Control room layout and design is always in flux in some capacity, but no matter the trends, many factors need consideration. Control rooms are operational centers of a business. The work employees perform in them is often critical and can be the determining factor in the success or failure of an organization.
The people who work in control rooms and support them spend long hours in front of computer screens and are often responsible for identifying and preventing catastrophic events. As you move forward to the planning and design stages of your control room, please consider these two factors that are crucial to successful control room layout design:
Factor #1: The Ergonomic Requirements of Control Room Layout Design
Ergonomics are not just about having a comfortable chair. When designing a control room, ergonomics also plays into the layout of the room. Considerations must include the workstations themselves including the furniture the employees and operators will be using on a daily basis. The chairs’ design must have comfort and operator needs in mind. Stress and fatigue from seating that does not incorporate ergonomics will reduce the effectiveness and productivity of the technicians. It can also increase workplace injury and lower accuracy.
Ergonomic consideration in the layout of the room is also important. The arrangement of the workstations, access to video displays, the way employees move throughout the space, traffic patterns within the room, and the physical space given to each operator will all contribute to the success of the control room. And don’t forget to include ADA requirements in the design to avoid expensive retrofitting after the fact.
Factor #2: The Adjacent Rooms
A control room doesn’t operate as an island. The adjacent rooms help it to operate effectively. These rooms require consideration in the initial design phase. If you need a supervisory view into the room, that adjacency is critical to the room layout. It can’t be an afterthought. Same is true for a war room or critical-use conference or meeting rooms. Where you locate them in relation to the central control room will determine how effective they are in supporting the core business.
Adjacent rooms aren’t just mission-critical spaces. Remember that restrooms near the workstations are vital as are break and lunch rooms for your staff to use during their shifts. Rooms that aren’t as important to the overall design, but that require thought in the process include maintenance and janitorial closets, engineering space, and network and tech rooms that house electronics not used directly by control room staff.
There are different phases of control room design and a number of considerations that will determine the success or failure of the room. Two of the most important are the ergonomics that affect the people that work in the room and the adjacent rooms that affect the flow of the room and access to additional space required for those working in and around the control room. Don’t waste time building a room without good design. Contact the team at Fountainhead Control Rooms for control room layout design that will lead to employee comfort and organizational success.