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Improving your Business Through Office Design

Regenstrief Project Team Leaders:

Principal-in-Charge: Sarah Hempstead, AIA, LEED AP Project Manager: Lisa Gomperts, FAIA, LEED AP

Have you ever noticed that walking into some office spaces fills you with a sense of energy and excitement while others make you want to curl up and take a nap? Good design can help engage employees and create an environment that makes them more excited to come to work every day. Studies show that adjusting certain design elements can have a direct impact on improving your business through the effects it has on employees. Thinking through how you develop your office space can help create an environment that allows for happier and more productive employees, reduce turnover, and increase your bottom line.

Take a look at how we’ve designed for productivity, collaboration, and innovation at Regenstrief Institute Headquarters.

OFFICE LAYOUT Overall office layout effects concentration, collaboration, and creativity of employees. With the trend leaning toward a higher amount of open office space, be mindful that reducing employees private space creates the need for better and more meaningful shared spaces. A variety of different breakout spaces helps to meet the needs of the evolving workplace demands. Places for individual focus time, small meetings, and break rooms with more amenities increase employee satisfaction. • Include a balance of collaborative, private, and large and small social spaces. • Allow for quiet public space - to “see and be seen”. • Locate stations next to windows to reduce the perception of crowding. • Gathering around food is always appreciated — make this space larger than you think you need. • Pull private offices away from windows and move group spaces/work stations toward the exterior walls to draw natural light in to the space.


Regenstrief Headquarters offers several different types of rooms: collaborative spaces, conference rooms, focus rooms, and a nice employee break room with a large kitchen.


Top to Bottom: Breakout room with plenty of natural light & a large meeting room, allowing natural light to come through while providing some privacy through frosted glass application. Right Page: Outdoor areas with various seating types for Regenstrief employees to enjoy the fresh air.


BRING NATURE IN Natural light increases productivity. Daylight helps to regulate circadian rhythms – the daily cycles of waking and sleeping hours. Without access to daylight these rhythms can become off balance causing undue stress. Also, nature and access to windows allows for sensory change. Giving your employees a variety in what they look at all day will give them more opportunity to focus and stay motivated. • Have an open perimeter with workstations and include the enclosed spaces near the core of the building. • If privacy is not an issue, use glass to let the light in. If privacy is important, use clearstory windows or semi-transparent glass to allow light to pass from space to space. • If the situation allows, include engaging outdoor spaces with a variety of seating types that employees can enjoy on breaks or for small meetings.


THERMAL COMFORT Have you ever found yourself unable to concentrate at the office because you are too cold or too hot? Thermal comfort – the right combination of airflow, temperature, and humidity – has a positive impact on the working environment for the simple fact that employees are happy when they can have more personalized control over the settings. • Look at the opportunity to create a variety of temperature control zones allowing each smaller area to be controlled by a user group for better comfort. • Include operable windows and window shades to allow employees to adjust for sunlight and natural ventilation. • Want to really make it personal? Provide office chairs that are equipped with heating and cooling right in the seat.


While designing Regenstrief Institute Headquarters, our engineers performed a daylight analysis, allowing us to maximize both budget and natural light. This influenced the L-shape of the building and the type and dimension of the shade structures. Ultimately the building provides the occupants with light and outdoor views while minimizing glare and heat gain. We were able to create a thermal buffer zone, holding workstations off of the south windows that would ultimately experience the greatest temperature differentials. Sun shade devices and low-E glazing also helps to reduce heat gain.

Left Page: Sun shade and glazing on windows to help control heat and glare near employee work spaces. Above: Screenshot of the daylight analysis software within one of the open office areas. 9

Cubicle working stations arranged in a pod layouts allows for both privacy and an open office feel with glazing at top. Right Page: A breakout room is provided at the end of the floors, giving employees a chance to change their environment.


MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS Noise control and acoustics can result in a less distracting atmosphere. Especially in an open-office environment, it is important to consider how the design can help reduce distractions, promote confidentiality, and still provide social interaction. When you are working on day-to-day tasks, a little interruption here and there helps you to get through the task with a more positive attitude. When you need full concentration on more complex tasks, you need to have space that reduces distraction. • Ways to reduce noise: • Absorption: using acoustical ceiling, fabrics, and carpet • Blocking: through furniture, paneling, walls, or partitions • Covering: sound masking • Create spaces that provide separate opportunities for social interactions, away from workstations. • Provide focus rooms for private conversation and work that requires a higher level of concentration.


COLOR AND MOOD Research shows us how different colors can help create a specific mood in a space. The cool colors – blues, and greens– tend to create a calming effect, whereas warm colors – reds, oranges and yellows - give us energy. Looking for an interesting blend? Purple – the mix of red and blue, warm and cool – is thought to help increase creativity by mixing peace and stimulation. A pop of color here and there can excite and make a room seem more lively! • Be strategic with how you use colors, use them to create the mood and feel you desire for each area of the overall space. • Don’t forget to use variation! Nobody wants to see every wall painted a bright yellow or orange. • Lighter colors reflect sunlight and make a space feel more connected to the landscape. Using pops of colors found in nature will help to strengthen an earthy feel.

Walking through Regenstrief Institute’s Headquarters, you can notice the slight pop of blue and green throughout. This keeps the space feeling inviting without overwhelming the senses. 12



ACTIVE DESIGN Active design encourages employees to live a healthier lifestyle. The more active and healthy your employees are, the less sick days they will use. This could potentially decrease insurance costs as well as boosting productivity. Active design strategies include fitness facilities, bike storage, access to walking paths, and showers. • Studies show that sitting is the new smoking. Providing adjustable height desks to employees gives them more control over how they want to work and can decrease fatigue from sitting all day. • How does your company function? Taking a look at what gets people excited can help you create active nodes around coffee, gaming, writable walls, etc. • Encourage using stairs through the use of an inviting, open, centrally-located staircase in your building.

All: Regenstrief employee on-site gym and central staircase


AIR QUALITY MATTERS Did you know that air quality correlates with efficiency? The better the indoor air quality, the more productive your employees have the chance to be. This means that low concentrations of CO2 and pollutants, and higher quantities of outdoor air can have strong effect on the health and productivity. • Choose carpet, furniture, paints, tiles, and finishes with low counts of particulates, gases, or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that can cause illness in the office • Include plants when designing the interior spaces to help keep the air clean • Keep the HVAC system healthy and perform regular maintenance checks and filter changes



We help Owners optimize their facilities and systems through analysis, design, and strategic implementation.





Architects K-12

Higher Education





Other Construction Administrators


Landscape Architects Interior Designers


MEP Engineering








BY THE NUMBERS Total Project Construction Cost

Total Project Square Footage

Higher Ed

Higher Ed

$472 million

Workplace Community Lifestyle

4.8 million s.f.

$214 million


$1.3 billion


Extended Services

Workplace Community Lifestyle

2.7 million s.f.


SERVANT LEADERSHIP Our core value shapes the firm’s extensive community service and teaches them to put the client first, to walk in the Owner’s shoes. That’s why buildings designed or renovated by Schmidt Associates reflect the goals and cultures of the client’s organizations — not the designer.

13.6 million s.f.

14,000 hours of community involvement in the last 10 years

Our staff has participated in over

*Numbers represent data over the past 10 years






O N -S I T E

Profile for Schmidt Associates

Improving your Business Through Office Design  

Studies show that adjusting certain design elements can have a direct impact on improving your business through the effects it has on employ...

Improving your Business Through Office Design  

Studies show that adjusting certain design elements can have a direct impact on improving your business through the effects it has on employ...