Many 24/7 operations centers can become crowded, messy, and disorganized and often feel like a crowded basement room. Numerous still-operating control centers were originally designed in the 80’s or 90’s with few updates since. Updates to the control room technology have been added to the existing space without reconsidering a design that truly fits with the technology.
The practice and standards for operations center design have greatly improved over the last few decades and there is a deeper understanding of the role design plays in the safe and efficient operations of 24/7 command centers.
Though often unassuming, command and control centers serve as the center of an organization’s operations. Command and control rooms are responsible for detecting and avoiding critical events that can lead to serious consequences. Are the furnishings and fixtures as up to date as they should be, considering the room’s importance?
Operator-Centric Command Center Design
The first step to any command center design project is to consider the operators’ needs and how they correlate with the complex systems in a high-pressure environment. These considerations inform design decisions such as:
- What proximity should operators have to one another to enhance collaboration and effective workflow?
- The operators’ tasks and the requirements for efficient work in the command center space drive decisions such as the size and quantity of monitors and the shape and size of workstations.
- Ergonomic requirements inform decisions such as video wall placement, monitor placement, and operations center furniture requirements.
State-of-the-art command center design reflects how the space will be used and is human-centered first. The completed design, including all elements such as the operations center video walls and command center desks, take multiple factors into account such as the orientation of workstations, video wall content, line of sight, ergonomic comfort, and equipment management. All of these design factors have the potential to improve operations.
Durability is vital to good command center design. These 24/7 spaces can last multiple decades, so it is key to outfit a control room with durable elements. The finishes in your command center must also withstand the rigors of a mission critical environment. All command center consoles manufactured by Constant come with a lifetime warranty and are finished with high-impact laminate and urethane edging to ensure that they meet functional and durability needs.
Ergonomics and Furniture
The best operations centers include design informed by ergonomic science. Considering ergonomics results in maximized productivity and minimized risk of injury. Sophisticated control room design includes sit/stand operations center workstations and a sight line analysis for mounted displays and video wall installations.
Not only should the furniture be flexible to each operator’s ergonomic needs, it should also be robust in order to withstand an extended period of 24/7 use. Many command centers are located in remote locations, and parts may not be easily available. Therefore, good design considers operations center furniture that is built to last.
Operations center design also takes into account the size of command center consoles, the ideal configuration for workflow, and limitations such as how many monitors each console can handle. The best solution is highly customized operations center consoles engineered specifically for the mission critical operator.
The Importance of Good Design
Taking the care to ensure your command center is designed well can have numerous benefits. The return on investment for custom, expert command center design as offered by Constant is real and demonstrable. The aesthetics of first-in-class design result in a pride-of-ownership and can be a draw for prospective employees and investors.
More than just the aesthetics, however, the design of your command center directly affects its productivity and usefulness. Employing best practices in the planning stages creates a space where operators can be safe, productive, and efficient. And safe, productive, and efficient operators create the same results for the organization. The human factor is key to both good design and good performance within your organization.
If you are interested in learning more about expert control room design, contact us today.