I recently read a thought-provoking article by Nuveen Real Estate titled “The Office Is Dead. Long Live The Office” which outlined four key outcomes the pandemic will have on the workspace once life returns to the office.
The most poignant outcome, in my opinion, refers to the demand for supplementary flexible space and the need for operators to evolve their market offering. This led me to think just how easy it will be for occupiers and landlords to adapt their office space once life returns to normal, and at what cost?
Having been submerged for the past 6 years in an industry where ceiling-based systems are pretty much the norm has always led me think – are static, 4 pipe fan coils, chilled beams and VRV/VRF systems really the answer? Or is the industry just avoiding change?
Having attended numerous industry seminars and panel discussions I have heard countless experts talk about ‘the need to look for new and innovative technologies’ and the ‘growing importance of being able to provide adaptable working environments’ however, the majority never really seem to carry this through.
By definition, the word innovation is ‘a new method, idea or product’ and adaptability is ‘being able to adjust to new conditions’ which is something we’ve all had to do over the past 18 months. So, has the pandemic jolted the industry out of its slumber and will it start to think outside the box?
By using the void beneath the raised access floor, this allows conditioned air to be easily distributed and subsequently delivered into the space via active Fantile units. In doing so gives landlords, operators and end users a truly flexible and adaptable solution as well as providing numerous benefits throughout the design process and life cycle of the building.
Having been around for nearly 30 years, underfloor air conditioning remains a relatively untapped resource. However, over the past 5 years the industry has been starting to wake up to the concept with a number of developers, architects, consultants, contractors, and occupiers, all decided to “fill the void” with conditioned air – allowing them to avoid costly and lengthy reconfiguration works and provide a quick, simple and adaptable market offering once life returns to normal!
By Karl Stauss