A building is only as flexible as the installations it houses

With a growing trend towards flexible working how can building design keep up?

The growth in flexible working has seen the way organisations utilise workspace radically evolve. In response to this growing trend, commercial real estate is seeing a seismic shift towards the provision of workspace as a service. The provision of ‘flex space’ continues to expand to meet the demand but how can buildings be truly flexible if the facilities installed within them aren’t?

Air conditioning being a case in point. Once an overhead ceiling air conditioning system is installed it is not possible to easily reposition the fans ducts and chilled beams or it is very time consuming, disruptive and expensive to do. Therefore, if an office space is reworked this may mean that desks are now directly underneath the fans or diffusers providing discomfort to those below.

British company, AET Flexible Space is a pioneer of under floor air conditioning (UfAC) solutions that offer complete flexibility. Modular in their design equipment is installed at floor level making it easy to install, maintain and rearrange. The AET Fantiles can be easily relocated offering huge savings in both time and equipment when reconfiguring office space and creating far higher user comfort and satisfaction.

With demand continuing to increase, workplace occupiers continue to reassess the way they use office space and this demand looks set to expand outside of the primary global city-based markets due to the fact both commercial real estate rates and the cost of living escalates. Forbes announced that the fastest growth markets in the US in 2018 were Las Vegas, Orlando and Austin, while in Europe Manchester and Toulouse topped the UK and French markets.

Glan Blake Thomas CEO at AET said:

“Corporate organisations are seeking more agile workspaces and our flexible solutions are absolutely ideal to support this trend. Our bespoke plug and play fantiles can be easily repositioned to sort any manner of office layout.

In addition, our solutions are sustainable by design, which is also an important factor to many modern businesses. AET solutions use little or no ductwork and, therefore, individual zones operate at very low-pressure encouraging energy efficiency. AET’s UfAC systems offer up to 30 per cent savings in energy costs and around 29 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to ceiling systems.”