How to lay out your CCTV control room

How to lay out your CCTV control room

If you want to increase the security of your building or are designing a control room for security personnel, there are certain aspects you will have to take into account when designing the room and laying out the floor plan. These aspects include the ergonomics of the layout and the furniture, the flow of the room and the ease-of-use of the design and equipment. Not sure where to start? Below are some top tips on how to lay out your CCTV control room design.

Size does matter

One of the most common issues that occurs when people design a control room is that they greatly underestimate the amount of space they will need for the venture. The room or area that you have designated for your control room might seem large now, but it will soon be filled with workstations, computers and wiring.

To figure out how much space you will need, you should create markings on the wall and floor to designate where the desks, monitors and control room consoles will go. This will give you a clear idea of who much space those items will truly be taking up. A small office might need some strategic arranging, especially if you are going to be keeping it open plan due to space constraints.

Just the right temperature

As part of the ergonomic aspect of laying out a control room, the room temperature is important to consider. The room should not be too warm, as this can cause discomfort in the operators but nor should it be too cold either.

Invest in an air conditioner for the space so that operators can control the temperature themselves as needed. You could look into using a control room that has windows to bring in fresh air, as this is highly beneficial to the health of your employees and to their productivity. However, be sure that the windows do not provide too much glare if the curtains or blinds are open, as this will diminish monitor visibility.

Aesthetically pleasing

Again, another ergonomic aspect is the aesthetic of the control room consoles. It is important to move away from the traditional, bland CRT screens of yesteryear and embrace the bright, colourful flat-screens of today. These flat monitors also provide more desk space to work on.

Rather than simply heaping equipment together without any real though, carefully consider how the control room will look to your operators. A video wall should not look cluttered and hard to read, but rather the screens should be neatly laid out with colour coding (if possible) for the different sectors that the CCTV cameras are watching. You should also look at introducing wall art or plants into the room to give it personality and eliminate the bland feeling control rooms often exude.

Let there be light

In any conventional office, the lighting is usually around 400 lux (a unit used to measure the intensity of light hitting a surface) but in a control room, it should be around 300 lux for optimal monitor viewing ease.

All the lighting in the room should be indirect, meaning that it should not shine directly in front of or behind the operator. Lighting like this can make it difficult for the operator to see the screen clearly and can cause damage to the eyes. You could invest in desk lamps if different operators prefer different light levels or opt for a dimmer switch in the room so operators can set the light intensity themselves.

Choose the right colour

Now, a control room might not sound like the place for interior design but choosing the right wall colour for the room is important. Your operators have to look at the walls day in and day out, so you will need to choose a colour that is not too harsh on the eyes but that inspires productivity.

Pastels tend to create a more relaxed mood whereas brighter colours inspire excitement and can be more stimulating. For a large space, use lower intensity colours that will not hurt the eyes. Off-white and cream are good choices but can become uninspiring for workers. You could choose to decorate the room in your brand colours but be sure they are not too harsh on the eye.

Always consider your operators

A control room is made up of more than machines, it is made up of operators who work long hours to keep buildings and people safe. This means that your layout needs to take their comfort into account by providing a room temperature that everyone is comfortable with, lighting that does not cause eye strain and a wall colour that is inspiring without being overbearing. Another important aspect is the size of the room and the flow of the layout, which will affect ergonomics and performance. Ask your employees for ideas and suggestions as to what would be the best design and layout for their needs.

Authored by: mjones

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