Real Estate Journal — Green Buildings — March 28 - April 10, 2014 — 26B


M id A tlantic

G reen B uildings

By Caroline Shelly, CID, LEED AP-BD+C; HF Planners Follow The Yellow Brick Road, but where is it?

S ignage is a beautiful thing, when it is well planned out. Have you

to the visitor. Intuitive plan- ning of the signage require- ments should include color, branding, and size of the font need to be considered. Typically, signage is one of the last elements considered when planning a new space, and may result in hand-made signs while waiting for the new system to be approved, manufactured, and installed which can take as long as 6-10 weeks. Larger projects, such as a corporate campus may take up to 12 months to plan, and 8 weeks for fabrication.

The facility manager and design team should consider the purpose of a wayfinding system. Flexibility, costs, and turnaround time should be considered. Companies may be bringing on new employees monthly and need to be able to update office or worksta- tion nameplates. Does this have to happen before, on the day of, or a week after the new employee arrives? Does the company develop new products; acquire companies, “right source” departments? If so, signage systems need

to be flexible and scalable to accommodate for these types of business fluctuations. As Judy Barbieri, Owner of Designer Sign Systems, LLC located in Carlstadt, NJ explains, “Typically a sign company should be part of the team from the beginning of a project. The signage team should be included in the concept to final design so the client is aware of costs, and all site conditions that must be considered.” However, when working closely with contrac- tors, architects, designers,

marketing, and interior team members ensures a smooth transition from initial ideas to the final installation. This approach eliminates surprises and costs that were not in- cluded in the initial budget. Digital signage is quickly becoming an alternative to static signs. The whole con- cept of digital signage is based around using software, run- ning on a PC which is con- nected to the internet and attached to monitors through- out the space. Digital signage can be changed as needed to update visitors on room loca- tion, upcoming events, as well as restaurant menus. Signs should be located high enough for a clear viewing path, out of lighting glare, and busy traffic. Kiosks provide a way for visitors to connect with the location in a significant and applicable way. The messages can be informational, transac- tional, and even incorporate marketing information tai- lored to each user. Kiosk pro- viders can develop software that incorporates television, news feeds, RSS feeds, twit- ter, and much more. Multiple language uses is also a way to make your end user feel more comfortable finding their way around a location. The Facilities department must understand their re- sponsibility in maintaining the system and how it relates to the end user. Focus on keeping the message simple and understandable by iden- tifying a way to capture ques- tions and updates. Usually a small team has the responsi- bility of maintaining the way- finding system, representing the marketing requirements of a company, visitor expecta- tions, and managing new per- sonnel or the leave of others. This group should have the authority to make decisions consistent with the wayfind- ing standard. In conclusion, careful plan- ning, a cohesive design, and management participation will assure that everyone is prepared to represent the organization’s brand in a de- pendable manner. This will create a more empowered, positive signage experience within the space, and help you find your way to Oz! Caroline Shelly, CID, LEED AP+BD-C is princi- pal at HF Planners. n

e v e r b e e n to a hospi- tal or an of- fice building whe r e you stood in one place for 10 minutes try- ing to deter- mine how to

Caroline Shelly

get where you are going? It should not be a significant headache, and should be con- sidered as simple hospitality

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