In addition to the primary industrial sector of a country’s economy that includes agriculture, mining, fishing and the services of nursing, hospitality and consultancy, the secondary industrial sector plays a crucial role – it supplies the economy with the finished products that can be thereafter used in manufacturing and construction industries.
Being such an important part of the overall economy, these industrial spaces also need a practical, functional and high-quality design that will ensure and improve its efficiency and productivity. The following three aspects offer ideas on how to design a well-functioning work environment.
Designing a flex space
After the success in the previous couple of years, the industrial market is still faced with the shortage of space in the cities all over the country. What is more, it’s continuing to shrink due to the logistical challenges created by e-commerce so as a response, companies are looking for industrial flex spaces to be able to cope with low vacancy rate and increasing rent costs.
Flex space is an attractive option as it accounts for different industrial buildings that can be used for various purposes such as a warehouse, inventory, loading dock and similar. For instance, local retailers now have to find clever ways to use their space to be able to deal with pressures imposed by e-commerce. One solution is converting entire shopping malls into food processing centres with grocery shops as the anchors. The space is designed so it can be used as a storefront, a distribution centre, some inventory and warehouse, and even allows for small office space for a more streamlined operation.
Some estimates show a continual growth of e-commerce by 25% year-over-year so there will be a higher demand for flex industrial spaces that function both as storefront and warehouse distribution.
Importance of good lighting
One of the highest priorities in designing a functional industrial office space is good lighting. By all means, lighting in the industrial industry must be adequate as it has a great impact on workplace safety, efficiency and productivity so special attention has to be given to the choice of adequate industrial lighting.
The various industrial lighting system can be applied in different industrial spaces, from warehouses, cold stores, manufacturing halls and distribution centres with varying degrees of operating temperature and purity. Industrial LED lighting has proven to be one of the best solutions offices, outlets, halls and hangars. They include a wide selection of different products that can be fitted into your industrial premises and match your specific working conditions. Aesthetics is also taken into account but it’s the functionality that plays a primary role here.
The main benefits of high-quality industrial lighting are that it provides a safer and healthier work environment by lowering risks of fatigue and injury at work while boosting workplace efficiency. For instance, in high-bay warehouses, due to the elongated and narrow space geometry, lighting systems with elliptical lighting distribution offer optimal illumination for good visibility of shelved goods. In manufacturing plants, depending on the industry type, what is paramount for proper working conditions is an equal and uniform dispersion of light as well as glare limitation.
Desirable space attributes
There’s a collection of desirable characteristics and attributes that an industrial space needs to have to satisfy any specific needs and ensure the business’ efficiency and productivity. For instance, light industries need ample space for assembly/disassembly, manufacturing, repair, metalwork, millwork, printing, film processing, finishing and packaging. This space must be designed so it can accommodate a well-structured environment that relies heavily on technology and machinery.
A crucial aspect for the employees’ safety is a well-laid out circulation space that also contributes to an increase in productivity. The design of light industrial office spaces is changing in order to satisfy the higher demand for goods. Customers are calling for faster production and delivery so the industrial space must have the capacity for these changes. This is why there is now an increase in the use of vertical space as land has become less available and more expensive. The vertical design maximizes the amount of usable space without decreasing the physical footprint.
Moreover, technological tools are being integrated to ensure a productive workflow, special HVAC systems are required to exhaust hazardous gas emissions in storage areas and energy-efficient equipment is preferred as a step closer to more sustainable production.
Regardless of your specific industry, a flex space, strategic layout, proper lighting and optimal space use are things that can make your industrial space more functional and efficient.