Triumph filing cabinets

Could office 3.0 be the end of the fight to control the thermostat at work?

Working with other people can be both fun and beneficial, from the welcome natter breaks to the sharing of knowledge and expertise. But sharing an office space isn’t always fun, particularly when different people have such different thermal comfort zones.

You know the scenario; you’re pretty comfortable at your desk, but Margaret in accounts is wearing her coat and shivering, while Steve in development is petitioning for a window to be opened. One’s hot, one’s cold, and nobody ends up happy.

The ‘thermostat war’ is a common theme in many shared office spaces, and can lead to energy wastage, unhappy employees and unnecessarily high fuel bills. One Italian architect thinks he’s solved the problem, and he calls it ‘Office 3.0’.

What is Office 3.0?

It’s not a software programme, as you might rightly think. It’s a way of embracing the ‘Internet of Things’ to deliver optimal thermal comfort to every person in the office, no matter what your personal preference.

Developed by Carlo Ratti, Office 3.0 is the first of hopefully many buildings to respond intelligently to human demands. His Turion office space, Headquarters for the Agnelli Foundation cultural institution in Turin, Italy, is designed to create a personalised ‘environmental bubble, for each and every worker.

The system integrates heating, lighting and cooling, and delivers them personally to each worker in the space. It uses hundreds of WIFI enabled sensors to collect data that considers CO2 concentration, occupancy, temperature and status. By tailoring the delivery of these services to individuals and groups in the building, Ratti believes offices could reduce their energy consumption and improve the comfort for their staff.

What can you do to make your own office 3.0?

While we’re waiting for this kind of thermal control to arrive in our own buildings, we’ll need to think of other ways to improve our comfort and ensure everyone is happy in their workplace. Here are some ideas:

  • Site desks away from radiators to allow better heat flow and avoid individuals overheating
  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation without a draught being caused
  • Use blinds to reduce the heat gain from the sun
  • Use fans to cool small areas rather than opening windows
  • Site workstations away from hot machinery such as photocopiers
  • Insulate your building, hot water pipes and machinery
  • Allow breaks and provide hot drinks and cold water
  • Relax your dress code to allow people to dress for the weather
  • Reduce clutter and paperwork which can stop airflow, using things like Triumph filing cabinets

Most office environments are relatively easy to maintain at a good temperature, but older buildings can be difficult to heat and cool. Keeping clutter to a minimum and keeping paperwork organised will help immensely, so invest in items like our Triumph filing cabinets so that your workplace is easier to manage.

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Last Modified / Updated on: May 21, 2018 at 10:40 am

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Random Glossary term

  • Panel Creep

    When planning workstation clusters for a space, panel creep is the dimension of a panel’s thickness multiplied by how many times it occurs over the length of the multiple user space.

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