Case Study – Situational Awareness and Vigilance

The Importance of Situational Awareness in Mission Critical Control Room Design

Vigilance and Situational Awareness is a desired result of both technology and environmental systems collaborating to provide the means to remain alert when our bodies have other ideas. In addressing these desired outcomes, we must develop an Architecture that embeds the means to create the desired outcomes into the structure and environment. Architecture is the means; it is the scenery we see on our journey from our current ways of managing, operating and controlling a process, towards a new paradigm that is made available through advances in technology, requirements of regulation, design for purpose, and development of improved operational methods.

While somewhat interesting to look at, the designs of many of today’s control facilities do not offer direct clues as to what support the room design can provide to the Users to meet these new regulations. Only when there is a concerted effort to collect and understand the needs of the Users may we influence those needs through the architectural design process. Once we have the right information for design we can readily see the benefits of safer and more effective operating methods within Control Centers. By paying close attention to those influences, we can create better design practices that support our Operators/Users. How we apply such influencing design solutions, useful products, and the fit and finish of materials to the benefit of both Owner and Employee is where Smith LaRock’s specialized experience lies.

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