The Basics of Control Room Design - Business - Industrial Mechanical

The Basics of Control Room Design   by Jerry Herrington

in Business / Industrial Mechanical    (submitted 2013-01-23)

A controlroom is a place where effective man and machine interaction is paramount for operational success. This can be achieved solely through effective controlroom design and implementation. Along with the necessary functionality and consideration to ergonomics, an emergency operations center or traditional controlroom need to be aesthetically appealing. While there is a fine balance to strike, it’s not impossible to accomplish this while keeping budget considerations in mind. That’s precisely why this task should be handled by specialists. Irrespective of the size of the controlroom, design, ergonomics and functionality need to go hand-in-hand.

A controlroom is essentially an operations center that houses critical control and monitoring equipment. It can be found in military as well as civilian operations. Words such as control room, emergency operations center, command center, are often used interchangeably. But there are nuances to each of these, and an expert in controlroom design can address individual applications.

You would need assistance with:

• Room design and layout related to the number of staff and activities.

• Design of control room furniture and video walls more or less to meet operational requirements and budget.

• Selection of dependable sources for room design, console furniture design, product manufacturing, video wall integration, and installation.

Design considerations for controlrooms

Traditional controlrooms are typically used solely for day-to-day operations, however an emergency operations center is used for crisis management and not normally convened and staffed until an event occurs. Emergency operations centers are designed for specific requirements that go to concept of operations, space and budget. The design should reflect those differences. Choose a design consultant that understands the differences and takes them into consideration during the initial design phase. You should also anticipate future upgrades, expansion plans and budget accordingly. Controlrooms in a sensitive locations such as nuclear plants should to be designed keeping worst-case-scenarios in mind. Acoustics can also be an important part of control room design requiring a specialist experienced in audio applications for the 7/24 environment.

Choosing the right design consultant