If not cost per square foot of usable space, then what? How do you go about measuring, and designing for, the new productivity? Ramtin Attar, a senior research scientist at Autodesk Research, has an idea. A giant in the space of computer-aided design tools and solutions, Autodesk is moving from its longstanding King Street West address in Toronto to a three-storey, 60,000-sq.-ft. showcase space in the MaRS Discovery District.
The first phase of the move will commence in January 2017, but a full year in advance, Attar and team began a process of surveys and interviews to glean what was and wasn’t working in the current workspace. They supplemented that qualitative approach with a sensory tracking system, measuring quantitative building performance data including light levels, temperature, carbon dioxide levels and desk occupancy via motion sensors.
Attar assures that “good inputs lead to good outputs,” and likens the process to “eating your own dog food.” Unappetizing analogies aside, the collected data has effectively influenced the design of Autodesk’s new workspace, resulting in the creation of unique and diverse neighbourhoods with distributed amenities, “like Toronto itself,” said Attar.