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The traditional office environment was already changing to meet the requirements of both current and prospective employees when changes in roof system design came about. The once standard dimly lit, cluttered, cubicle-laden office settings are being transformed into vast open spaces with extensive daylighting from expansive windows. Wireless technology allows the once closed, stationary office environment to convert to mobile, collaborative spaces where employees are free to roam to complete work assignments.
These changes, which were occurring long before COVID-19, were forcing employers to create work space environments that enhanced the wellness of the employees. Studies indicate that employees tend to be more productive if they are in comfortable surroundings. One way to create positive work spaces is through the use of outdoor areas. This can include use of select roof areas, as roofs can provide opportunities for use as additional spaces for employee gatherings.
Roof areas have been converted to usable spaces for decades in high-rise residential buildings, entertainment facilities, hotels, schools, and universities. Traditionally, roof areas have been commonly used as plaza decks, gardens, and recreational areas with pools, tennis courts, and/or basketball courts.
In office buildings or manufacturing facilities, the roof areas adjacent to cafeteria/dining rooms or meeting/conference rooms can be utilized for outdoor dining, work breaks, or meeting places. They become extensions of indoor spaces that can be utilized when outdoor weather permits.
The aesthetics of these roof spaces can be enhanced through the addition of living plants/vegetation that can be set in planters or containers on the plaza deck surface (typically pavers).
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