What does it take to design an ideal control room? Here’s what you need to think about.
The Control Room: 7 Qualities to be Optimal
When you think of the room keeping your organization safe, the last thing you want is an overcrowded space. The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) published standards in 2000 about the importance of ergonomics in the design of command centers and how abiding by these standards can help people do their jobs the best that they are able to.
These standards include seven qualities:
- Design should start with the operator or who is using the control center. Is it an effective environment for them? Are they able to do their job properly and to their best ability? Is there ergonomic control room console furniture for them to use and sit in all shift?
- Space is considered. Is there enough of it for all of the necessary activities to be done in the control room?
- Control room layout is the next thing considered, how the workstations and visual displays are aligned.
- Layout and dimensions of the workstations in the control room should meet the needs of the operator and other users.
- The displays and controls should be reliable, effective, and be accessible to everyone in the space.
- The second to last thing considered is the environment and acoustics, including temperature, lighting, and vibration. Are these conducive for an optimal work environment?
- The final step is monitoring whether the set-up is working for the operator and the users and whether any changes need to be applied.
Let’s look a little more closely at what it takes to develop the most advantageous control room design for an agency.
Stay Safe From Possible Harm with Proper Siting
Control rooms often handle disasters within an organization, which means the location, or siting, of the room can be key. When it comes to buildings like refineries and plants that may be vulnerable to explosions, the command center shouldn’t be within any blast zones, so in the event of a disaster, control rooms can be up and working to properly disarm a situation. More often than not, control rooms should be separated from specific operations.
The Control Room: Make it Ideal for Important Decision Making
Unfortunately, control rooms are often neglected when it comes to comfortable furniture. And yet, command centers should be customized for comfort since this is where some of the toughest decisions are made. You’ll want to make sure that the operator’s comfort is met and that they are able to see important technology information without obstruction, so they are able to react and address what they see on screen with precision and clarity.
Create from the Inside Out
As mentioned before, when designing control room consoles, it’s important to always consider the operator’s needs first. Which is why it’s important to start from the inside and work your way to the outside of the design.
Things to consider include first:
- Proximity between operators for advanced communication
- Accessibility to areas like restrooms
- How many technology screens each operator might need to adequately perform their role
- Customizing workstations according to the operator (if an operator wishes to have a standing work desk—the operator knows how they best perform their job)
Let There Be Light, Proper Acoustics, and Furniture
Finally, proper lighting and environment are integral to the control room design process. You want the operator to have everything they need in front of them, without any visual impediments.
- Glare against computer screens
- Proper ceiling height for suspended fixtures
- Lighting that reduces eye strain (remember, it’s all about the operator’s comfort)
Sound also travels, so acoustic-absorbing materials can mitigate sound distractions. In control rooms, you’re spending all day surrounded by people and technology, so it’s important that you’re able to design a personal space for people so they can stay focused on their tasks.
Comfortable furniture, as mentioned before, is a must, along with rooms for employees to relax, unwind, and reboot. So in addition to comfortable work chairs, exercise bikes and treadmills for exercise rooms are other factors to consider.
A control room isn’t just a space you stick all of the important people in. It’s essential to treat these important employees with a customized space where they can perform their job to their best ability. Proper control room design can not only make for a better work environment, but it can also save lives in the process. Contact Inracks today to get started!