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20SixLtd Sponsor Two Former Royal Marines

Here at 20SixLtd we're renowned for being one of the South East's top commercial property and office fit out companies - but it's not all work for the crew. We actively participate in as many community events as we can and support local charities that our close to our heart.

Our latest could-not-turn-this-one-down event is to sponsor the boat being rowed by two former Royal Marines. This isn't a little jolly down the Thames for a summer picnic in Henley though - no, these guys are taking on the challenge of a lifetime rowing unaided from Monterey, California to Honolulu, Hawaii in the Great Pacific Race. As if this wasn't enough of a challenge, one half of the team is attempting to be the first blind person ever to row the Pacific.

Steve Sparkes and Mick Dawson are hoping to raise £10,000.00 for their chosen charities, Blind Veterans UK and The Royal Marines Charity, and are on target to do so.

Quite apart from being an epic journey for these guys, 20SixLtd were proud to be part of the sponsors of Steve and Mick's boat, the Bojangles, as we have worked closely with Blind Veterans UK in Ovingdean over the past few years. We have supplied furniture and have helped them with their office design and fit out work.

We're looking forward to following the race from afar by keeping up with the team's online updates, of which we shall share the links to below. We would also be really chuffed if you could help the guys out and so are also sharing their Just Giving Page link below, just in case you have a spare few pennies that you can send their way.

We wish both Steve and Mick all the best and hope to share more on their adventure once they have arrived safely back in the UK.


 

“Smart” Office Walls

Walls. Not just any walls, but office walls. A pretty dry topic, not likely to be the first choice of subject for a scintillating conversation. The phrase “like watching paint dry” springs to mind when proffering the theme of an article to be entirely about office walls….

Your walls may not be the most exciting aspect of your office design, but they’re an unavoidable, integral part of any building. So how can we make offices and commercial properties have walls that people do actually want to talk about?

We may have found the solution – how about interactive walls?

“Smart" Office Walls

The stating point for refreshing a wall is usually it’s colour, and your first port of call is likely to be a quick paint job. How about if that new lick of paint also creates a wall that becomes interactive?

A university in the US has researched this concept and has produced a conductive paint that contains electronics components which, when applied with a simple paint roller, created a smart infrastructure that sensed human touch and detected gestures, as well as registering when appliances were used.

The research is still in it’s early stages, but the hypotheses of the capabilities of these smart walls include enabling users to place or move light switches or other controls to any point on a wall where they’re most convenient or to control presentations by gesture alone.

Needless to say, these are walls that we can get excited about. Two of the guys involved in this research, Chris Harrison and Yang Zhang, both of whom work in Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) certainly think this is worth investigating further.

Chris Harrison is quoted as saying; “Walls are usually the largest surface area in a room, yet we don’t make much use of them other than to separate spaces and perhaps hold up pictures and shelves. As the internet of things and ubiquitous computing become reality, it is tempting to think that walls can become active parts of our living and work environments.”

Naming this “Wall++”, Zhang admits that it has yet to be optimised for energy consumption but estimated these walls would use about as much power as a standard touchscreen. Knowing how much area walls take up, the costs needed to be kept low, so they have used a water-based paint containing nickel that can be applied with a paint roller.

It may be sometime before we see smart walls as standard in commercial properties, but here at last is, perhaps, a reason to revisit the dull office wall and get excited about the potential of the interactive, smart, Wall++.

Five Ways To Create A Greener Office

The majority of businesses understand the necessity for a greener approach, and here at 20six we have been actively encouraging and promoting sustainable solutions for all forms of commercial property refurbishment and maintenance. It doesn’t need to be a huge financial undertaking on your part to make your current office environment more sustainable but there are areas that you can look into to help make your work place greener.

Of course, if you are planning on a major refurbishment of your commercial interiors then getting the greener approach in at the beginning will make life a lot easier, but if you just want to make a few changes we hope that you’ll find at least some aspects of the list we have compiled helpful.

5 Ways To Achieve a Greener Office:

Let There Be Light: Studies have demonstrated that workers who are able to have natural day light in their offices are happier and less susceptible to fatigue. Having natural light will help shave costs of your energy bills and create a more productive work force. When daylight isn’t an option there are energy saving LEDs and you can install automated switch offs to lights when a room is vacant, or you can encourage “best practice” among your workers by getting everybody to turn off lights when they are not required.

A Splash Of Colour: A quick way of sprucing up your work space is to give it a new lick of paint. This can help brighten the space, make it look less shabby, more loved, and can give your environment a new lease of life. There are eco-friendly paints that you can use for this, the best of which are plant-based, water-borne paints, followed by plant-based, solvent-borne ones with natural solvents. Not only will they be better for the environment, but they won’t give off any unpleasant smells or cause any breathing issues among staff.

If Walls Could Breathe: Modern houses have to meet strict guidelines for insulation, but some of us are less lucky in our older offices. If an office fit out is on the horizon, make sure you think about insulation – both for temperature control and for noise. Ensuring that your offices are at an ambient temperature by properly insulating them will save you a load off your energy bills. If this is not an option for you there are still ways in which you can tackle temperature issues and address noise problems at the same time, such as eco-friendly panels, partitions and cladding.

Put Down Roots: Adding plants to commercial buildings has become really popular of late – and with good reason. In an ideal world you’d have the budget to add a living roof or wall (both of which can provide the insulation we mentioned above), or convert and outside space to create a garden, but this isn’t suitable for all companies. What pretty much most of can do though is to add more plants within the office. The addition of plants to a work space has been shown to boost productivity as well as to help purify the air.

Teach and Learn: Having everybody singing from the same song sheet will help your overall strategy for creating a more sustainable office, so ensure that all your staff are aware of the company policy towards the environment. What are you throwing away, what more can you recycle? Are we all turning lights, taps and unused equipment off? Where are we buying our products, our office furniture, our stationary from and can those who supply us provide greener alternatives? If you can get the entire company on board even the little changes will go a long way to achieving a greener office.


Five Simple Ways To Create A Greener Office:

1: Use natural light where possible

2: Utilise eco-friendly paint and other environmentally friendly office materials.

3: Ensure your offices are well insulated.

4: Add living plants where ever possible

5: Educate all staff and adopt a company-wide sustainable culture.


 

Types Of Office Doors

The recent heatwave experienced in the UK left many workers rather uncomfortable in their stuffy offices. Whilst bi and tri fold doors have become quite common in residential properties, office doors are on the whole less adaptable. With office design embracing biophilic aspects, how wonderful would it be if we did have office doors that opened up the entire space thereby merging inside and out?

Whilst this may not be practical for most commercial properties, we can offer some different types of office doors. There is of course a difference between the external “front” door, or main entrance, and the interior doors, and we are talking actual doors here rather than office partitions. As not everybody will have the option to change the main entrance to a building, we’re going to concentrate on the different types of internal office doors.

Three different door types for offices and commercial buildings

Wood: By far the most common form of interior door, wooden doors provide a sense of warmth and have the advantage of coming in a variety of types of wood, different colours, and variable budgets. More commonly found in older commercial properties or offices in converted residential properties, wooden doors can be a good economic choice whilst still looking stylish.

Metal: For a more industrial look, or for practical purposes, metal office doors are usually used for security or safety reasons. Providing a high-level fire rating, they are also one of the most difficult to penetrate and have been used as the door of choice for storage of sensitive data, and other products that need to remain as secure access only.

Glass: If you’re one of our regular readers you’ll know we are rather fond of extolling glass in commercial interior design, so no surprises that we love a glass door. These doors will allow light to penetrate, give you visuals across an office space, and they have a timeless classical look. Glass can be thickened for noise reduction and coloured to match branding.

In addition to materials used, there are options of solid, swing, and sliding doors. And combining glass, wood and motion, there’s the Uniform Wares door in their London work space that has a dark timber partition which pivots open to allow access to the design studio behind with a smaller door set within the wooden wall hinges that opens independently.

Image courtesy of Dezeen.com - Full article here