DB3 Commercial Vision

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DB3 Commercial Vision Flexible Spaces for the World of Work

DB3 Commercial Vision

Keeping staff engaged results in greater employee satisfaction, and ultimately greater productivity and morale.

Giving workers more choice and control over how and where they get their work done is a little step that can have a big difference in their work life balance, and pay dividends to the business as a result. We aim to help you design not just a space, but the foundations of an office culture.

Whether you wish to explore traditional open plan or cellular working / agile or activity based working / hot-desking or flexible working, DB3 aim to understand your needs and develop the spaces that work best for you.

At DB3 our vision for your SUSTAINABLE OFFICE revolves around STAFF WELLBEING and 6 types of space: a SOCIAL HEART, surrounded by tailored NEIGHBOURHOODS, COLLABORATION HUBS, PROJECT ZONE, & ENCLOSED SPACES, with SUPPORT SPACE supplementing and providing order.

Social Heart

At the heart of the office, a social hub is a great way to improve staff engagement and promote a sense of community in your business. How social it is, is up to you! Pool tables and ping pong aren’t for everyone!

Refreshment bars with spaces to relax & recharge on lounge seating can create a coffee shop atmosphere, where high back chairs or peek-aboo seating might be the perfect focus nook to do a bit of work in an informal setting. Impromptu meetings and cross collaboration between teams are inevitable.

Open & flexible, the ability to utilise as an event space gives added value to the social heart. Bleacher type seating could be used as a backdrop for whole office meetings, or even business development and presentations


An office will always need workspace; it’s what makes an office an office. However, this doesn’t always need to be a traditional workstation, and whether it is allocated or unallocated to an individual is also a key consideration. Understanding your business, and the work that goes on, helps us to tailor the type of spaces you need.

Within the company different teams will require different mixes of space, which can help to define office neighbourhoods. Have fun with these zones, their identity will help people navigate the office. In the neighbourhoods consider communal working environments mixed with solo space, to compliment traditional desks. Focus nooks, or study booths are great for tasks where concentration is key, but bench seating might be better for those extroverts

in the office, and provide for overspill. Remember technology and interconnectivity is key to allow staff to move between spaces.

DB3 Commercial Vision

Collaboration Hubs

Open or semi-closed, having collaboration spaces provides an alternative working area for informal meetings and team sessions.

It is important to consider acoustic screening, and what sort of technology should accompany each hub. Media screens with power and data are great, but sometimes simple whiteboards or whitewalls can prove just as engaging for brainstorming.

These spaces come in many formats including breakout table and chairs for different size groups, touchdown benches for quick stand up meetings, and huddle spaces such as group high backed semi enclosed seating or banquet seating.

Project Zone

Project Zones are collaboration hubs for larger groups. They will likely be semi enclosed, or even completely enclosed to prevent disruption in the rest of the office. They can be considered a mini office within an office where everyone is often working to a shared goal.

With differing working zones, breakout spaces, and social spaces in one location, they allow staff to work on combined tasks where they can collaborate, move to space to focus independently, then reconvene and present over a period of the day.

For those working with external groups, consider a virtual collaboration point. Increasingly high tech tables or wall screens, combine with multiple

audio visual to simulate information transfer more commonly present in face-to-face meetings, communicating virtually through verbal, visual, written and digital means.

DB3 Commercial Vision

Enclosed Spaces

This is where some privacy is required; whether it is because confidential information is being discussed, or to prevent disruption to the neighbouring spaces.

The traditional enclosed space is a meeting or conference room; making them smart & effective is what’s required; Intuitive technology is crucial, but whitewalls play their part. Consider bookable rooms via an office app, but reserving some on circulation routes for walk-in meetings; you can create flexible spaces with movable partitions.

Other ideas are acoustic pods and phone booths strategically located. These can be for one person making a phone call, or for small groups for a conference call or private meeting.

Don’t forget high concentration rooms, which are rooms with a library-like atmosphere to work in peace and quiet; phone calls are to be taken outside. These spaces can often allay the fears of those worried about noise in an open plan.

Support Spaces

Support Spaces are crucial to the efficient working of an office. They are needed for team and personal storage, to promote recycling and to discretely locate copy and resource points. Most things can be accommodated in storage furniture, but bulk storage rooms for post, media, or IT equipment may also be needed.

The important consideration is what is needed where, and how can these be integrated within the overall office design. Support spaces can act as visual and acoustic dividers within an open plan, be used to define routes, or even encourage interaction around water-points for example; Instead of hiding support space away, try to embrace them.

In your office vision create a dialogue with your staff to understand their day; when do they arrive, where will they put their coats, what amount of storage a team needs, and if desks aren’t assigned, where do they conveniently store hot desk IT.

DB3 Commercial Vision

Staff Wellbeing

Remember wellbeing can lead to greater productivity, upturn in morale, result in less sick days and better staff retention. Staff are your biggest asset and worth investing in

Not all offices can have their own gym, but a flexible quiet space for contemplation, or even yoga is easier to achieve. Getting basic staff facilities right by encouraging activity through cycle storage, changing and lockers are a must, and e-scooter charging is also becoming commonplace; anything to help mitigate stress associated with the daily commute.

Build upon physical wellbeing, by also aiding mental wellbeing. Many of the office solutions discussed will positively change behaviour through the variety of workspaces. Compliment this by bringing nature in;

whether that be greenery, fresh air, natural finishes or sunlight.

Finally colour psychology should not be forgotten as a big influence on behaviour and emotion; water fountains and office fruit are also easy wins.

Sustainable Office

A fabric first approach is critical, but a sustainable fit-out plays an important role. Before designing, review your social/environmental responsibility policy and what your aims are. The challenge is to increase energy efficiency, to reduce running costs, and reduce carbon emissions

You may consider targets such as exceeding building regulation (Part L&F), independent guidelines such as CIBSE, or gaining accreditations such as BREEAM or LEED

Defining the building services brief is imperative. This may include a building management system to monitor energy use, heating and ventilation system to improve air quality, LED lighting system to automate and control , and plant and

system selection to ensure efficiently and control consumption

Products and finishes selection are also worth consideration; their embodied carbon, including their ability to minimise air pollutants. Material choices can showcase sustainability and communicate an ethos to staff, clients and visitors. Finally don’t forget to appoint a contractor with environmental credentials!

DB3 Commercial Vision

About DB3

Founded in 1883, DB3 Group is an award-winning, dynamic practice consisting of DB3 Architecture & Design, DB3 Building Services Engineering, DB3 Net Zero, DB3 Professional Services, Formation 3D and Home & Maker.

DB3 Group has seven studios across the UK including in Leeds, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Aberystwyth, so we are never too far away from your project. Renowned for our quality design and technical delivery, we have long standing relationships with some of the biggest global brands across private and public market sectors.

From architectural vision to the completed build, we provide multi-disciplinary expertise aimed at meeting the diverse needs of our client base. We embrace the latest technology, including Building

Information Modelling (BIM), to assist in our process and operations for design, visualisation, design team co-ordination and more.

We maintain a focus on not only delivering the project on time, with exceptional quality and within cost, but also in ensuring long term value is designed into facilities to ensure that they are easy and safe to operate, sustainable, minimise energy use and are cost effective to maintain.

Our dedicated team of experienced Architects, Project Managers, Building Services Engineers, Interior Designers and Surveyors provide a quality service regardless of project value, size or complexity, to deliver the best for our clients. Working collaboratively, we aspire to make this an enjoyable process and build relationships which result in us returning to work for the same clients on future projects.

Glasgow Leeds
Birmingham London Aberystwyth Cardiff About DB3 SECTORS ƒ Commercial ƒ Conservation & Heritage ƒ Education ƒ Energy & Waste ƒ Healthcare ƒ Hospitality ƒ Industrial & Manufacturing ƒ Retail ƒ Residential ƒ Science & Labs ƒ Sports & Leisure EXPERTISE ƒ Architecture ƒ Passivhaus Design ƒ Urban Design ƒ Visualisation ƒ Principal Designer ƒ NEC Supervisor ƒ Building Services Engineering
0113 244 6931 contact@db3group.com www.db3group.com London Leeds Birmingham Manchester Cardiff Glasgow Aberystwyth
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