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Control Room Furniture & Design Across Industries (A Series): Part 1

Control room furniture is an important consideration for successful companies across a variety of markets. We will take a look at some of these industries in our upcoming series of articles on how the role of console furniture has become more important to other types of niche markets over the past decade.

Today let us consider surveillance enterprises. Modern closed-circuit TV technologies have increased the access and economy of such set ups. There seems to have been a significant increase in companies looking to establish a modern loss prevention, parking surveillance, or other security system for their business. It goes without saying that even a relatively modest security network necessitates a devoted surveillance control room.

What are the features of such a control room?

One of the first concerns that is encountered in this industry in particular, is the comfort of employees. Surveillance industry workers often spend long—and often overnight—hours in monitoring positions. Not only is employee comfort humane, but insufficient furniture can create acute aches and pains and even longer-term maladies. To put it mildly, such injuries can be distracting over a long shift and this can inhibit the ability of a worker to maintain his or her attention.

dual console configuration with dual monitors and video wall

This is most directly related to the control room furniture industry. If you are reading this, you are probably aware of the innovations in ergonomic control room designs over the last decade. What you might not be familiar with are the considerations of control room design specific to the surveillance market. Let’s examine some points so that you can anticipate your surveillance client’s questions and concerns.

  • Room dimensions
  • Lighting
  • Line Of Sight
  • Noise

Room Dimensions

To the inexperienced eye, a future control room space without furniture, computer equipment and—of course—people, looks significantly more spacious than once everything has been put in place. It is important to work with a client to plan ahead and help them conceptualize the amount of space these elements will occupy. To this end, it can sometimes be helpful to examine the control room space with the client ahead of time to nail down specific schematics and space requirements so you both are on the same page. Perhaps this goes without saying, but is important enough that it bears repeating.

Lighting

Security operations usually rule out any room that might have large windows, but it is important to remember that strong natural sunlight can wreak havoc on an employees eyes over the long haul. In fact, even bright harsh artificial light can cause eye fatigue. It can be important to remember this when thinking about furniture orientation within a space. And since lots of light is acceptable or often preferable in an office space, it might not be something that comes to mind for those without control room design experience.
task light and 3 monitor screens, phone on console desk

Line Of Sight

Something that can be a concern for surveillance control rooms is the necessity of keeping a clear line of sight for all potential surveillance staff. Sometimes there are monitoring operations that require quick collaboration or visual confirmation and so it is vital to make sure that all such workers have an unobstructed view of relevant monitors or video walls. Here again, ergonomics can be a vital consideration and something that a control room furniture vendor should be sure to discuss. Sit-stand consoles and chairs with adjustable-height functionality are available and can eliminate a lot of the issues that may arise with line of sight within to larger control rooms.

Noise

Most control rooms need to have low noise levels to facilitate worker concentration and surveillance is no different on that account. Additionally—as mentioned above—collaboration is frequent in many such control rooms and so outside noise should be kept to a minimum. There may not be much wiggle room when it comes to placing furniture away from noisy corridors, etc. but it is important to discuss these possibilities with a client. Depending on how early on your are consulted, and the availability of alternatives, a less noisy room could be examined. These variables will not apply with every design job, but it is important to keep a wide view of design solutions.

We’ve examined some of the considerations specific to surveillance control rooms and how that might affect furniture design solutions. But as with all industries that employ control rooms, there is no substitute for careful and exhaustive planning as well as vendor/client collaboration.

Make sure to check back as we examine other industry categories that make use of control room consoles, so that you can be prepared for any potential client. And when you need superior yet affordable products for your data center, contact our support staff at Inracks anytime.

Inracks Control Room ConsolesControl Room Furniture & Design Across Industries (A Series): Part 1

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