When someone is planning an office refurbishment it is sometimes tricky for a designer, architect or builder to make their ideas come to life so that the non-professional can really understand what is projected. Sizes and spaces cease to mean much to the lay person once they get much bigger than the average sitting room and this is where 3D visuals are so helpful.
Using 3D design software, a room looks real rather than a series of lines on a plan and this makes it much easier for the people who will need to use the space to be able to understand whether the room will work for them. Sometimes there is a problem that does not present until the space can be seen from all angles.
For the designer
Light is a very important part of any office refurbishment because although almost all work is now done on screens, it is still essential that people are not sitting in their own light because it can cause eyestrain and also stress.
By using 3D visuals, light sources can be made to show where shadows would fall, avoiding expensive mistakes. The 3D program can also show whether throughways will work. Plotting a path through a room on paper can make an inadequate corridor look big enough, but displaying it with real looking desks (and even people) in the picture can show that it is too narrow and needs to be changed. Checking whether drawers will open without hitting someone is also something that is easy to check in 3D, not so easy to change for real.
For the end user
Making it clearer for the end user is something that 3D visuals do better than any other method of design. A picture paints a thousand words, and a 3D picture does it better still. Using graph paper can give a totally wrong idea of whether things will fit properly in a space because it makes no allowance for protruding objects (like people!) or for the height of an object. Putting shelves above filing cabinets might look good on paper, but in 3D it can become much clearer that they wouldn’t be within the reach of even the tallest member of staff.
It can be very costly if an office refurbishment needs to be adjusted when it is complete. The cost of replacing flooring that no longer fits because major furnishings such as archive cupboards needs to be moved can alone ruin the office budget for years. If desks are too crowded, light is falling across work areas wrongly or means of getting from one end of the room to the other don’t work well, re-positioning or even completely redesigning the area can be prohibitive and this can mean that staff end up working in an unpleasant and ergonomically badly planned environment.
The choice has to be made then whether to reposition and have costs for new furniture, flooring or internal build or whether to have an unhappy and unproductive staff. Either option can be prevented by using 3D visuals.
Rob Steen is a Freelance Copywriter, who specialises in property and often writes for Fraser Projects.