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May, 2021

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Education Building – Elevator Upgrades & Restroom Renovation

As part of TKB’s retainer contract with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, TKB has completed work on UIUC’s Education Building with an elevator upgrade and restroom renovation. TKB’s work first developed a scope of work that fit within the available funds and priorities by working with the project team’s cost estimator and University’s Facilities and Services Department.  The constructed scope focused on expanding women’s restrooms, the creation of an additional all-gender restroom, and full modernization of both elevators. The building now has fully accessible vertical transportation and renovated, code-compliant accessible women’s and all-gender toilet rooms, meeting current code requirements within a fifty-six-year-old structure. The construction expanded the women’s restroom capacity to better match current student demographics.

Maintaining functional use of the building throughout construction was the most significant project challenge, requiring consecutive modernization of the north and south elevators. Continuous access to an operating elevator and toilet rooms was achieved by overlaying two critical path tracks for long elevator lead times and the toilet room renovations.  One of the men’s restrooms was temporarily converted to women’s use to facilitate simultaneous renovation of all women’s toilet rooms.

May 2021 – City of Chicago, 2 North LaSalle Office Consolidation

TKB has completed its work on a fast-paced City of Chicago office consolidation project. The project allowed the City of Chicago to right size its space to meet its current and future requirements. The approximately 220,000 square foot office space, spread over eleven floors, includes ample shared meeting spaces, more huddle rooms and fewer private offices, and offices that are efficiently designed for function.  The projects consolidates City offices from multiple locations.

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Small group huddle rooms are embedded into departments to enhance collaborative teaming and to accommodate video calls and quiet work.  All floors have large conference rooms with updated audiovisual capability and break rooms for informal gathering, and there is a shared conference center for larger events and receptions.  Access to daylight is emphasized for all employees.  The project mixes new and reused furniture: conference room, workstation, and office furniture is new – fitted to the updated standards – while existing storage components are primarily reused.

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Designed to meet LEED Silver requirements, the project provides the City with modernized offices featuring newly efficient lighting, more daylight access, and greater collaborative space, all delivered within a modest budget.  TKB was a subconsultant to Johnson Lasky Kindelin on this project.

To see more photos of this project, click here.

 

Apr, 2021

TKB Newsletter – April 23rd, 2021 – Returning to Work: Redesigning the office Post-Covid

For the past year, remote working has become the “norm” for many, resulting in many major shake ups in how business is conducted. With numerous Covid vaccines now available, the serious questions are ‘how do we return to the workspace safely?’ and ‘what will be different?’. To answer, we must first look at how Working From Home and the pandemic have changed priorities and opinions about the workplace.

Remote working and WFH have significantly accelerated the shift from a workplace-centric to a workercentric approach, away from cost-revenue based designs aimed at getting the most workstations per square foot to designs meant to enhance the overall employee experience. Worker safety is the top priority. Safety factors include air quality and filtration, safety procedures, overall office cleanliness, and density; these are key factors in providing a sense of security that promotes worker well-being, happiness, and productivity. Equally important, employees are looking for a sense of belonging, community, and productive purpose; it matters whether the work they are completing from their living room desk is meaningful and  contributes to a broader goal.  While promoting safety from Covid, WFH has numerous downsides. Workers may struggle with a sense of isolation and disconnection from social engagement, collaboration, and productivity

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What do these priorities and concerns mean for the office? They present us with an opportunity to re-examine and re-design the workspace in a fundamental way. As architects, we are freed to creatively design for safe, flexible office plans that promote productivity and a shared sense of community whether in-person or remote. Hybrid offices allowing for both in-person and remote access are evolving. The primary function of the office may shift to a collaborative space, while individual desks would serve as plug-in stations and resource access. With the increased shift to remote-work,  hoteling will increase, freeing up space and costs, allowing for ever- greater focus on improvements that promote seamless collaborative communication. A successful office will be flexible, multipurpose and multi-modal. The act of working no longer occurs in a specific place; offices will reflect and further facilitate this change.


ARTICLES & RESOURCES

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/02/01/has-the-pandemic-transformed-the-office-forever

https://www.steelcase.com/research/topics/work-better/

https://www.hermanmiller.com/research/categories/white-papers/whats-the-future-of-the-office/

https://www.allsteeloffice.com/insights/blog/rethinking-administrative-workplace

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/01/24/what-people-want-what-leaders-get-wrong-and-how-to-be-more-right/

https://allwork.space/2021/01/future-of-work-from-a-workplace-centric-to-a-worker-centric-world/

https://fortune.com/2021/01/31/how-offices-will-change-after-coronavirus-return-to-office-after-covid-19/

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/covid19-coronavirus-change-office-work-homeworking-remote-design/

https://www.facilitiesnet.com/green/article/Creating-Healthy-Workplaces-Means-Promoting-Happiness–19158

https://facilityexecutive.com/2021/01/post-pandemic-workplace-bright-light-plant-filled/

Dec, 2020

December 2020 – UIC Outpatient Care Center

TKB delivered design services for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Outpatient Care Center. Simple in concept, the project involved the replacement of a tile floor which had failed that covered public corridors on all four floors of the building.  TKB studied various replacement materials; UIC decided upon terrazzo, the preferred but more costly option, for the major public areas including the adjoining public bridge. Upper floors utilized a high-performing resilient flooring material.

The complexities of the project involved noisy and dusty demolition of old tile in a medical building operating six days a week.  With a team effort among the contractor, UIC’s project manager, and TKB, most demolition work occurred after hours, and the project was phased to retain the necessary pathways to exits and the adjoining hospital.   Construction documents outlined stringent protection, separation, public access, and exit requirements throughout the course of the project.

The public corridor changes adhered closely to the building’s original design concept, with simple patterns for the terrazzo and flooring designs.

Jun, 2020

TKB Newsletter – June 22, 2020 – Wayfinding and Signage

COVID-19 has forced companies and individuals everywhere to adapt, creating new procedures and guidelines for everything from wearing a mask to safely navigating a business. Now comes the new challenge of communicating these measures in an easy to understand way. Signage is a simple and effective way to share your message but can easily be muddled by poor text, graphics, or placement. Listed below are a few simple strategies to keep in mind when creating your own signage.

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Visit the CDC website below for general guidelines on social distancing. Re-opening strategies as recommended by the CDC post the pandemic: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/activepeoplehealthynation/strategies-to-increase-physical-activity/prompts-to-encourage-physical-activity.html

 

Industry Solutions:

Effective Wayfinding and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Signage for Hospitals, Health Systems, and Medical Centers

How Brands Are Revamping Their Logos and Taglines During COVID-19

https://www.cgdetroit.com/post-covid-signage/

Hospital Wayfinding Program at Kaleida Hospital

 

May, 2020

TKB Newsletter – May 26, 2020 – Movement After COVID

You’ve set safe strategies for returning to work within the office. What about the building as a whole? Most office spaces reside in commercial buildings with shared amenities; and building owners and landlords now face the tremendous task of ensuring the safe use and occupancy of common areas such as lobbies, elevators, and lounges. Listed below are a few simple strategies to maintain safety in your building post pandemic.

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Visit the CDC website below for general guidelines on social distancing. Re-opening strategies as recommended by the CDC post the pandemic:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/workplace-decision-tool.html

 

Industry Solutions:

https://www.archdaily.com/940131/back-to-work-rethink-re-evaluate-retrofit-for-safer-workplaces

https://www.archdaily.com/940244/domino-park-introduces-social-distancing-circles-to-adapt-to-the-covid-19-crisis

https://www.duthermx.com/

The Workplace Watch Vol. 3

 

 

TKB Newsletter – May 18, 2020 – The New Normal

As we prepare to reenter the workspace the primary focus is the safety and well being of employees. Across the industry companies have been active to plan, design, and develop solutions on how to make the office a safe space in this new normal. TKB would like to share what appears to be a general consensus from these many plans on the steps of reentry, along with a few of these well thought out guides to peruse at your leisure.

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Visit the CDC’s website below for general guidelines on strategies to be followed in order to create a safe working environment:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html

 

Industry Solutions:

https://www.nationalofficefurniture.com/NOF/media/general/work_at_home/COVID19-Workplace-Evolution.pdf

https://www.us.jll.com/content/dam/jll-com/documents/pdf/other/reentry-guide-for-working-in-the-next-normal.pdf

https://www.hermanmiller.com/content/dam/hermanmiller/documents/covid_19/embracing_a_new_reality.pdf

 

 

TKB Newsletter – May 12, 2020 – Sanitation Solutions – How Do We Disinfect?

With the continual increase in COVID 19 infections, there has been a surge in the need to clean and disinfect our workplaces and homes. This week’s TKB Newsletter aims to provide you with cleaning techniques and introduce innovative products that are in the market to address this issue.

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The Center for Disease Control has issued cleaning techniques and mitigation strategies for the workplace that explain in detail how to clean surfaces to reduce the rate of infections. The first category would include cleaning all surfaces with soap and water, for more intense and thorough cleaning, disinfectants recommended by the CDC can be used to further lower the rate of infections and kill germs. Use the link to refer to a list of CDC approved disinfectants and cleaning techniques.

As we progress into unsteady territories, the industry is developing new and innovative solutions to help clean and enhance sterile environments, from disinfecting UV lights to hand sanitizer dispensing door knobs.

Check out some of the interesting products in the market and stay tuned for the TKB’s weekly Newsletter.

 

Visit the CDC website below for general guidelines on cleaning, EPA approved disinfectants to reduce risk of infection and general mitigation strategies:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/clean-disinfect/index.html

 

Industry Solutions:

Products

Hygienic Door Handles

https://touchland.com/pages/kub

https://kenall.com/Kenall-Files/Product-Files/Literature/Kenall-Indigo-Clean-Brochure.pdf

https://www.stepnpull.com/

TKB Newsletter -May 6, 2020 – What’s Next? COVID-19 Protocols

As the world gets ready to get back to work, one question lingers in all of our minds, “are we ready?”; the COVID19 pandemic has changed the course of our life in every aspect. Before the pandemic, we would walk around freely with our coffees, enter the office and say our hello’s, come in contact with a number of persons to create a harmonious work environment. Now, we are cautious, scared and anxious to be in such environments; this has had a direct impact on how offices will be designed and how people will interact with one another in the future

Several questions pop up when we think of how an office would re-acclimate to its user needs. Would we have all our workstations six feet apart? Would we have tall shields that enclose our workstations and protect us from infection spreads? What types of materials would we avoid in order to promote a hygienic environment?

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Source Image: http://www.todayssystems.com/blog/2017/7/13/6-questions-to-ask-employees-before-designing-your-office-space

These are questions everyone is asking, some industry members have initiated and brought design solutions for the workplace post COVID19. The TKB family brings to you a few design solutions from the industry all under one roof.

Stay tuned for more insight next week!

 

Visit the CDC website below for general guidelines and mitigation strategies at the workplace:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Industry Solutions:

https://www.knoll.com/design-plan/planning/considerations-for-returning-to-a-healthy-workplace

www.hermanmiller.com/covid-19/form/

https://www.allsteeloffice.com/spaces-inspiration/inspiration/designing-new-realities

Post-COVID Workplace

Mar, 2020

TKB COVID-19 Update

As we maneuver a changing world, TKB is committed to success for clients and projects and to the health of our employees and their families.  Thankfully, our work is able to continue within public restrictions; our staff is based  from home and continues to deliver the high quality service you need and expect from TKB.

We look forward to a time when we can all be together again.  Meanwhile, TKB will be issuing newsletters with COVID-19 related materials and up-to-date information from the CDC.  We are exploring and analyzing potential design and planning modifications to meet the requirements of this brave new world, and will continue to share with you.

In the meantime, TKB hopes that you’re staying safe, healthy, and sane during this time!  We send well wishes to everyone out there!

 

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(Embracing the “creature” comforts while working from home.)

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