Office Space: Collaborative Conference Rooms

What do you envision when you think of conference rooms? Many people still picture a large room with empty walls and a large table with chairs. In today’s collaborative workplaces, meeting areas and conference rooms are taking on many different designs.

Determine Size Needs

If you are designing your office space, first determine the need you have for meetings. Smaller rooms can be utilized for more intimate meetings with two to six people. These spaces can also be used for brainstorming sessions, focus work, one-on-one sessions and phone or video conferencing.

Large conference rooms may still be needed for management sessions or company-wide meetings, but the layout doesn’t have to be traditional. Consider comfortable seating surrounding a central area. Being in a relaxed space can make people feel more at ease, and therefore more willing to share thoughts and ideas.

Of course, the traditional conference room still holds its purpose for larger and more formal corporations.

Purpose of Meeting Rooms

There’s a variety of reasons companies need meeting areas. Are you bringing outside clients into your office? Are you holding management sessions to make decisions for the company? Do employees need space to collaborate on projects?

The purpose of your meeting areas will help you determine the style layout of each space. Many offices that rely heavily on collaboration opt for meeting areas with glass walls. Collaborative areas may also need items such as a large whiteboard for brainstorming.

For larger, company-wide meetings, consider using the traditional table and chairs with a focal point for presentations. A horseshoe or teardrop shaped table allows everyone at the table to see more easily.

Smart Conference Rooms

Technology is essential in any meeting space. To make your meetings as functional and efficient as possible, investing in the technology your team needs can save everybody time.

A wireless presentation system, such as an Apple TV, allows you to display presentations, share a computer screen, and do video conferences easily, making it the most common piece of technology for meeting rooms. For a large company, utilizing meeting room scheduling software eliminates double booking. Companies that want to take the whiteboard to the next level, interactive boards, such as Google Jamboard, allows for multiple users and transferring the project to a computer or mobile device.

350 Goose Lane Office Park allows tenants to design their office layout. The Horton Group works to provide what your company or office needs to

 

Ribbon Cutting at 350 Goose Lane Office Park

Last week, The Horton Group held a Ribbon Cutting for Building B at 350 Goose Lane Office Park. The Shoreline Chamber of Commerce helped kick off the event before guests and tenants mingled and enjoyed refreshments throughout the 16,000 square foot building. They were joined by tenants of the building: One + Company,  Company Cubed, Altman Orthopaedics, Newor Media, and American Cruise Lines, each with a unique office set up that best represents the type of atmosphere desired by each company.

Building B is the second of three buildings on a professional campus that was once home to Wilber & King Nursery. The Horton Group has kept the integrity of the site by first renovating the existing 4,200 square foot Building A, which opened in 2017, and constructing two new buildings (Buildings B and C). The new construction consists of Type II non-combustible steel and concrete structures. Building C, a three-story 24,000 square foot building, is currently being constructed.

While developing 350 Goose Lane Office Park, The Horton Group paid particular attention to the green space surrounding the buildings. Tenants can enjoy the onsite pond, spacious courtyard, and beautiful landscaping. Studies have shown that green space in commercial development has significant benefits for both employers and employees. The Horton Group knew that the former nursery would provide the perfect site for a new office park, combining state-of-the-art building design and ample outdoor space.

Interested in Building C at 350 Goose Lane Office Park? Contact us for details.

Types of Signage for Commercial Leases

Having your business logo on the building you work in makes good sense. It allows clients or patients to quickly find you and is a form of advertisement. This is especially true if your building can be seen from a highway or busy intersection.

If you own the building, you are free to put your company logo where you want it. But if you lease commercial space, signage needs to be discussed with your landlord before you sign a lease. Determine what type of signage is offered to you as a tenant. Don’t assume you will get the same type of signage as other tenants, because it often depends on the space available.

Types of signage

There are several types of signage that you may be able to get if you are in a commercial building with other tenants. The size, type, and location of signage rights should all be clarified in your lease.

  • Building signage. When available, landlords will offer signage right on the building. If you are in a strip mall type of building, stores and business will usually be able to get their signage on the building or front entrance. In a commercial space in a multi-level building, this becomes harder to accomplish. As a sole tenant or main tenant occupying multiple floors in one building, you may have exclusive building signage rights, meaning your logo would be the only one displayed directly on the building.
  • Monument signage. Commercial buildings often have a monument near the road entrance to display the tenants. Monument space is limited to a certain number of slots, so there is no guarantee that your company’s logo will be placed there if it is not in the lease. In addition to whether or not your logo will be on the monument, you should also address where on the monument your logo will be displayed and the size of the signage, as some monuments offer different proportions.
  • Directory or Suite. If your commercial building has a lobby, find out what type of signage is there to guide people to the correct office space. A directory or suite signage will give company names as well as suite numbers. Find out if this signage is all the same font, or if your actual logo can be used here.
  • Door signage. Once people get to your suite, signage at the door or on the wall next to your door will let them know they are in the right spot. Your lease should explain the size and location of signage at your office space.

Signage directs clients to you. Make sure you consider all the types of signage you want when you move into a new space.

Benefits of Glass Walls in Offices

Open office spaces were highly sought after a few years ago. Now, many offices want to blend the open office feel with some space for privacy or sound barriers. While nobody wants to go back to working in a cubicle, many people felt distracted in a completely open office.  

What is the compromise? Companies want their employees to be able to work efficiently and effectively – with time for collaboration and space to focus. To meet all of these needs, many offices are incorporating glass walls or partitions.

Glass walls can create private meeting areas, conference rooms, or a partition while still appearing open and inviting. This allows for collaboration while still allowing for private conference or phone call areas.

We have incorporated glass in many of our client’s offices at 350 Goose Lane Office Park. A doctor’s office has the traditional sliding glass to separate the waiting area from the receptionist office. Another space has a podcast room with a glass wall and door so others can see in while shows are being recorded. We have also built small offices and conference rooms with glass walls.

The benefits of using glass walls or partitions in office spaces include:

  • Communication. The glass allows for an open feel in an office space. People can see when you are available to collaborate and are more apt to ask a question or share a thought when others are visible.
  • Privacy. The flip side of collaboration is privacy – most offices have workers who need both. Glass offices or conference rooms allow for some privacy. By adding in curtains or blinds, these spaces feel even more private when needed. Another option is frosting the glass, so it is not as easy to see into a room.

  • Light. By replacing traditional walls with glass walls, light is able to stream through the entire office. Natural light is beneficial in improving mood and focus.

Many people wonder about how sound travels when using glass to separate spaces. There are types of glass that are more soundproof than others. You will also want to consider the ceiling. An open, industrial style ceiling will enable sound to travel and echo more, while a drop-down ceiling with soundproof ceiling tiles will help to keep sound in.

When deciding what type of layout you want in your office, speak with your contractor about what can be done, so your office is functional for your needs.

General Contractors, Subcontractors, Builders: Who should I hire?

When constructing a new home, deciding who to hire can be a time-consuming process. You want to be sure you hire someone who is trustworthy, does quality work, and sticks to budgets and timelines. But who exactly do you need?

General Contractors

General contractors (GC) can be an individual or an entire company, and oversee the entire construction site. They are hired for both residential and commercial projects. The first responsibility of a GC is to make an estimate of the entire project including the cost of materials, labor, and any subcontractors that will be needed. From there, a project manager will oversee the project, communicate with the homeowner, ensure materials are ordered and delivered on time, and oversee subcontractors. A big benefit to hiring a general contractor is they already have built a pool of subcontractors they trust. In addition, subcontractors will often consider projects for a contractor as a priority over a job for a homeowner. To learn about Horton Group as a general contractor, click here.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are typically skilled in one specific trade, such as tile, drywall, insulation, or roofing. Subcontractors fill their contract directly with the contractor, so you do not need to worry about hiring each different subcontractor if you have a general contractor. If you are only updating one part of a room, such as installing new tile flooring, you may want to hire a subcontractor to complete the job.

Builders

A builder, like a general contractor, will see the project through from start to finish. The difference is that a builder often has a crew to complete the construction work, from foundation to roof, subcontracting only for specialists like electricians and plumbers. They also manage the project and communicate with the homeowner throughout the process.

No matter who you hire, you are entrusting another person or company to carry out your vision. Be sure to communicate your vision, budget, and timeline clearly so the outcome is what you want.

Commercial Grade Elevators – What is best for your building?

Horton Group has built and renovated many commercial buildings, including offices, banks, and retail shopping centers. We put an emphasis on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards in all our projects. Commercial buildings with more than one floor generally require an elevator according to ADA standards.

Depending on the size of the commercial building, there are different types of elevators that may work for your building. Passenger elevators and LULA elevators are what you see most often in commercial buildings.

Passenger Elevators

Passenger elevators are what you typically think of in high rise buildings. As the name suggests, these elevators are designed for carrying passengers. Most passenger elevators have up to a 5,000lb weight limit, although they can hold up to 10,000lbs. Passenger elevators can be in-ground hydraulic, hole-less hydraulic, or MRL.

LULA Elevators

LULA stands for Limited Use/Limited Application. LULA elevators are similar to full-size passenger elevators in design, with two sliding doors as an entrance. They can typically hold up to 1,400lbs, travel up to 25 feet high, and have up to 18 square feet of floor space. LULA elevators are a good option in a low rise commercial or residential building, as they save both space and money.

Consider how many floors in the building, as well as the number of people who will utilize the elevators each day when choosing which elevator to use in your commercial project.

What is a Triple Net Lease?

Looking to lease a property? If so, it is vital to understand the difference between a standard (gross) lease and net lease. These two types of leases distinguish between the responsibilities assumed by landlords and tenants.

When leasing a property, expenses typically have to do with property taxes, building insurance, and maintenance. If a landlord chooses a standard lease, that means he/she bears responsibility for all of the aforementioned expenses. A net lease means one or more of the expenses falls on the tenant’s shoulders.

At 350 Goose Lane Office Park, our ongoing commercial development in Guilford, we offer tenants a triple net lease. A triple net lease means that the tenant is responsible for all expenses (property taxes, building insurance, and maintenance). These are also typically signed for a long period of time and have rate increases built in.

Triple net leases offer significant benefits for both landlords and tenants. For landlords, triple net leases can be ideal. A long-term lease agreement without the threat of random expenses allows for a constant and sustainable stream of income. Likewise, tenants can also benefit. It is likely that rent under a net lease agreement will be lower than that of a standard lease as landlords could subtract the estimated expenses from the rent.

In essence, triple net leases are mutually beneficial leasing options for all parties involved. Considering the quality and efficiency with which we continue to build the office park on Goose Lane, tenants can expect extremely low expenses.

What is Facilities Maintenance?

A lot of relief comes with the completion of a residential or commercial project. But what comes next? Even after brand new construction, there is a great deal of upkeep to consider in order to maintain the quality and integrity of the buildings and grounds. Facilities maintenance ensures both general maintenance and emergencies are taken care of by experts.

Including the facilities manager during the planning and construction phases is a good idea. This allows the facilities manager to provide input, helping to decide what products and materials will hold up best for the space and foot traffic. Once the building is complete, facilities maintenance performs routine services to prevent degradation. Services of facilities maintenance may include:

  • General building repairs
  • Routine exterior painting and painting of interior common spaces
  • Implementation of operating procedures
  • Safety code compliance

In addition, if an emergency should arise, facilities maintenance has the expertise and contacts to fix the problem. Horton Group provides facilities maintenance services for both residential and commercial developments. We know quality maintenance will prolong the aesthetic appeal and product longevity of any space.

What makes a property ADA Compliant?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It also ensures individuals with disabilities can enjoy the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium found that 12.8% of Americans are living with disabilities. This does not take into account senior citizens with decreasing mobility or those that are temporarily disabled due to events including accidents, illnesses, or medical procedures.

The ADA focuses on five different titles, or sections, to provide those with disability the right the equal opportunity. Title III (Public Accommodations) addresses “nondiscrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in commercial facilities.” This includes privately owned facilities that are open to the public.

In 2010, the Department of Justice revised regulations within the original ADA of 1990. The regulations called for the 2010 ADA Accessibility Standards for Accessible Design, which set minimum requirements for newly constructed or renovated facilities to be accessible for individuals with disabilities.

There are a handful of requirements that must be made in all existing buildings and new construction deemed a public accommodation or commercial facility. A few requirements to be ADA compliant include:

  • Common use circulation paths in employee work areas in commercial work areas.
  • Accessible routes from site arrival points and within sites.
  • Alterations to primary function areas in existing buildings.

Here is the complete list of the requirements included in the Accessibility Standards for Accessible Design. For more general information about the ADA, click here.

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