05/01/2008

The Truth about High-Performance Interiors

What's the inside scoop on high-performance interiors?

By Linda Monroe

 

Linda Monroe

As the key decision-makers in the commercial and institutional buildings market, Buildings readers are continually seeking solutions to maximize building performance. With respect to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems, that might mean lowering operating costs through effective energy-management methods, reducing equipment breakdown/extending equipment life via ongoing preventive maintenance, seeking out products and practices that address regulatory and code issues, etc. For exteriors, fire- and life-safety, and security systems, performance is often characterized in similar terms—plus a slew of others. When it comes to interiors, however, the definition of building performance "as a goal" is an entirely different animal.

Why? Because so much of how the industry celebrates successful interiors is based upon aesthetics—and we know how subjective that can be. Yet, a beautiful office environment can help maximize building performance, particularly when combined with optimal acoustics; a space plan and furniture that accommodate both individual and team objectives; good indoor air quality; comfortable, controllable temperatures; well-planned lighting schemes; and more. Productivity will always suffer if a space is overly hot and stuffy, or when an individual is distracted by conversations between adjacent colleagues. In these cases, the most dramatic color palette or funky public seating won't help (even though they won't hurt when all other systems are in place).

But, beauty fades—particularly if it's not kept in pristine condition. That's another important focus of building performance for interiors: extending the life-cycle of products and systems so they appear to be almost "new" (whether they are or not). When selecting interior products, the ease and effectiveness of maintaining them is essential - a particularly important factor emphasized in this month's cover story ("Your Interiors Questions Answered"), authored by Senior Associate Editor Leah B. Garris. You may not completely know the longevity of a particular color trend, furniture style, or fabric choice, but nothing looks more obsolete than uglied-out carpet, stained ceiling tiles, or pieced-together partitions.

This is your challenge as facilities professionals: to truly understand the truth about high-performance interiors. Aesthetics, as a performance goal, is a given (and don't let anyone tell you that building owners and facilities managers don't care about aesthetics, because that's just not true). Clearly, though, your success will be measured by how you seek out solutions that transcend mere aesthetics. Are you up to the task?

 

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When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

Connectrac wireways offer discrete power and technology connectivity in open interior spaces of all kinds; affordably, quickly and with long-term flexibility.



When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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