hampshire-council-council traffic control room

Case Study: Control Room Furniture for Hampshire County Council

PROJECT OVERVIEW

In our Case Study Control Room Furniture for Hampshire County Council, the story starts with Hampshire County Council’s lease expiring on their previous premises. The Traffic & Travel Information Centre (TTIC) therefore moved into a brand new control room within the council’s main building, at The Castle, in Winchester city centre. The new control room furniture was required to accommodate three operators and a BBC radio broadcaster. A control room console, media wall with cupboard storage and room storage units were provided by Thinking Space.


CLIENT OVERVIEW



Hampshire County Council is the local authority for Hampshire, not including the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. With a population of more than 1.3 million to serve, Hampshire is the third most populous county in England and in the top ten largest counties by land area. Employing over 37,000 staff in total across Hampshire, the 78 elected councilors, district, town, and parish councils operate from the Council’s headquarters in the city of Winchester.


PROJECT SCOPE



Since 2001, the TTIC was located in a separate building from The Castle. The existing consoles for the control room were built by then local manufacturing company Alusett in 2001.

The relationship with Thinking Space has developed over the last 15 years to maintain the Alusett consoles. The more recent modification projects were delivered some six years ago, when the control rooms moved from CRT screens to flat screen monitors. Although the consoles had worn well over time, the consoles were looking dated and a few had experienced splinter issues with the wooden nosing trim.

With the lease on the existing building set to expire in December 2017, several years earlier, plans were made to relocate the traffic control office and TTIC into the basement of The Castle premises.

The contract to relocate the control room was awarded to Integrator Tyco. Thinking Space was to supply the furniture for the new control room, which included consoles, media walls, and storage.


PROJECT EXECUTION



With a requirement to accommodate four operators in the new control room, Thinking Space was tasked with providing a design to meet the requirements of the four operators, who all have different roles, within the confines of the allocated floor area. The room is rectangular with windows along its length. It was proposed that one console be provided along the length of the room, shaped to create individual workspace for four operators, by scalloping the worktop. A curved end panel with the county council logo is positioned for full visibility upon entering the room. All workspaces are ergonomically positioned around the central media wall, which gives CCTV and traffic information to three operators and a travel broadcaster. With the windows being positioned behind the operators, a decision regarding whether they should remain to let in natural light, or be removed to reduce the glare issue on screens had to be made. Blinds were fitted to resolve the issue.

As well as Moni-Trak perfect positioning rail to mount the dual flat screens per operator with Novus monitor mounts, each operator is provided with a desktop data unit, with USB/mobile charging capabilities.

To decide on the final design and finish of the furniture, the client visited Thinking Space at their factory in Romsey, which was just miles from the proposed site. At the factory, the client was impressed with a demonstration console on display in the company’s reception area and decided to replicate the look.

The aluminum profiles of the console were powder coated gray, pairing perfectly with gray cladding and worktop finish.

Thinking Space provided a two-dimensional layout of the proposed room, as well as four views of visualization drawings. This helped the client see how the room would look and work for each operator

Storage was also an issue; therefore, Thinking Space configured the two rows of six monitors on an Evolution Media Wall with cupboards underneath. In addition, storage bays and a low level storage rack was also provided, finished to match the console.

Staff were given the chance to test out different chairs, all suitable for 24/7 use, and opted for the leather Ergohuman chair from Mesh.

Thinking Space installed the control room furniture two weeks before the actual control room move, which involved moving half the equipment and screens over a certain timeframe to ensure service at all times.

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“The furniture is a big change from the previous furniture having been over 18 years old, and the effects it has had on staff and our operations have been noticed. The new furniture is modern, easy to maintain and has created a clean environment for staff that they can feel proud of. From initial consultation to installation, the process was smooth. Thinking Space staff were professional and worked efficiently to ensure the furniture was ready before the final move”
Andrew Webber
Hampshire County Council