Case Study: Control Room Furniture for Bristol Operations Centre
The Bristol City Council has created a state-of-the-art operations center, housing the council’s emergency control center, traffic control centers, and community safety (CCTV) control rooms, together in a single space, which was officially opened in October 2017. Thinking Space worked with consultants and interior designers to manufacture 42 consoles for the new control room, which involved five different console designs to accommodate the different roles and a custom-designed curved monitor wall.
Bristol is the largest city in the South West of England, with a population of 454,000, which is expected to reach half a million by 2027. In response to ensuring the safety and security of its’ citizens, Bristol City Council have invested in a brand new combined operations centre , which runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It provides a list of services, including emergency response to telecare and assistive technology users, alarm and security monitoring, lone worker support, CCTV management, traffic signal monitoring, set up and review of traffic signals, to name but a few.
In particular, from this one control room, over 200 road junctions are monitored, nearly 40 traffic and information signs around Bristol are managed, 46,500 welfare and telecare calls are handled every month and over 700 CCTV cameras are monitored.
Thinking Space worked alongside the consultants, interior designers, and building contractors employed by the council to develop five console styles. Key working practices carried out by the different operator roles were identified, and each console type was custom-designed to meet the current operations requirements, but also to have the flexibility to be adapted seamlessly to meet any future requirements. Noise control within the open plan control room was a must, so the consoles needed to be grouped together within their individual areas of responsibility, with call handling and telecare consoles to be accommodated in a separate room. A large curved monitor support system was designed to enable the monitors to be built into a partition wall and be the focus of the room, where certain consoles needed to have sight of the CCTV display for monitoring purposes.
An extensive design process was undertaken to ensure the five types of consoles were designed for operators and equipment alike. For ease, each design was named accordingly:
POD technology desks
These were designed to fit together in blocks of three, creating a circular configuration to aid communication between each operator. With 33 desks in total, 11 were height-adjustable to allow for sit/stand working practices and to comply with DDA regulations.
Concave technology desk
This linear desk was designed with a dropped back to enable full visibility of the monitor wall. A total of nine concave technology desks were designed, grouped in two curved rows following the line of the monitor wall.
All desks are equipped with PC storage, power supplies, fully integrated cable management, Moni-Trak perfect positioning rails, removable rear panels, Novus monitor mounts, and LED task lights. In addition, a circular meeting table and a total of 44 control room chairs complete the furniture requirements for the new control room.
Having worked alongside interior designers, the material finishes used by Thinking Space coordinate seamlessly with the decor of the room to create a peaceful working environment.
The operators stationed within the new facility have only praise for their new working environment, with 63% of staff surveyed stating that it was better than expected or excellent.
One said, “Working from the Operations Centre has been very different – it’s a large space, with real daylight (and windows!). I perhaps expected it to be very noisy, but this wasn’t so – the space is bigger and the noise absorption acoustic panels seem to make a real difference.”
Another commented, “Like everything, it’s taken a bit of getting used to, but having everything on one system has made work easier. The Centre itself is bright, with plenty of room. Even the small details have been given attention. I didn’t really know what to expect with the move until we came over for the visit. The way everything is laid out has made the work we do more efficient.”Download Case Study
“Working from the Operations Centre has been very different – it’s a large space, with real daylight (and windows!). I perhaps expected it to be very noisy, but this wasn’t so – the space is bigger and the noise absorption acoustic panels seem to make a real difference”. “Like everything, it’s taken a bit of getting used to, but having everything on one system has made work easier. The Centre itself is bright, with plenty of room, even the small details have been paid attention to. I didn’t really know what to expect with the move, until we came over for the visit. The way everything is set out, has made the work we do more efficient”.