insurance Services - Cushman and Wakefield

Have a great day!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Distributed Work Environments

Good morning! 
Today's post is from a Knoll Workplace Research handout I recently received on the metrics of distributed work places. 

Distributed work places are those that use collaboration and efficiency.  Distributed work environments are characterized on the below:
  1. Smaller, higher density individual spaces
  2. A wider variety of group settings
  3. Increased allocation of seats for collaborative spaces
  4. Reduced emphasis on large conference rooms
There are many benefits of distributed work environments and I'm excited to share with you some of the recent research Knoll putt together. 

The model below shows the average square footage per person 10 years ago, which was 227SF, compare to today's average average person at135SF. 

Some of the other research found in the packet included:
  1. Small meeting spaces have higher utilization rates
  2. Distributed work strategies more than double the employee-to-desk ratio
  3. Distributed work environments offer more vairety in meeting types (patios, cafe's, game rooms, etc).
To learn more about this topic go to

Have a great day!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Corporate Cafeteria's

Good morning and happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!

Today's post is discussing the importance of cafeterias and cafe's in the workplace.  Because some people are in their offices 24/7, companies have started implementing a large break room or cafeteria in their space in order to have in-house dining.

What are the top 5 benefits of cafeterias/cafe's in an office space?
1.  Big break rooms allow for healthy communication, employee bonding and collaboration.
2.  Upgrading break rooms so they can serve as "touchdown" space for associates to work, talk, and relax at any time of the day.
3.  Employee retention increases because people feel more included.
4.  Large cafeterias can serve as a meeting space for in-house events.
5.  Employees save time at lunch when they don't have to go out of the office to eat.

Here are some examples of corporate cafeteria's:

Bell Helicopter Employee Center
Merriman Associates/Architects, Inc.

Merriman Associates/Architects, Inc.

Corporate cafeterias serve more than just a place to wine and dine - it's a place for employees to get to know one another and connect.

Have a great day!