Integrated Operations Center BAW Architecture

Integrated Operations Center

Oil & Gas | Middle East

A major oil producing country in the Arabian Peninsula needed a world-class control building to centralize operations of all major energy assets across the country, including oil, gas and thermal. BAW Architecture’s unsurpassed master planning expertise delivered a showcase design that features a multi-level Integrated Operations Center expected to house 40+ steady-state operators.

The client challenged BAW Architecture to design a complex that would consolidate six existing control rooms across the country into one spectacular facility, located in a high-tech business park adjacent to the ocean. The Integrated Operations Center would attract top talent from within the country and around the world, with state-of-the-art technology, design, and sweeping views of the sea.

Deriving inspiration from the country’s rich maritime history, the “compass in a box” became the foundation of this creative design solution, delivering on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to elevate and modernize the country’s energy sector.

The goal of this consolidation project centered around improved communication between field and control room staff. All data is simultaneously visible to the operators and operations support, achieved through the implementation of cutting-edge technology. The building also houses various cultural, administrative, and collaboration spaces.

BAW recommended a Task Analysis, pursuant to ISO 11064‐3 requirements. The goal was to mitigate potentially dangerous outcomes associated with high-density floorplans. These can include obstructed visibility, noise, distraction, fatigue, communications and workflow issues, and situational awareness failures. Adjacencies studies and a functional analysis were critical to properly design the centralized control room, both for size and layout. As with all BAW designs, human factors engineering elements that puts the needs of the operators at the center informed all aspects of the project. Recommendations were made for ancillary spaces—such as break and meeting rooms, server, electrical, mechanical, and storage rooms—to also be subject to a task analysis, to arrive at the correct sizing of each room based on building codes and actual furnishings for each room type.

Room for future expansion was also taken into account. Per ISO 11064‐3 section, any control room design must be able to accommodate future growth of 25% at a minimum.

The design features living plants and natural light, complimented by wall-size images of the local landscape. It is an elegant, forward-thinking, yet durable solution, a control building that will positively impact safety, quality of life, and the bottom line for decades to come.

We respect the confidentiality of this client
48,500 sf / 4500 sm
Oil & Gas
Middle East
2018 | Design
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Facility Siting
  • Lighting Design
  • Console Design
  • Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment


When a 24/7, 365 days-a-year manned control facility is designed, safety is the driving factor, with the operator at the center of the design. Control room density is the fundamental criteria to consider for a properly designed control room. Open sight lines improve collaboration between operators and amongst different operations groups. The proximity of operators to each other enables effective interactions, knowledge sharing, and standardized work practices.

The IOC buildings were designed to be blast resistant. That notwithstanding, the facilities look like a beautiful commercial property, not like a concrete blast resistant bunker. Standoff distances and building orientation also played a role in overall facility siting.


Certain organizational values like improvement and retention of staff, and maintaining a high reputation were extremely important considerations for the client. The country’s traditional architectural motifs and maritime history were also a celebrated aspect of the final design result. But the main goal of improved operations, better collaboration and standardization were achieved in the final BAW design.  Contact us to learn more about what our team can do for you.

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