Commercial Space Interior Design Trends Enrich Every Work Area

COVID-19 has changed the commercial real estate landscape

As we reset our work-life balance, the workplace must also evolve

Home offices, smart amenities, technology, and safety are now all need-to-haves, not on the wish list. Adaptation is key, as many new leases are short-term or sublease in order to keep physical space flexible.

Who is changing how they use their workspace?

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Designers
  • School Study Rooms
  • Insurance
  • Medical Collaboration
  • Any commercial office
  • Training
  • Libraries
  • Banks
  • So many more!

Multi-purpose workspaces are still on trend

Even the government has office space and conference rooms that previously were gray, dreary & uninspiring.

Room dividers, sliding glass doors, glass office fronts, suspended barn doors, conference rooms and lockable offices all play a part in multi-purposing commercial spaces to optimize them.

As those returning to work are letting upper management know, disinfection and visibly clean space instills confidence. Glass partitions are a great way to divide and keep spaces open yet separate.

Workplaces have changed dramatically in the last 50 years

Many of the changes ahead of us impact workplace design and functionality. What used to be characterized by productivity and efficiency was changed when personal computers came about.

Then the internet brought information to us real-time and our workplaces were re-shaped again and continued to evolve to drive more innovation.

While productivity is still VITAL, leveraging knowledge and promoting innovation is on the top of the goal list along with collaboration and cross-functional teamwork. Any lost productivity while being at home can be regained as we return to work. Employees are eager to reconnect.

In order to foster innovation, workspaces, conference rooms and consultation areas must provide natural light, places to meet, PLUS more quiet places to think and focus.

Interior glass door solutions including room dividers, swing doors, fixed glass walls and pass-through windows all contribute to the kind of workplace that is ripe for innovation and creativity. Innovation is seen as critical to maintaining a competitive edge.

Sliding glass doors that can stack or lock for privacy provide significant functionality and offer a clutter-free, organized yet relaxed setting.

Conference room dividers that double as dry erase boards

In line with collaboration and innovation, our interior glass door solutions can be designed with different sections of glass. Milky glass for example can be used as a dry erase board in a training room! Focused work requires a lot of attention to detail and concentration. And this is especially helpful in schools and universities. What could be more perfect than a private, calm area to set your mind free to think and create?

Having a room divider that can slide closed and offer privacy when needed is a productive way to utilize your office space.

The combination of an open floor plan to innovate with others and the private areas required to focus is the key to success!

Stacking room dividers open the space for collaboration in seconds while offices fronts close off more private areas for focus and concentration. Check out more options today at, or get started with a free consultation by calling us at 1-866-536-2113.


Tips for Building a Coworking Office to Attract Top Millennial Talent

The traditional office structure has been shaken up recently in big ways. The tech-savvy generation by and large is rejecting rigid workplace hierarchies and wants to work with a company, not for it. They appreciate autonomy at work, collaboration, and the free exchange of information and ideas. As some offices return to work and make changes, coworking spaces are becoming very attractive to many millennials.

And since millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2030, it only makes sense to create attractive workspaces for this soon-to-dominate group.

Coworking Spaces Continue to Grow in Popularity

Open office layouts have been popular for decades—these millennial-friendly spaces encourage spontaneous run-ins and collaboration. Coworking spaces are similar but are designed to allow employees from multiple businesses to work side-by-side. Many coworking spaces are like gyms in that members pay a monthly membership fee for regular access to the building or unit, as well as its amenities.

Coworking spaces are gaining popularity, and for a good reason. A study by Gensler found that access to coworking is associated with better employee experience and greater effectiveness at work. For those tired of working from home in less than ideal conditions, the coworking space is a welcome change.

Employers like the lower overhead costs and fewer responsibilities of renting a workspace. Workers enjoy the energy of these spaces and the networking opportunities and crossover of ideas shared spaces provide. Coworking spaces have mostly attracted tech startups and entrepreneurs, but they hold promise for other industries as well.

Tips for Creating a Coworking Space That Attracts Millennials

Coworking spaces are popping up all over the country, but if you’re not near a major city, finding a shared space can be a challenge. In this case, you might consider starting your own. Here are some tips for creating an attractive coworking space.

1. Make sure there’s demand

The idea of coworking spaces is still new for many people. If you have an established company, make sure there’s buy-in from your employees. If you’re a startup, you might need to host a few events to generate interest and excitement.

2. Choose your location wisely

You want your space to be conveniently located in a safe area with parking. The beauty of coworking spaces is they work well in all kinds of buildings, from underutilized offices to vacant buildings to old banks and factories. If you’re outside a city center, you might be able to find a landlord or property manager willing to offer you an inexpensive lease or month-to-month arrangement. This will allow you to test out the concept and see if it works for your business.

3. Strategically plan your layout and furnishings

Studies find that employees who had access to a variety of different types of spaces and who had a choice in where to work reported having better workplace experiences.

Workers need spaces to focus, collaborate, learn and socialize. Use this as a guide to map out the layout and design of your coworking habitat. Here are some popular features in shared working spaces:

  • Communal seating
  • Private individual offices
  • Conference rooms
  • Modular interior walls
  • Mobile and stackable furniture (e.g., mobile pods and tables on wheels)
  • Greenery-covered walls and other natural features
  • Tech-enabled spaces
  • Phone booths and nursing rooms
  • Beverage bars and comfortable lounges

If the space is small, an open floor plan can help you maximize space. If you have plenty of room to spread out, experiment with different modular layouts.

To keep the space flexible, choose movable glass walls and partitions, which you can reconfigure as your needs change. Keep in mind that everyone has different temperaments for noise and distractions—office dividers can help you create customizable private areas where employees can retreat for quiet time.

4. Invest in connectivity

It’s not enough to have high-speed Internet these days. To create an in-demand coworking space, create an environment designed for connectivity. Consider adding docking stations, interactive whiteboards, digital wayfinding technology (to help workers find open desk spaces), multimedia displays, virtual or augmented reality tools, and even personalized temperature and lighting controls.

Space Plus: Helping You Build an In-Demand Coworking Space

The modern workplace needs state-of-the-art solutions, and Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, provides them.

Our office divider walls and sliding doors can help you create dynamic coworking spaces for every need—from conference rooms to sanctuary spaces to “huddle rooms.” Our partitions are sleek and modern, constructed of the highest quality tempered or laminated glass. Our talented team will help you choose from a variety of designs, glass types and frame finishes to suit your space’s aesthetic, as well as the right locks and handles for secure office rentals.

View our gallery for inspiration and learn more about our glass partitions and sliding glass door solutions for coworking office environments. Ready to get started on building your own coworking space? Request a quote today.


Transform Your Interior the Easy Way with Space Plus!

Sprucing up your workspace doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or emotionally taxing. Nor does it have to cost a fortune. Install sliding doors from Space Plus, and you can transform your interior without the hassle, the headache, or going broke! How easy is it to take your office from average to inspiring? With Space Plus, you get:

A Free Consultation

You don’t have to face your next interior project alone. The experts at Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, can help you every step of the way, from conception to completion. You can reach us by phone or step into the nearest showroom to discuss your needs while you see and feel our sliding glass doors firsthand. With 28 showrooms located all over North America, it’s easy to find a location near you.

Simple and Accurate Estimates

At Space Plus, we don’t hide behind complicated pricing schemes. We don’t surprise you with hidden costs and undisclosed fees. Instead, we offer straightforward prices and clear explanations. Of course, we build custom interior sliding doors, so the final figure will depend on the particular specs of your project, but our transparent estimating process makes it easy to budget your next project no matter how unique your request.

Professional Resources

Need help implementing your project? From our Pro Tools to our CSI Spec Guide and Architectural Binder, we give professionals all the resources they need to install their glass sliding doors properly, safely, and easily. Download our catalog, request an architectural binder, or scour through CAD details. Don’t see what you need? Get in touch with us, and we’ll hunt down the right information.

Customized Options

Milky glass. Frosted glass. Charcoal frames. Walnut frames. A Trio design. A Quattro design. When it comes to sliding interior doors, Space Plus gives you plenty of choices. Customize your doors to include a variety of glass types, frame finishes, frame designs, locks, and latches. The final result? Interior glass doors that are as stylish as your workspace and as unique as your employees.

Functionality Beyond Your Expectations

There’s little our sliding glass doors don’t do, aside from your taxes. They let light in. They direct foot traffic. They give you privacy when you need it and openness when you want it. They’re safe and beautiful and convenient. Instead of blocking natural light, they let it flow. That boosts everyone’s mood, increases productivity, enhances the aesthetic appeal of your office, and saves you money on heating, cooling, and lighting.

Consolidated Factory-to-Field Services

At Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, we manufacture all of our doors and room partitions in our very own factory. We don’t outsource production or subcontract out to other suppliers. Why does it matter? Our in-house fabrication process allows us to ensure quality at every step.

Consolidated factory-to-field services also streamline the ordering process. You work with our account executives to design a door that meets your specifications; we send the order to our factory, we build it, and we deliver the final product to you without having to haggle with a middleman. At the end of the day, you get higher quality, better safety, and superior service.

See for yourself how Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, can transform your interior while eliminating the hassle. Call now to schedule a FREE consultation: 1-888-869-1850.


Space Planners use Interior Glass Doors When Designing Office Entrances!

New U-Levers help Space Planners Meet ADA Requirements for Office Fronts! The U-Lever is an option for use on interior glass swing doors. The latch and deadbolt will retract when the lever is operated in a downward motion from the inside (thumb turn side).

The levers comply with the 2013 California Referenced Standards Code (CRSC 12-10-202) which requires the lever to be curved with a return to within half an inch (1/2”) of the door to prevent catching on the clothing of persons during egress. The curve also prevents a fire hose from catching behind the lever handle in case of an emergency.

Egress means: The action of a person leaving a place. Departure, Exit, Withdrawal, Retreat, Exodus, Escape.

One of the biggest challenges space planners face is how to find locks and handles for interior glass doors that meet ADA requirements.

We have a selection of locks, latches and handles that all comply with ADA while being functional, safe and durable.

A glass office front with a swing door can be keyed individually, keyed alike to match other office entrances or even master-keyed to the building lock. Our U-lever handle is the perfect compliment.

This keeps it simple for your IT Manager, Cleaning Crew and Property Manager to enter using one master key rather than having tons of keys on his/her keyring.

The U-lever must be used with Swing Doors with 3” aluminum frames. Your choice of glass and frame finish will give your office a modern & flexible solution that provides a lot of natural light!

Choosing the U-lever will help with ADA compliancy & finish off your design with style. This is why commercial space planners choose the U-lever when designing office entrances.

The U-lever comes with installation hardware, spacers, Key cylinder, Thumb-turn, Canopy, Face plate, strike plate & keys!

For more information about:

  • Interior glass door solutions Swing doors
  • Fixed glass walls
  • Sliding glass doors
  • Barn Doors
  • Frameless glass doors
  • Glass Partitions
  • Pass Through Windows
  • Room dividers and more….

Whether your office space requires modern suspended doors with no bottom track, or a stylish swing door with the U-Lever, we offer modern glass doors of all styles that add functionality and elegance to your office’s entrance.

Call us for your FREE consultation right now!



Activity Based Commercial Space Design

Interior glass room dividers can help re-purpose space based on what people need to DO during the day!

Activity based planning is the key to effective work space design.

When employees come into work, the first thing they do is check e-mail and voice mail. After they’ve settled down, they might have a meeting. If it’s not confidential, they can have it with others in open space. If it is confidential, they can use a private enclave with a closed door.

Space Saving Glass sliding doors impact commercial space design to improve efficiency and save money

Activity-based planning (ABP) is a business planning strategy that focuses on identifying the types of activity that are needed to produce a desirable level of results.

The aim is to design a work areas for maximum effectiveness and efficiency within any organization.

By putting certain functions that frequently work together in close proximity for example will save walking time from one area to another. Having a comfortable area large enough for a cross functional team to work & innovate together in an place that is accessible for all departments involved saves time and money. Private offices that are needed for confidential functions could also be nearby. Modern glass room dividers make it happen!

A glass wall and a desk; is that all you need?

In some companies, there is a space for the coffee bar, library, cafeteria, research center and different sized client meeting rooms.
People have such varied activities during the day, the space needs to function to support those activities.
There are even some corporations that have build a long wall with small phone booth size enclaves with a small desk, phone, sofa & outlets for the phone or computer & a glass door to see out. These work spaces are very uplifting & give a person the privacy to focus on the task at hand while enjoying the natural light coming in through the glass.

Quality and Sustainability; Interior Glass Room Dividers and Doors provide both

For ages, the major determining factor for purchasing office furniture was the price.
During the past couple of years, although businesses don’t have unlimited budgets for furniture, there is a measurable shift toward quality and comfort in office furniture.
Businesses are looking for environmentally friendly products in addition to ergonomically designed furniture, like chairs with adjustable arm rests and head rests, and standing height desks.
You will note the increasing demand for high-quality furniture as displayed by office furniture made from quality materials like laminated and tempered glass. Stacking room dividers are the solution.

Commercial spaces tend to be quite neutral, and sometimes uninspired.

Sliding doors, glass walls or barn doors allow for an ample amount of natural light to flow right in!

This boosts morale and productivity.

In addition, there is an increasing desire to show some personality through interior design. One way to do this is to add quirky touches, like mismatched floor tiles, serious contrasts with flooring or mixed glass types with stylish divider strips. Unique touches like this can make a courageous statement that clients will remember!

How can Interior Glass Sliding Doors improve the functionality of your space?

Don’t forget about function. After all, this is a workspace we are talking about! You can incorporate functional touches in unexpected places with multi-purpose furniture. You can try desks with adjustable keyboard heights for people who need to stand at times or filing cabinets that contain hidden, slide-out seating! Once you have the components in place, interior glass doors and partitions can optimize your workspace allowing a harmonious flow to garner tranquility and productivity.

Take the environmental impact of your design into consideration. Glass and aluminum doors are perfect for green construction projects and last in their original shape forever. Making attention to environmental impact a priority is respectable. Incorporate this into your design by using glass swing doors, sliders, barn doors and partitions. Everything is recyclable!

Shape Up with Interior Glass Door Designs:

Imagine how different the conversations would go in a company meeting if you had one large open area to create and innovate together as a team…and closed, more private offices for the confidential stuff? Sliding doors save space and can re-purpose an open space in seconds!
The challenge with any large office, especially a 160,000 sq foot space as occupied by Google, is the question of how to keep the space feeling renewed & alive at every corner while offering havens and think spaces away from one’s closed door office.
Offices must inspire and invite employees to do their best! This year, use these trends to incorporate new design elements or even plan out a multi-phased improvement project that can inspire your employees and grow your company the right way.

For more information about how interior glass door solutions influence Activity Based Planning, the fate of the filing room & the impact of optimism from inside a glass conference room, get your free consultation today!


Keyless Entry for Interior Glass Doors

Interior Glass Doors Solutions by Space Plus solve design challenges again!

Advantages of Keyless Entry

There are many reasons to get a keyless entry system for swing doors and for sliding glass office fronts, but what specific aspects will help you in your daily life?

It’s good to ask these types of questions as you contemplate different security options. There are four main ways that keyless entry for interior glass doors gives you peace of mind and a sense of security:

1. Convenience

With keyless entry for businesses, you don’t have to worry about fishing around in your bag or pocket for your key. Simply reach out and enter the code, scan your card, or let the sensors pick up your personal access details from your smartphone. Without a key to carry around, you won’t have to worry about losing or misplacing it. Likewise, spare keys that reduce security will be a thing of the past. Imagine giving a “one time contractor” access and then changing the code right when they are done working. This flexibility is super convenient, safe and trackable.

2. Protection

Whether you’re fleeing from a snowstorm or are afraid that you’re being followed, you’ll be able to gain quick access with keyless entry.
Without an actual key to keep track of, you’ll always have quick access to your home or business.
Anytime you leave normal keys unattended, criminals can copy them in around three minutes with the right equipment.
Avoid these problems with a keyless system.
In addition, every time a person enters, software can track it for an added layer of protection.

3. Foolproof guarantee

We’ve all been there: that day where things weren’t going your way and you were in a hurry. Your mind was elsewhere and you locked your keys in your car or office. Whatever the mishap, it’s nice to realize a keyless entry system can prevent it.

4. Security

Most of all, a keyless entry system lets you have constant updates and information regarding your property.You can monitor who is going in and out of interior glass doors from any location.
Knowing your business is secure while you are away is valuable, too. Criminals have a much harder time compromising a keyless entry system than a regular key and lock. Protect what you care about with keyless entry security.

Things to Consider

Like any system, keyless entry systems for interior glass doors have their own drawbacks.
The two problems that may arise are power outages and forgetting the key code.
You can remedy the first problem by having back-up batteries or generators for your system. As for the second issue, use your cell phone, pass card or other device rather than having to remember a code. There are also devices that use finger prints, eye recognition and other entry pass codes on the market.
For more information about our room dividers, office partitions, swing doors, barn doors and glass walls, contact us at


Optimize your Work Space with Interior Glass Doors and Partitions

“Phone booth” work spaces give plenty of room for a team of 2 or 3 to create, collaborate and solve! The open air design allows for the sharing of lighting, heating and air conditioning, saving energy costs year over year.

According to Jory MacKay, “few things affect our productivity as much as what we surround ourselves with. Yet most of us rarely take the time to step back and really analyze our working environment.”

We couldn’t agree more and that is why we designed our interior glass door solutions to optimize your work area and uplift any occupants of the space. This row of offices includes our floor to ceiling sliding glass doors with designer handles and recessed bottom tracks. There are wide open collaborative work spaces and the perfect balance with some private offices that lock when needed.

Clutter-free, organized work spaces boost productivity

The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.

Glass room dividers with combo glass provide a unique work space with a ton of natural light. The space saving glass wall and aluminum frames are all recyclable and perfect for green construction projects.

Optimize your space & allow natural light to come in while stopping unwanted foot traffic with sliding glass doors.

Similar to what multi-tasking does to your brain, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively. Set time aside each month to assess your work space and ensure it is not too cluttered. This will lead to increased productivity and morale.

Architecture can have a huge impact on our productivity. That’s why we feel inspired by large spaces or refreshed from sitting by the window.

Author James Clear gives great examples:

Space changed the way he thought:

“The spirituality of the architecture was so inspiring that I was able to do intuitive thinking far beyond any I had done in the past. Under the influence of that historic place I intuitively designed the research that I felt would result in a vaccine for polio. I returned to my laboratory in Pittsburgh to validate my concepts and found that they were correct.”

Jonas’ example is just one of many.

Optimize your modern school study environment with glass sliding and swing doors is another example of places that impact our productivity! We know every inch of space counts!

Optimize Functionality:

A serious consideration when planning out your space is functionality.

This space shows:

  • How our interior glass door solutions optimize every inch of floor space.
  • Lighting, air conditioning and heating can be shared, eliminating the need to move or re-do the HVAC system…saving tons of money.
  • Each work area can be re-purposed on the fly if needed as the business evolves. Talk about flexibility.
  • Offices with glass sliders or swing doors can be locked and even master-keyed to the storefront or building door.

We make our interior glass doors in our own factory where safety & quality are carefully fabricated into every single glass door.

The selection of glass types, frame color finishes & ADA compliant accessories provide our clients with sustainable, functional and stylish options to suit their specific project needs.

Optimizing every fraction of your floorplan by creating spaces that can be re-purposed as technology changes and as the business grows is essential. Functional glass office dividers, storage enclosures, glass partitions and conference room dividers are our specialty.

Call us for your free consultation today!


Healthcare Facilities Benefit from Interior Glass Door Solutions

According to Health Facilities Management in partnership with the American College of Healthcare Architects:

Today healthcare facilities offer more accessible designs for patients and staff.   These facilities are highly complex and function-specific structures that must respond to multiple conflicting demands over their lifetimes. At the same time, the nation’s health care systems have a high level of future unpredictability. Hospital buildings, therefore, face an indeterminate future in which they must function with a high degree of accuracy yet remain viable for a period of time even as technology and patient needs change.

Chapter 1 – Adaption to Change

Flexibility Built into the Design from the Beginning

Buildings along with processes need the flexibility to change and adapt to new needs and conditions. Healthcare architects have been good at working around the edges of this issue through a series of techniques to address flexibility or adaptability in buildings. They include:

One-hundred-year site. This considers the very long-term outlook for the community, access, utilities and other elements from the beginning of site selection.

Empty chair. This leaves an area on the campus to start incremental replacement of obsolete buildings.

Multiuse spaces. This plans space and building configurations for flexible uses over time.

Modular planning. This organizes multiuse space in clinics and other areas with repetitive designs.

Relevance of Interior Glass Doors

Interior glass doors are relevant because they are functional now and can be used later with no modifications. Glass room enclosures, dividers and partitions can be configured to mark off specific spaces for future use while blending seamlessly into the current floor plan. Additionally, interior glass door solutions can be designed to offer multi-use or shared spaces such as consultation areas in the morning and employee conference room spaces in the afternoon.
Interior glass door solutions may seem like a small part of the building interior design. However, they play a huge role in optimizing every inch of usable space, provide energy saving options and improve patient and staff comfort too. These are vital just as the exterior, HVAC and electrical systems are vital.

Hospital study findings – related to CHANGE

In an unpublished survey sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the early 1970s, 10 hospitals in the private sector and 10 within the VA system were studied in detail to document changes and costs of change.

In one facility, as much as five miles of telephone wire was installed during the first three years of occupancy (this was before computers). In another example, an older hospital had moved its central supply department five times. The survey provided clear evidence that the main inhibitors to change and contributors to the disruption of patient care, downtime and cost were the mechanical-electrical-plumbing (MEP) systems.

Any building planned to accommodate change needs to have adaptable MEP and structural systems. Many designs do not accomplish this adequately. In the VA survey, for instance, approximately five times the original construction cost (not counting inflation) was spent on major renovations of an acute care facility over a typical lifespan of 50 years. In today’s high-tech environment, one can assume that the rate of change has increased substantially.

  • The VA research study went on to develop a proposal for strategic integration of MEP and structural systems using modules that could be reorganized to accommodate almost any architectural The VA calls it the VA Hospital Building System and recommends its use for major VA hospitals. In the private sector, it is better known as an Integrated Building System (IBS). The details of the IBS periodically have been updated and may need to be brought up-to-date again to reflect technological and operational changes.
  • The IBS can be thought of as a set of rules and a kit of parts, with the rules being the most Project team members should:
  • Identify permanent adaptable elements. This requires identifying building elements that cannot be economically changed versus those that can be changed easily without excessive cost or disruption. Elements considered permanent should be designed for a probable range of uses rather than for a specific first use. For example, air trunk ducts might be oversized so they will not have to be ripped out if the air supply needs to be increased in the future.
  • Utilize modular The building should be planned as a series of modules, each with the same organizing principles. Each module’s utilities mostly will be independent of others. This way, one module can be shut down to upgrade services without affecting other parts of the building. Some modules can function on a 24-hour-a-day schedule and some on a reduced schedule to save energy!
  • Minimize structural One example of this is providing a long- span structure in at least one dimension to allow sufficient flexibility in functional plan layout and to accommodate any future changes without interference from columns or shear walls. When the study was developed, 40 feet was considered a minimal structural span. Floor loading also should be designed to accommodate a reasonable range of functions in each building module. The functions and resulting floor-loading criteria may vary in different areas of the building.
  • Organize utility operations This includes organizing vertical and horizontal zoning for all utilities so that each utility has a defined zone in both directions. Zones also should be provided for services that are not needed initially but might be required later. For example, include a zone for a return air duct where initially there is only a need for an exhaust system.

Separate function from utilities. Clinical and other functions should be separated from utility distribution with a walk-deck ceiling system. This way, tradespeople can work above and below the walk deck simultaneously, compressing the overall construction time.

Subsequently, utilities can be changed or upgraded above the walk deck as functional needs change, with minimal disruption to patient care or other essential activities.

Plan for service bays. Vertical risers in each module should be reduced or eliminated. They can be clustered at the perimeter of the module in a service bay. This way, it is possible to change the functional plan layout without having to accommodate plumbing stacks that pass through to other floors.

Adapt the construction process. Integrated Building System construction allows significant savings in labor and fieldwork by maximizing repetitive modules and speed of construction. Training of cost estimators and potential construction general contractors is reduced too.

  • At the end of four years’ research, development & acceptance, the team comprising two health care design firms (Stone, Marraccini and Patterson; & Building Systems Development) and two technical consultants (Rutherford + Chekene; and Ayres, Cohen & Hayakawa) was awarded a design contract to implement the research findings with a 500-bed demonstration project at VA Loma Linda Healthcare System in Southern California.
  • It was completed more than six months sooner than a conventional project with substantial reductions in the cost of some building components, including mechanical systems & interior partitions. However, there were offsetting additional costs for the exterior skin & the walk
  • Construction cost was within the prevailing norm at the time & change orders were reduced to almost none. In fact, the contractor had nothing but praise for Significant savings accrued to the contractor & the subcontractors that were not recognized in the bidding process and, therefore, were not passed on to the owner due to the experimental nature of the project. Operationally, the amount of patient & workflow disruption was reduced substantially & the ability to accommodate change was enhanced greatly.

Maintenance costs were less than the prevailing norm, subsequent remodeling costs were reduced substantially and the ability to change space as needed was enhanced.

Moreover, sustainability was increased because the building’s ability to adapt has extended its useful lifespan. The project now has been in operation for more than 30 years and, during that time, has been changed frequently and continues to perform well. In fact, an estimated 30 percent cost reduction reportedly was achieved in the IBS building during renovations where the MEP (mechanical-electrical- plumbing) systems were involved. These savings do not include the cost of downtime and loss of functionality during renovations, which also can be considerable.

  • The cost reductions come from several sources. For example, if there is a need for a new 220-volt outlet in a patient room, there is a zone above the walk deck for electrical Moreover, power sources have been designed for a range of uses so adequate power likely will be available. Access to the correct circuit can be obtained easily above the walk deck and the wires in a conduit can be dropped down in the wall into the patient room. Finally, only a small opening need be made in the patient room wall for a back box and plug that can be installed quickly.
  • Using this example in a conventional building, a circuit would have to run from a panel box through the corridor’s existing ceiling space and any connections would need to be made in the corridor on a ladder and then fished into the patient room where the ceiling and wall would be
  • It is easy to imagine this example played out in an IBS building at a larger scale when changing out radiology or surgical equipment, converting from recirculate to total exhaust air systems or expanding an existing emergency department while maintaining day-to-day

Affordable and Uplifting at the Same Time!

 Interior glass doors, sliders, stationary panels, swing doors, barn doors and pass through windows are all affordable options to doing full room re-configurations. Further, there have been a number of studies that have shown that seeing natural light during the day is uplifting and positively impacts a person’s life. Uplifting surroundings have shown to improve mood, reduce depression and give a person an sense of calm. All of this is possible with our interior glass door solutions, room entrances, dividers and barn doors.

Challenges of IBS: (Integrated Building System)

 So, if IBS is so good, why has it not been used more in the private sector? Largely because IBS design, construction and operations require a new way of approaching design and construction by the entire team.

For one thing, the owner must be on board and supportive of a somewhat experimental design and construction process. The design of the architecture, MEP systems and structure also must be accomplished simultaneously in an interactive environment as opposed to designing first and stuffing the MEP systems in afterward. Additionally, designing each component for its lowest cost will not work — lowest overall system cost is the goal.

Modest additional fees also must be considered for the design team to allow for the learning curve and a higher level of documentation. Building information modeling will enhance this process. Rigid redesign requirements will make the team wary of taking on something new, so these expectations may need to be modified depending on the team’s past experience.

  • Conventional cost-estimating methods based on quantity takeoffs will provide an inflated cost estimate. Study of previous IBS projects and construction methods is required to obtain accurate The contractor and subcontractors must be educated prior to bidding on these buildings about how to save time and money in their construction. Fortunately, there are enough examples of facilities around the country to visit and learn from.
  • There may be some additional first construction costs, but these can be In studies by the VA, the cost of the many completed IBS buildings generally falls within the 75 percent median of the Reed Construction Data Inc.’s RSMeans cost data for hospitals. The demonstration project in Southern California did not cost any more than a conventional VA hospital. However, that was a period of high inflation and the savings in construction time offset any increased cost of materials.

In some cases, when adding to existing conventional buildings, the greater floor- to-floor height of IBS imposes constraints that make this approach impractical. For others, a system of gentle ramps or skipping some floor connections will work to establish a new level of floor-to-floor heights for the hospital’s addition and other additions and replacements in the future.

  • A changing world
  • The Affordable Care Act is generating new health care building types, not all of which are suitable for IBS projects or the longevity they
  • For acute care facilities, however, lowest first cost should not be the main motivation for design decisions. In fact, any such facility should be planned to last for 50 years or
  • An IBS approach will not solve all the problems of premature obsolescence, but it will go a long way toward extending the building lifespan and lowering the costs of renovation as time passes.

Patient flow

  • At some point in our lives, each of us will experience a change in With a boom in aging demographics worldwide, ophthalmology has become a rapidly growing medical field. According to the Advisory Board, ophthalmology is one of the largest growing healthcare services and, in 2015, North America accounted for the largest share of the global ophthalmology devices market.
  • As healthcare facilities across North America work to keep up with the latest technological advances and build new ophthalmology facilities, there are several factors that both healthcare facility operators and designers should keep in
  • The day-to-day operations of an ophthalmology facility are much like a Seeing into a patient’s eye requires more than the simple one-two-three sequence of arrival, exam, and discharge. A series of rooms and a progression of steps must all be choreographed for efficient diagnosis, benefiting both patient and provider.
  • Adding to this complex rhythm is the variation in ophthalmic specialties where the composition of rooms and diagnostic steps can vary The playbill for ophthalmology can encompass eight subspecialties, and this article will focus on the operational steps designers need to consider for quality eye care across all specialties.
  • This unique choreography poses a challenge when it comes to designing ophthalmology Setting the stage for a successful facility can entail many different room types & these rooms can be grouped into four functional categories: waiting, consultation, diagnostic and exam.
  • Waiting & consultation tend to be “soft” spaces because they house less medical equipment, while diagnostic & exam rooms are heavily dependent on medical equipment, more so than in any other outpatient Waiting functions include not just post-reception, pre-clinic waiting, but also alcoves & rooms strategically dispersed throughout the clinic proper for sub- waiting between diagnostic procedures or treatments.

Diagnostic functions have a wide range starting with the initial intake to testing, which can entail simple colorblind tests to more invasive measurements such as electrical stimulations; diagnostic imaging can be as diverse as measuring the visual field to ophthalmic computerized tomography; and finally, diagnostic optometry provides a benchmark for visual acuity when needed.

Exam rooms can accommodate many of these functions from waiting and diagnosis to exam and consultation depending on the room configuration and a clinic size limited to only a few rooms. Consultation functions focus on person-to-person activities such as surgery scheduling, pre-op preparation, post-op observation & discharge.

The arrangement of exam and diagnostic rooms need to accommodate a smooth back-and-forth for patient and staff. If necessary, waiting as a function can happen in any room type, but offering a separate waiting area as a room in itself gives patients a sense of progression in what can sometimes be a long visit. These sub-waiting areas are ideal for medications to take effect, such as eye injections or drops for desensitizing or dilating the eye, and can also serve as holding areas for either pre- or post-diagnostic procedure.

Why is Being Modular Relevant?

The modular planning is clearly a way to be more efficient and functional. Interior sliding doors allow a place for both healing and work to achieve optimal functionality. Our product complements the greater scope of the each building project with flexibility.

One of the biggest challenges here is that there is lots of red tape, regulations and approvals required that all go into planning.

Interior glass doors are more affordable, require less planning and can easily provide flexible spaces based on function!

    • In any clinic, exam rooms are the most replicated rooms and their configuration will set the standard for clinic Diagnostic rooms vary the most in terms of medical equipment and functional need, but a highly efficient clinic will find a common module that aligns with the standard exam room.
    • In general, the diagnostic functions of intake and testing can easily be combined into one room setup for
  • Exam rooms and diagnostic rooms can then be identical in size, shape, and layout and may even house the same equipment; it is how the room is used that classifies it as an exam or diagnostic Diagnostic rooms accommodate initial eye screening generally undertaken by visual technicians, while exam rooms offer the option for follow-up testing by the physician and lengthier eye exams with medical consultation.
  • Keeping these two room types similar in shape and layout will allow the clinic to flex up and down with patient volumes and accommodate a variety of ophthalmic specialties where testing may be minimal and exam consultation may be more involved or vice

•          Incorporate light and color

    • At some point in an ophthalmology visit every patient will have limited vision depending on the exam, treatment, or procedure; taking the stance that any patient may be “blind” requires the designer to set the stage for all patients to be Ophthalmology practices should consider the following:
    • Uninhibited spatial arrangements that allow for numerous people moving from room to room; including wider hallways & unimpeded furniture layouts
    • High contrast furniture and fixture color schemes; this includes a sharp contrast between furniture and carpet, door frames and wall color, as well as higher contrast cues near balcony edges Strategically placed natural light; some procedures require natural light for part of the intervention, while other procedures require a no-light, black-out condition; patients receiving dilation, need to be shielded from natural or artificial light glare, while staff appreciate access to natural light throughout their work

Today healthcare facilities offer more accessible designs for patients and staff. These facilities are highly complex and function-specific structures that must respond to multiple conflicting demands over their lifetimes. The nation’s health care systems have a high level of future unpredictability too.

Hospital buildings, therefore, face an indeterminate future in which they must function with a high degree of accuracy yet remain viable for a period of time even as technology and patient needs change.

 Our product line lends itself fully to the changing needs of patients & staff at these important hospitals throughout the nation. Safe, sustainable, flexible and clean.