Offices will not become empty – their function will change and quality will become more important

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Design standards for office spaces are changing along with the conditions in which these buildings are built. Currently, the function of an office is different than it was even at the beginning of the year. It is a place where employees want to meet, count on access to a wide range of complementary functions and modern technologies. All these elements make up the quality criteria of modern office buildings, which companies CBRE and Rolfe Judd Architecture, included in the guide “Modern Office Standards Poland 2020”. It is a publication about standards for designing office space, which clearly describes guidelines for new buildings.

– Developers, while designing a building, ultimately fight for future users of their properties. In the case of offices, these are employees who will use these spaces differently than before. However, this does not mean that the basic quality criteria have changed. A modern office building to attract tenants must meet clear guidelines, which can be found in our guide. “Modern Office Standards Poland 2020, or MOSP. We have divided the guide into three parts. The first two define 22 criteria to be taken into account when assessing the standard of an office building. The criteria include a description of market and legal requirements and recommendations. Whereas, in the third part of MOSP, we define a two-letter classification of office buildings and include a building assessment tool – says Radosław Pawlak, Director in CBRE’s office agency department.

Taking care of every detail

Creating buildings which will stand out from the surrounding urban fabric, e.g. with outstanding architecture, is the goal of many developers. Such an “iconic building” should attract people, perform social functions while referring to the local context. This is the first quality criterion out of 22 indicated in the guidebook “Modern Office Standards Poland 2020” – 15 of them are treated as mandatory, as they contain the non-negotiable foundations of a good office design. The remaining 7 criteria, including “building-icon”, are treated as optional and serve to achieve a specific classification.

15 key quality criteria

Mandatory quality criteria for an office building include the lobby (1), which creates the first impression for visitors, hence its importance. This is followed by common areas (2), parking and building services (3), lifts (4), ceilings and lighting (5), electrical installations (6), heating, air conditioning and ventilation (7), construction (8) and noise protection (9). Another important criterion is the building management system, or BMS (10). In addition, the basic criteria include cabling (11), natural light (12), power sources (13) and raised floors (14), whose function is purely utilitarian, as it provides good access to installations such as electrical and IT cabling. The last mandatory criterion is sustainability standards in building design and construction (15).

7 additional quality criteria

One of the additional quality criteria, besides the “iconic building” (1), are appropriate design grids that allow for pre-planning of the space, as well as the interior arrangement (2).

– The interior arrangement and design grids should be designed to allow maximum flexibility in creating office and parking space. If we add care to every element, including but not limited to lighting, lobby or common areas, we can create a building that fulfils its most important function, i.e. is optimal from the users’ point of view – says Michał Sęczkowski, director of Rolfe Judd Architecture.

Another additional but important criterion from the point of view of the currently changing office function is wellbeing (3). The design of an A-class building should take into account not only sustainability and energy efficiency, but also the users of the building, their well-being and health. Further additional quality criteria are: space for tenants’ technical equipment (4), building maintenance (5), associated functions (6) and sustainability standards in building operation and maintenance (7).

Source: CBRE

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