The Smart Office… Future or Fad?

It was during the Chinese New Year Holiday that I personally experimented on turning my flat into a Smart Home. After a day’s work and some online shopping from Amazon prime. I have transformed my living room into a hotbed of technology and things have changed for me ever since.

A simple smart home set-up

Putting all this technology in the Office

Upon returning to work, I immediately got to a meeting with a client who wants some addition and alteration work done to his office premises. After hearing his requirements. I briefly mentioned my home project and would love to be able to integrate all this new smart device to his office. In short, he asked me for a proposal and arranged a meeting after a week.

What makes a Smart Office

“A smart office consists of intelligent technologies that change the way people interact with the office and the surrounding work environment.”

Imagine a workplace designed to improve the overall environment by making offices more energy efficient, more secure, and more comfortable. It also helps companies make better decisions about the spaces that are available to employees. Produce and store data on usage and occupancy that is valuable when determining how to improve the use of existing space or deciding when to scale up or down. Eventually, this makes employees more productive, focused and happy on their workplace.

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Has China made office furniture improved?

I just landed at Terminal two of Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport just in time for the 43rd CIFF (China International Furniture Fair). Phase-2 which is mostly for commercial furniture exhibitors. The first thing I noticed was this shiny new hi-tech terminal with face recognition capabilities and lots of smart technology integrated around the airport. This has to be good, China has come a long way since my last trip to the country 12 years ago.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

Huge Marketplace

Upon arriving on the exhibition grounds, I find myself in a maze of stalls, space, and people. Honestly, I am lost and don’t know where to start. Much has changed since my last trip and the crowd is enormous. It’s like the whole of Asia converged in one place looking for the best bargain to trade into their home countries.

43rd CIFF (China International Furniture Fair)

After getting a map, I was able to find my way. Day one is basically just a meet and greet with some of my old friends and past suppliers. We hang out for an early dim sum nearby and talked about how things have changed over the years. As most of us would do, we tend to relax and take it easy on the first day. To focus and have more energy for the next day.

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Peace and Privacy in a Pod

It was the start of the week and I received a call from a client complaining about noise pollution in their office. Their workplace happens to be an open planned office with an integrated trading and operations center in one common space. Their principal from the US will be coming in a months time and this issue must be resolved as soon as possible.

Possible Solutions

We quickly rushed for the meeting and brainstormed solutions that can be done within a three-week timeline. Re-arranging the tables to isolate high noise generating areas is one, providing more glass and drywall partitions is another and finding another office space with a bigger floor plate to separate the departments are put on consideration.

None of this seems to work given the schedule as well as cost implication and disruption to its operations. Similarly, the management insists to keep the space open for natural lighting and flexibility of movement.

The S-Pod
A newly installed S-pod

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Sharing my experience in a Singapore office design firm

The Office Designer Design Fees2

Expectation Vs Reality

When one is straight out of college, starting a job is an overwhelming experience. Working in a professional environment, living up to the expectations of your superiors and the underlying pressure to prove oneself can be a lot to juggle. When I started my trainee program. I was afraid to make decisions or give opinions as I continued to have a college student perspective.

First few days at work involved familiarizing myself with the project and the office workflow. I knew it was not going to be easy since this was the first time I was working on a real-life project. However, with the right mentoring and progressive guidance. I gradually managed to get the hang of things and understood the way they worked. When communication is clear and you know exactly what to do, tasks can be executed efficiently and delivered within deadlines.

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Guidelines on mezzanine floor construction in Singapore

This article is now a VLOG! For your viewing pleasure, watch The Do’s and Dont’s of Building a Mezzanine Floor in Singapore!  Remember to Subscribe and Like our YouTube Channel!

Light industrial properties in Singapore are built with a high ceiling, mostly exceeding five meters.  The lure of constructing a mezzanine floor is often a selling point for property agents to their prospective buyers. But is it legal?

The Office Designer Mezzanine Floor Singapore

Definition of Gross Floor Area

“GFA is defined as measuring all sheltered floor areas of a building and unsheltered areas for commercial uses for purposes of plot ratio control and development charge.”

According to URA, mezzanine floor construction in Singapore may violate the GFA Guidelines with respect to the plot ratio control and development charge. Adding a “Fixed” mezzanine floor structure will be in violation of these guidelines. Therefore one should apply for a GFA recomputation and new development charges may apply.

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Cost of Fitting Out an Office Space in Singapore

The Office Designer.com has been renovating office space for the past 10 years. To satisfy the clients need for an office renovation budget or immediate cost estimate, we came up with a fast and nearly accurate assumption of a complete office fit-out from bare to a semi-fitted take-up of an office space in Singapore.

Read JLL‘s report on the cost of office fit-out HERE and the Knight Frank  report HERE

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