Section A: General-purpose Office Space
A5.1 Planning and Design Principles
A design approach that allows for maximum long-term flexibility is used in the planning of office spaces. The approach incorporates sustainable design principles, and meets or exceeds all code, life safety and accessibility requirements. The Fit-up Standards provide the flexibility to develop Integrated Workplace Solution (IWS) concepts to provide a variety of workspaces to meet the requirements of an organization. This approach allocates space based on worker profiles and is useful when an organization has a variety of workers and where there is a need for more collaborative or teaming areas. IWS allocations are outlined in Section A5.2 Integrated Workplace Solutions (IWS).
Design and Sustainability Principles
- The following planning and design principles support social, economical and environmental sustainability, and are to be applied to the greatest extent possible: The fit-up of Government of Canada office space is guided by the principles of energy efficiency, minimal environmental impact, occupant health and comfort and functional performance.
- The Government of Canada encourages the use of sustainability design tools such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Globes. An integrated design process, involving all members of the project team is the best way to ensure that environmental goals for the project are set and achieved. For interior fit-ups in existing buildings, materials selection and designing for good access to daylight are key factors in a sustainable design approach. PWGSC has reviewed the Fit-up Standards to ensure that they do not inhibit achieving the criteria for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Commercial Interiors (CI) certification. Further information on LEED is available from the Canada Green Building Council . Information on Green Globes criteria is available from the Green Globes Web site .
- An open workstation module, adaptable to a variety of configurations, is assigned to the majority of the workers.
- The number, orientation and height of screens used to define open workstations varies to suit the functional requirements of occupants and proximity to major corridors or windows. For example, fewer and lower screens are provided at window locations where traffic is minimal to allow increased transfer of natural light. Screens may not be required at all depending on the functions of the workers and the amount of time spent in the office. Note also that workstations are removed slightly from the windows where possible for better air circulation and to further increase the transfer of daylight.
- Hard walled offices and support spaces are located adjacent to the core in order to maximize natural light on the floor, and the spaces provided with sidelights or clerestory glazing, where appropriate.
- Hard walled offices and support spaces are provided with individual lighting controls and sensors to conserve energy.
- Functions requiring enhanced or secure speech privacy are located near the core where acoustic control is not adversely affected by perimeter conditions. (Reference: Speech Security: A Best Practice Guide)
- Support spaces such as shared equipment areas, collaborative areas, meeting rooms and kitchenettes are centrally located to concentrate noisier activities away from the workstation area, and minimize disruption for occupants. Banks of centralized filing can also be used to separate and buffer these types of spaces from the surrounding workstations.
- Locating meeting rooms in a central location also provides convenience for visitors. Meeting rooms are located adjacent to each other, wherever possible, to provide convenience for visitors and to allow greater flexibility in the current and future use of the space (e.g. smaller meeting rooms may be combined to create a larger meeting room). Retractable or folding partition walls may be provided for greater versatility in the use of the space. Note: The project team technical experts should ensure due diligence with regards to product selection and advise the client accordingly of the pros and cons to consider.
- Kitchenettes accommodate recycling facilities and also serve as resource areas and informal meeting or work spaces.
- Hard walled offices and support spaces, the "fixed" or permanent elements of the fit-up, are limited and universally appropriate for the use of any occupant, minimizing construction and the need for future demolition. Construction is implemented to enable ease of disassembly and reuse to the greatest extent possible. Moveable or demountable wall systems can be used to provide enclosed office and support space to increase flexibility. Such systems are an option when they can meet client program requirements and provide the best environmental and economic value to the Crown.
- Finishes are chosen for their durability (low maintenance or life cycle cost), recyclability, low embodied energy (locally available if possible) and low toxicity. See Tab A7 for further information on finishes.
- Plants and planters may be provided as part of the fit-up, where physical space, lighting and budget permit, and as per approved horticultural plans and specifications. Where space is available, and lighting appropriate, plants can add to the health and aesthetics of the environment. PWGSC Horticultural Services assist with the identification of appropriate plants and development of specifications.
- Security requirements must be fully integrated into the planning and design of government accommodation. Security requirements identified by a Threat and Risk Assessment can be met using a combination of one or more design features including zoning of restricted access areas, entry barriers, security systems and equipment. Tenant departments are responsible for informing PWGSC of their security requirements for tenant fit-up. The necessary security specifications must be included in all plans, funding requirements, requests for proposals and tender documentation for fit-up projects. Client departments should refer to the Policy on Government Security and the Operational Security Standard on Physical Security when planning security requirements.
The exact size, configuration and placement of spaces will vary to suit each building's particular characteristics. The sample floor plans in Chapter A5.3 Sample plans generally demonstrate the principles as outlined.