In our previous article we predicted that the issue of air quality in offices would come to the fore in 2020. We had not foreseen Covid, of course, but cited the likes of poor air circulation and urban air pollution as two key air-quality issues needing to be addressed.
In the old days, air conditioning was seen simply as a box on the wall of the boardroom, cooling and circulating a blast of cold air. Similarly, misguided thinking led to a point where many people now work in offices that have essentially been designed as sealed containers.
As businesses look ahead to consider when and how they bring people back into the office – and do so safely and sustainably – these old approaches and technologies need some fresh thought. And that’s why we say that in 2021 post-Covid office design will be about more than hand sanitisers and sneeze screens.
Furthermore, from a wellbeing perspective, your office space and potentially your entire building needs to be considered as system not a disconnected set of parts. Heating, cooling and ventilation; lighting (both natural and artificial); layout; function and occupancy levels all need to be appraised and designed in a holistic fashion.
Which is exactly what we do.
Of course, to successfully consider the whole, you need a clear understanding of the component elements. Suffice to say, our expertise covers all of the relevant areas and technologies – including brand new ideas around zoning and the use of remotely accessible desk-booking systems.
And where air conditioning is concerned, our experience with office environments and the highly exacting requirements of data centres (where cooling is critical) means we are especially well placed to design, spec and install systems that will deliver against the demands of the post-Covid office.
What’s more, innovative new technologies such as free air cooling that are more commonly used in data centres and server rooms have the potential to offer better air quality and lower running costs.