control room console design

Control Room Console Design

Ergonomic excellence, by design

You need a control room that is as safe and productive as possible—not just a nice place for the operators to be, but a workspace informed by the science of ergonomics to maximize productivity and minimize the chance of an abnormal event escalation.

At a critical moment the operator has to know in a split second how to react. Excellent control room console design promotes reaction time that is as short as humanly possible, and BAW Architecture is the industry leader in designing and implementing consoles of the highest standard.

Starting with the operator, and designing from the inside out, BAW has the expertise in control room console design to deliver consoles that exceed your requirements, and your expectations.

Why is fit so important? It’s much more than operator comfort, though comfort will certainly be appreciated. The point is this: if proportions are off, you risk not only carpal tunnel, but reaction time will not be sufficient to avert a disaster. That concept is at the heart of control room console design: abnormal situation management.

ISO 11064 section 4 addresses seating requirements in control room design. Best practices in operator console ergonomics incorporate the following:

  • Sit/stand console
  • Sound shower
  • Personalized climate control (like a cockpit)
  • Personalized lighting
  • Line of sight
  • Reach envelope & task zone
  • Visual angle and field

In the olden days (circa 1996) there was little to no thought given to ergonomic console furniture or control room equipment layout. A prefabricated control system was at the center of each console, and the control room was built around it. BAW began a revolution in thinking when it was decided to start with the operator and the realities of the human form, such as line of sight, arc of reach and the human-machine interface. Now BAW completely customizes the console based on this forward-thinking strategy, meanwhile incorporating ISO 11064 ergonomic requirements.

Three fundamental strategies will be considered for your specific console layout:

  • Inward facing Console
  • Outward facing
  • Theater Console

Which one works best for your operation’s philosophy? This one decision informs the whole arrangement and floor plan. BAW will encourage a dialogue with you to educate you on importance and implications of that decision. One size definitely does not fit all.

A formal task analysis is essential to understanding your company’s unique needs. This involves a study of the operator’s job and the integration of the human-machine interface. BAW considers human factors engineering at this stage of the project. We start from literally one chair and work out.

A prototype is created, then a full-scale mock up. During one recent design exercise, BAW rented a ballroom, and had the whole client team actually sit and stand at mocked-up consoles, to vet their functionality. Operator feedback is solicited and incorporated into fine-tuned design tweaks. It is this level of detail that sets BAW apart.

Find out more about the 11 reasons why BAW is the global leader in control room design, or contact us to learn more about what our team can do for you.

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