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Air Control Industries - Fitout

In 2018 Winberry Associates was contracted by ACI to modernise their offices in Axminster, Somerset.

Winberry Associates contacted us to help them realise this project.

Related: How to find the right fit-out for your business

The brief was to complete a refurbishment and refit so that the workspace performed efficiently for all the different types of employees who worked there, in order to ultimately maximise productivity for this growing business.

Forming part of a two storey building, the majority of the staff were seated downstairs. Therefore, this was the initial challenge as the owner wanted to make use of the first floor.

As expansion demanded, the technical team moved upstairs. However, the owner felt this hampered productivity and therefore wanted a solution that resulted in the sales team and the technical team sitting alongside each other.

The customer

ACI (Air Control Industries) specialises in the design and manufacture of air movement products for global markets. Their expertise in engineering combined with their commitment to the highest quality products and customer service means that the company is in a period of growth.

As with many rapidly developing businesses, this required the company to rethink their office space, layout & furniture.

The challenges

When embarking on a large redesign and fitout project there are several challenges that we must identify to ensure we offer the best solution to clients.

To do this, we always recommend a site survey of the client’s workspaces. By carrying this out, Winberry Associates discovered what furniture ACI already had and what was in good condition.

We then asked the following questions:

●     How could we improve comfort in their office?

ACI owned an assortment of old chairs and footrests. Overall, the staff didn’t look comfortable. We acknowledged that this needed to be improved to ensure a happier and healthier workforce.

●     How could we implement storage in their workspace?

Clutter is a common problem – usually on desks. ACI wanted to solve this problem to create a more efficient working environment, with minimal busy distractions.

●     How could the client best use the spare space?

Space should be optimised in an office. From breakout areas to meeting rooms, there were many opportunities to improve the office lifestyle at ACI.

And perhaps most importantly, we asked…

●     How could we achieve a productive working space for both the sales team and the technical team?

With the owner wanting the two teams to sit together, we had to consider the practicalities. In reality, the two teams are very different. The sales team are often on the phone, having loud and animated conversations. Whereas, the technical team require a quiet environment for concentration.

The solutions

We worked with Winberry Associates to solve ACI’s workplace challenges and create an ergonomic and futureproof workspace.

Here’s what we did:

●     Adjustable sit-stand desks

To encourage a more comfortable working environment for ACI’s employees, we installed electrically powered sit-stand desks. This allowed employees the freedom to either sit down or stand up while working. These desks not only promote a physically healthier lifestyle but have also been proven to boost mental health and wellbeing – ensuring a better quality of life for ACI’s employees.

Related: How to make the sit-stand desk work in your office

●     Lockers for office storage

Removing clutter from desks is proven to boost productivity by minimising distractions. We installed lockers for storage and removed under desk pedestals and cupboards. Therefore, ACI now has a clutter-free and efficient working environment.

●     Graphic installation

Comfort can be greatly improved by the way we design our spaces. That’s why we used biophilic design – a way of creating a connection between employees and the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. At ACI, we installed large graphics of forest schemes – creating a feeling of calm within a fast-paced working environment.

Related: Learn about biophilic design & other commerical fit-out trends

●     Existing furniture

ACI owns quality leather sofas – so, we sourced specialist risers to alow ACI to continue to use these without compromising on ergonomics and employee wellbeing.

●     Professional meeting rooms

We added 20’s & 30’s-style Eames meeting chairs to create an aesthetically pleasing environment for clients visiting the meeting room.

ACI also wanted an easy yet impressive way to present in meeting rooms – so we installed large screen monitors for this.

Related: Learn how to make your workspace win business


●     New branding

Reflecting their carefully-created new branding was top of ACI’s priority list. We achieved this through colour matching the carpet and screening.

●     Feature lighting

Lighting is so important for maximising staff productivity. ACI already had good LED lighting in place so we complemented this by adding some pendant downlights – a real nod to a space that considers the interior design of an office.

●     Glass partitioning

Think glass partitioning and you instantly think of an airy, open and modern workplace. This is exactly what ACI wanted to achieve and the glass partitioning allowed us to solve any working-style conflicts between the sales team and technical team.

Furthermore, an added whiteboard placed between the two teams’ glass partitioning enhanced soundproofing and minimised distraction. However, the teams were still physically close, as originally requested by ACI’s owner.

Related: How your business will benefit from glass partitioning

●     Team points

Introducing team meeting points was another way we solved the needs of putting together two contrasting teams. Creating meeting hotspots meant the two teams could easily collaborate as and when needed.

●     Office soundproofing

By installing soundproofing in the MD’s office, workplace privacy is assured – an absolute must for many businesses.

The results

After the refurb and fitout, ACI has expressed their delight in having a great space that reflects their company’s growth, stature and rebrand.

Furthermore, they now have a space that works. The various differing teams can come together in a proactive and efficient way – which maximises ACI’s productivity on a day-to-day basis.

Also, the staff are happier. Our focused attention on workspace ergonomics allowed us to create a space that ACI employees could feel comfortable in – promoting a healthier working lifestyle.

Overall, we truly enjoyed this great project working with Winberry Associates and ACI, an exciting and developing company.

If you’re a business that is growing out of your space, or perhaps you feel your space could work better for your staff, get in touch with Richard today.

Planned Office Interiors
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01785 817114

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