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Summerhl l l

IRN 500-041

Iris Hsueh

Prof: Dowling

December 1, 2011

SUMMERHILL GROUP “Collaborative.



SUMMERHILL GROUP: Who We Are Summerhill collaborates together with other companies and organizations to find innovative strategies to create and develop a stronger environmental sustainable market that will result in engaging and influencing consumer behavior. They try to achieve measurable improvements both in the environment and in the economy. Summerhill aslo has a non-profit part of the company that is called “Summerhill Impact.� This side of the company has programs for the public to educate them on how to live healthier, more sustainable lifestyles that will be effective and easy. (Summerhill n.d.)


There are currently 65 present staff though growing rapidly. They are a diverse group of people with backgrounds in: arts, technical theatre, geography, etc They have a competitive group personality who likes challenges, also a self motivated, passionate and enthusiastic group of people. They encourage learning by encouraging people to walk around. They have a lot of closed office space because of the need for privacy. They only have three meeting spaces. They require a montly meeting space for all staff; they meet currently in an open space. They have limited storage space; would prefer spread out storage because people are in different project groups. They have a small kitchenette to serve drinks for clients however not located too close to meeting rooms. Before they would go on retreats; they still have picnics in the park, potluck every friday-a very social group. They had a games room (ping pong, pool, foozeball, lounge area) where they kept the longest before renovations for more space. They have transparent to semi-transparent office windows. There are lots of plants. They recycle everything; sustainabiliy is essential. What they do: research, a lot of communication, approvals, logistics planning, writing.

NEEDS & GOALS 1. Storage (program materials, odd things, t-shirts, flyers, banners, marketing materials/products) 2. Lack meeting space 3. Privacy 4. They have no place to rest when they feel down During our visit to Summerhill I saw that they definitely needed more space for meetings and storage for all the things they have collected over the years. As well, it would be great to be able to showcase some of these things, such as T-shirts, props, and buckets. They also said that they would want to have private offices, however they admitted that if there were more meeting space they would not need the private offices as much, since they are currently using them for meetings. Therefore, to be able to provide multifunctional space would be practical. As well, because they are such a social group, I want to provide them a space for them to relax and get as far away as possible from the “work-enviornment�.


Google’s mission: “To organize the world’s information and make universally accessible and useful” They gave the employees many perks, some of them were: - unlimited munchies - volleyball net - Ping-Pong table - lounge with aquariums and exotic fish - bean bag chairs for meetings - laundry area (get out of work with laundry done) - fitness centre, with personal trainers - 18 great restaurants in cafeteria - BBQ in summer - Privacy pods with different themes - Library to escape the office during break time - Fire poles “Google really takes care of us and I’m much more healthier and happier for it” (Google. 2007)

Google talks about nnovation and how it depends on everyone being comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. During a lunch and learn in RSID, the Steelcase representative mentioned that the best innovation usually happens in casual conversations. So what could we do as designers to help them feel more comfortable between each other? By looking at some of the perks in Google we realized that many of the perks influence the comfort zone of their employees. Coworkers, by playing volleyball and Ping-Pong, as well as having BBQs, good relationships are being built between people. What it comes down to is that if they feel comfortable spiking a ball to their boss they will feel comfortable to share ideas, creating more innovation and creativity in the workplace. (Google n.d.) Like Google, I want to be able to create space that alows for creativity through staff feeling comfortable in their work environment.

SAS is a leading business in analytics software and service, that help organizations optimize their business opportunities through innovative solutions, resulting in improvements in performance and fact based decisions for indisputable impact. “Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.” What caught my attention is that SAS feels they have a corporate responsibility and commitment to employees, environment, and communities, which are their guiding principles.

Workplace Culture In their workplace culture, it encourages innovation and creativity by believing that happy and healthy employees can make a happy environment. With this in mind, the company offers a large variety of benefits to reduce stress and distraction, creating an environment that integrates company values with employee needs. As well, they have integrated an aesthetically pleasing environment, such as holding a worldwide art collection for the employees to appreciate and drive the creative impulses.

Where will it take you? The idea of a workplace culture and how it reflects the company’s value is an important factor we want to consider in our design. From SAS, I want to draw the idea of focusing on how to better the employee environment through design in order to produce better results, for the company and the employees. I want to design a place where employees would feel valued and inspired.


ERGONOMICS As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, ergonomic is: designed to minimize physical effort and discomfort, and hence maximize efficiency ( In our research for office design, ergonometric is very important. People are doing various tasks, for various periods of time, hence it is crucial to provide optimum comfort and to avoid stress and any potential injuries in the workplace. Thus with this in place, we can create a better environment for the employees and they can be more efficient and productive in their tasks. However, we must note it is not possible to accommodate every user, though the extremes will always be unique cases to be specially accommodated. (Hedge, 2011)


Knee space is very important under the desks so that users will have enough space. For accessibility users, those with wheelchairs in particular, the knee space must also accommodate the wheelchairs so their upper body is as close to the front edge of the desk as possible. In order for most wheelchairs to complete a 90-degree turn, it is necessary to have an aisle of approximately 3’-4” (1016 mm) recommended when the minimum width for knee space is 2’-6” (762 mm). (McGowans & Kruse 2004)

In the workplace environment, users are always in contact with their workstations: desks, and chairs.


Chairs are very important in a workplace because majority of what employees are doing is seated. Comfort in these chairs will be beneficial when sitting there for a long duration of time. Upholstery selection can be and important factor for seating comfort. As well, a lightweight streamlined chair will allow for easier movement. Chairs must be able to provide support for people who may have difficulty with balance. As supportive cross-bracing chair leg is beneficial, but should not obstruct kick space below the seat. As well, armrests are ideal to help with balance when sitting and raising from a chair, especially for users who are in wheelchairs that prefer to sit on a chair. What can make a chair more ergonomic is its work being done in the seat height, back height, seat tilt adjustment, angle of incline, backrest, armrest. Adjustment features are important to accommodate the contours of a specific body. (McGowans & Kruse 2004)

(Chengalur, 2003)

ANTHROPOMETRICS Anthropometric: Provides information about the dimension and functional capacity of the human body (McGowans & Kruse 2004) There are two types of measurement: static and dynamic. (Hedge, 2011) Static (structural) anthropometry: measures the skeletal dimension of a human body, which does not include clothing. Dynamic (functional) anthropometry: measured when the body is in motion or engaged in a physical activities including: reach, clearance (two people through a doorway) and volumetric data.

Anthropometric Diversity

When looking at the variety of users, we must be aware that different ethnic groups have proportionally different physical characteristics. Native African peoples: proportionally longer legs than Europeans Eastern peoples (Asians): proportionally shorter lower limbs than Western Europeans; however further research determined that this situation is changing where modern youth have proportionally longer legs and wider faces than the generations before Dutch peoples: recently have become the tallest ethnic groups. (Hedge, 2011)

Wheelchair User

3 major facts to consider for wheelchair users: 1.The condition that necessitates wheelchair use. 2. Lower eye level to eye level is 15”-16” below the average standing person. Seated posture also influences access, reach, and control. 3. The space in which a wheelchair user occupies compared to an average person. A standing person occupies 25”x15” of floor space, requiring 16” to 26” aisle width and being able to turn on the spot vs. a wheelchair user occupying up to 57”x25” floor space, requiring minimum aisle clearance of 31.5” and needing a turning circle area between 59” to 67”. (Hedge, 2011)

(Chengalur, 2003)

Looking at these data, we needed to ask questions in order to thoroughly see how we can apply this to the Summerhill Group employees.


Who are the users? • Employees of Summerhill; aged between 25-29 What type of task, and what actions will be used to complete the task? • Mostly sitting and standing, lifting/carrying things i.e. project materials

There are two main positions in the workplace that employees are always in: Seated and standing.

Thing to consider in a seated workspace

In general, the maximum work area is the area within comfortable reach of your extended arm. The normal work area is within the limits of a comfortable sweeping movement of your arm, with your elbow bent at a right angle or less. It is also important to consider any potential restraint caused by clothing that you might have to wear, as well as personal factors: age, gender (women generally more flexible than men) and any disabilities. There are also very specific things that can affect the boundary of the workplace envelope like: the type of task being performed. As an example, tasks that require the activation of a switch commonly use anthropometric measurements from the fingertip reach of the users to set the envelope boundary. In contrast, when a task involves the grasping action, then the reach of the user is reduced. (Pheasant, 1998)

Some general principles for comfortable seated work:

• Relaxed upper arms and elbows at approximately 90°: Provides comfort; helps maintain straight wrists thus reducing strain of repetitive tasks • Adjustable height work surfaces: Allows each user to fit work surface to their own needs. • Sufficient clearance for your thighs under the work surface • Footrest for small users whose feet do not touch the floor • For fine work, requiring better visibility, work surface can be raised, though elbow support must is necessary. (Pheasant, 1998)

Chengalur, 2003

Some general principles for comfortable standing work: • For work that requires the application of force from the shoulder and back muscles: Work surface should be around 100-250mm lower than the level of the elbows • For normal tasks that do not require much strength: Worktop should be around elbow height or just below • For precision work: Work surface should be around 50-100mm above elbow height • Precision work should preferably be done sitting to support back muscles and relieved by necessary seating and elbow support. • Adjustable height work surfaces: Users may adjust workspace to their own needs. (Pheasant, 1998)

Maximum vertical and horizontal reach • The distance for one to reach and grasp objects above or below their shoulder height without stretching or bending is the limit for vertical reach • Measurement of vertical reach: the surface of your shoulder to the centre of your closed hand (or extended middle finger for button operation). (Pheasant, 1998) The height of reach is used when performing tasks above head height, including positioning shelves for storage, filing, changing etc. Horizontal reach is measured in the same way, but in the horizontal plane.

Visual workspace

The way we alter our direction of gaze is by moving our eyeballs within their sockets and by moving our head. It is good to have some movement of the head when working to not tire neck muscles. Because the head is supported by the muscles in the neck, it needs to move so muscles groups get a chance to rest as others take over, otherwise, neck muscles will be doing static work: continuously working with no break to rest. Therefore, the visual aspects of the workplace should be arranged to cause the lowest level of static work by the neck muscles. Visual Workspace Application • Aim to position frequently viewed items within a comfortable zone in the front view (normally 5° above, or 30° below, the horizontal, and 15° to the left and right) • In the normal, relaxed position of the head, neck and eyes, the line of sight is about 10 to 15° below the horizontal, therefore, viewing horizontally straight ahead actually requires a small amount of effort • Visual displays are comfortably viewed from 500-750mm or more, depending on size of the display components. (Pheasant, 1998)

(Chengalur, 2003)




66 SE04 It is a relaxing area to get some group work done. The curved form is good for talking to people; it might be useful to have a table in the middle or something where everyone can share their ideas or research. It takes up to 14’-8” x 10’-5” with 9 seats. This works well with my concept about collaboration and could also be a good space for staff to relax and get away from the daily work environment.

01 Patterns This workstation is strucuted without the use of panels, offering a more open space. However, in this application, it supports highly task-focused workers. It has a footprint of 6’ x 4’-6” and is great for an open office workspace.

25 PREMISE/Moxie In this workstation, workers are able to be have the privacy that they need, also while being able to interact as needed Visual and acoustic separation is increased, even within a shared footprint, supporting the high degree of concentration required for problem-solving. It has an 8’x 9’ footprint and is ideal for collaborative work.


GAME/LOUNGE SPACE We need a place where people can create stronger relationships, something that will help them make them feel more comfortable with everyone else. It should be relaxing, a stress relief activity, fun, and very different than sitting on their desks. A game room is great for Summerhill since they are a competitive group of people. Before they also used to have a Ping-Pong and foosball table but they later had to give it up because of the need for more ffice space. They tried to hold on to it for as long as possible because they loved it. Game Options: • Foosball It’s fun, it creates healthy competition between people, and they also loved it in the past, 2 - 4 people • Wii or PS3 move It’s fun, and creates healthy competition between coworkers, there is a high variety in games, 1 – 4 people can play, but its looking into yet another screen.

COLLABORATIVE WORK AREA In this space, it is a little bit different than the lounge area. This is still considered as a work enviornment for coworkers to work in, however more collaboratively than if they were sitting in their workstations. This space will allow ideas to flow freely for it is an open space, where anybody can work in. In this space, it is idealy for those who want to work, yet get some space away from their designated workstation. Casual meetings can also be held in this space, and with amount of workarea, it alows for creative freedom. This space is simliar to the studio environment in a design building, where you may be a little bit more relaxed yet having your work being done.

• Pool Table It’s fun, relaxing, and good for hanging out and talking, it also creates healthy competition between people. It can have unlimited number of players but normally from 1 – 6 people. It may take too long to finish one game. This space will have a very comfortable atmosphere, as it acts both as a game room and a lounge area. If coworkers are not feeling too good, they are able to escape into this space to get away from their everyday work enviornment. As well, this space can also be a large meeting area for their monthly all-staff meeting. Being right next to the kitchen, snacks can be prepared quickly and efficiently. It is the perfect space to socialize in, to get to know coworkers a lot more. IT will also feature artwork pieces aroundt he space to act as inspiration and motivation, and to experience a pleasant time.

GALLERY/RECEPTION AREA In this space, it showcases some of the projects that Summerhill Group has completed. It is a way for first comers to immediately see right from the entrance what Summerhill is all about, and what is capable of. It will be located right next to the reception area, where the receptionist may keep an eye on who is coming in, who is looking at their projects. This space alows for a celebration of the work completed, and to be proud of the company’s work and values. Every morning, not only clients will benefit from this space, but staff will pass through this space, as an encouragement showing their accomplisments.

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WORKPLACE ISSUES Working with 10,000 sq/ft was quite tough, because of trying to adjust the programming into the space. Furthermore, the columns prove to be a challenge to work with. In the beginning, it was quite difficult to implement it in the design; where it either had to be embraced, or strategically placed. However, I eventually found using the columns useful as a guide and anchor for my design.













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CONCEPT Summerhill Group is a very collaborative company. Through teamwork, the diversity of their staff focus on producing the best results. Each member of the group contributes in their own way to various projects. Being driven by the way the company functions through collaboration, I have implemented the idea of staff sharing and overlapping ideas into layers in my design. As well, collaboration can be encouraged through constant circulation of the space, which is why stagering elements have been used. This will in turn increase learning in the work enviornment and growth of ideas. I have also focused on the progression of ideas becoming a whole, hence the use of repeating square patterns forming the dense areas-where ideas are formulated through collaboration.



Enclosed offices are located in between the reception and cubicles to lower down the sound volume that will go into reception and lobby area.




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The collaborative space could either be around the cubicle area, or there could be a whole designated area where they can all get together to work.





Sunlight View   oN  EAST  SIDE










Meetings spaces are all near the entrance and reception so any client that might come for a meeting doesn't have to go through the whole office space to get to it. The large meeting room is in the between of the offices and other meeting rooms, creating a flow of circulation around it on both sides. The collaborative spaces should be around the perimeter of the cubicles, so more light will be able to go in deeper into the floor. The lunchroom was placed under the angled roof in the ceiling from the column form so it can give it a more sheltered feeling to the space.


Test Fit Zone A Test Fit Zone B Test Fit Zone C



Type Chair 1 O Receptionist Chair Backlit Panel Shelving UnitN Carpet LARGE MEETING ROOM Chair Table Credenza SMALL MEETING ROOM Chair Table SMALL OFFICES Chair Table OPEN OFFICE Workstation 1 Workstaion 2 Wall Panels COLLABORATION WORK AREA Chair SeatingB Table Partition Ceiling LARGE OFFICES Shelving/Table Chair LUNCH AREA Table Chair LOUNGE/GAME SPACE SeatingC Wall Feature

Name Manufacturer/Designer ttoman Palazzetti Think 465 Series SteelCase Infuse LED Backlighting System GPI Design /A Custom Equator ll/ Vegetation Interface-Flor ST_Task_X99_001 Haworth N/A Custom N/A Custom ST_Task_X99_001 Hawroth N/A Custom ST_Task_X99_001 Hawroth 43 York Haworth 25 Premise/Moxie Haworth 01 Patterns Haworth Turf Latitude 3Form Jersey Guest TS383S teelcase arstool N/A N/AA lberto Meda Sticks Extremis Chroma3 Form 43 York Haworth ST_Task_X99_001 Haworth N/AV itra N/AD omino ard 66H awroth Ditto 3Form


Material Colour Leather Black Fabric/Plastic White Glass & Flt-Lite LED Panels Green Walnut-High GlossD ark Brown Nylon #9882-Vegetation Fabric/Plastic White Cherry Wood Red-brown Oak Wood Dark Brown Fabric/Plastic White Cherry Wood Red-brown Fabric/Plastic White Wood Veneer on Substrate Brown Wood & Laminate White Wood & Laminate White Resin Panel Gree Yellow, White Mesh/G ray/Black Upholstery & WoodB rown & White Plastic White Wooden Base/Glass Fibre reinforced Polyester Resin White Acrylic Chroma Moss Wood Veneer on Substrate Brown Fabric/Plastic White Polished Aluminum Aluminum Plastic & Upholstery Dark Brown Upholstery White, Green, Orange Varia EcoResin Green & White

Office Research Book  
Office Research Book  

An office project research book for our client, "Summerhill Group".