The new C+P office world was configured according to the biophilic design principle in order to improve indoor climate and room acoustics in the open-plan office by using natural elements such as water, plants, and acoustically effective materials and, in doing so, increase employee health and wellbeing. Natural objects in the work environment have a positive impact on the human psyche, reflected by increased performance and productivity, higher levels of concentration and creativity, a reduction of stress, and an enhanced feeling of comfort.1
With a combination of acoustically effective and recyclable furniture, partition systems, and climate, water, and green walls, we offer our customers integrated solutions to make work easier for humans. Winning the Product Design Award 2016 at the Workspace trade show in Dubai for our Climate Office System for climate control, humidification, and dehumidification as well as interior greening shows us that we are on the right track toward a sustainable future with our complete system solutions.
We as employers also feel responsible for creating a pleasant and healthy working atmosphere for our employees in which they feel comfortable and can work efficiently. In collaboration with architects, planners, and the Fraunhofer Institute, we developed and successfully implemented a sustainable office concept according to biophilic design approaches with our C+P office world. This involved not only making climate and acoustics calculations but also carrying out a building analysis according to size, building materials, and alignment as well as positioning the climate water walls according to ventilation specifications and determining the placement of furniture.
The open-plan office was divided by our climate and green walls, hedge elements, and acoustically effective furniture into work, quiet, creativity, and meeting zones. At the same time, our glass partitions were used to integrate transparent individual offices, which also provide space for confidential discussions, in the open work environment. Altogether two open group offices, six individual offices as well as meeting spaces and zones for relaxing and creative work were created in the office space. The large window facades of the office world also provide a lot of daylight – and the employees have a view of the redesigned park with a pond, greenery, and seating facilities. The garden is also used frequently for meetings or breaks.
A building simulation study conducted by the Fraunhofer IBP provided some recommendations regarding the number of climate walls which we need to use to obtain an optimal indoor climate. As recommended by the Fraunhofer IBP, one water climate wall was permanently integrated in the glass partition system for each individual office. Adequate room cooling is ensured by altogether six climate walls in group office 1 and five climate walls in group office 2.
The combination of fully automated, permanently installed climate and green walls in the team offices enables ecological, local room cooling and dehumidification without any noticeable or bothersome air flows. Optimum integration of the cooling water walls into the ventilation concept makes it possible to maintain a constant, pleasant indoor climate of approx. 22°C and up to 45% relative humidity all year long. In addition, air pollutants such as dust or pollen are filtered by the cool film out of the air to create an ideal feel-good climate.
Pleasant room acoustics are ensured by the integrated hedge elements with a sound-absorbing filling as well as acoustically effective furniture – sound energy is converted into heat, disturbing noise is "sucked up." In addition, a hedge element is used as natural shielding and adds privacy in the workplace. Thanks to its attractive and refreshing design, it is not only well-liked by the employees, but is also considered a beautiful eye-catcher by all office visitors.
The think tanks integrated in the open space were configured according to the biophilic design approaches to increase user efficiency and concentration. Single persons as well as small groups can use the quiet workplaces for individual and creative work. Shielded by our glass partitions, these places of retreat are provided with sufficient daylight and tranquility. On the inside, the water wall permanently integrated in the partition as well as the green walls ensure optimum air quality and enhance the comfort level in the room.
Meeting areas for interaction and communication
The multifunction areas in our open work environment can be used flexibly. The lounge-like sofas and chairs in front of the green wall are ideal for relaxing or for relaxed communication. Spontaneous meetings can be held in the meeting area behind the curved sonic walls, the smart table with matching meeting chairs from our Cegano series provides enough space for 6 people, and work results can be presented directly on the screen integrated in the sonic wall. A counter with counter chairs was integrated in the team zone to make it possible to hold brief meetings with co-workers right near the workstation, too. The area with multi-touch conference tables and interactive white boards is used for meeting and conference situations in a larger group, so information can be exchanged quickly, and printed handouts are not necessary. In this manner we contribute greatly to conserving resources and try to reduce the use of paper gradually.
It was also possible to create efficient open-concept workplaces in the C+P office world by using a harmonious combination of ergonomic office furniture, state-of-the-art media technology, and natural water and green elements. Fast and uncomplicated exchange of information and knowledge transfer saves valuable time and leads to optimized work results.
A good example of this is an open-concept workplace in the logistics department, where altogether five employees sitting together at multi-touch media desks do the route planning for the inhouse truck fleet. A media cart with two screens can be used and controlled individually by all the employees, and work results can be visualized and presented directly on the medium, thus enabling effective communication exchange.
Vgl.: 1 Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, 2010, „Wohlbefinden im Büro – Arbeits- und Gesundheitsschutz bei der Büroarbeit“