Outdoor space now plays a major role in new business parks and renovations of older campuses. The concept of working in an environment that offers smaller one and two-story buildings with large windows and attractive walkways is used everywhere, especially in suburban areas with good weather.
Commercial real estate in San Diego is now designed to take full advantage of the area’s mild climate. According to Local Advisors, a commercial real estate investment company, innovative business park designs that include outdoor recreational space attract businesses and employees to this desirable part of Southern California.
The concept of the business and industrial park is not new. Business parks with adequate parking space are found in most cities and their suburban areas where acreage is available. Architecture is fairly consistent in design with some landscaping and walkways leading into the facilities. Buildings may be in groups or clusters with only roads to connect them.
This concept is changing as young people in the workforce are looking at aesthetics. People working in offices appreciate an attractive area for breaks. Walkways, fountains, bike paths and quiet outdoor seating sections in an office complex will make the terms “office park” or “business park” into a reality.
The popular trend in high-rise buildings is mixed-use. Restaurants and retail services may be at street level with offices on the second or third level and above. Condominiums may be on upper floors above business offices. Parking is underground. This is a popular concept for high-density urban living where space is limited.
But, families are usually found in suburban locations. People will often look for single-family homes near a suburban business complex where they are employed. They are attracted to planned communities with outdoor amenities and commercial areas with good public transportation and even bicycle lanes.
Newer business parks use the planned, multi-use concept with restaurants and retail services along with office space. Fitness centers and bike lanes are often located in this type of business park.
Open space designs
The Yard in San Diego is an example of a business park that offers people the opportunity to work outside in good weather. Oversized clear garage doors take the place of most exterior walls. When the doors are open, fresh air with its sea breezes allow employees to enjoy the outdoors. This concept also saves on air conditioning.
This 60,000 square-foot one-story office complex is designed around a central courtyard landscaped with a Zen influence. There are areas where people can sit and relax in quiet contemplation.
The San Diego Tech Center has been redesigned as The Park. This campus with 11 buildings is part of a seven-acre park. The commercial complex has a fitness center, outdoor sports courts, an outdoor boardwalk, dog run, fire pits and a quiet garden. Several eateries are located within the grounds including a cafe, coffee shop and deli. Landscaping is sensitive to the drier climate and need for water conservation.
This is an environmentally designed business center that is LEED Gold Certified due to the fiber-optic conduits for electricity to all buildings. The design has received several awards for innovation including The First WireScored Platinum Campus in San Diego.
The concept appeals to people with different interests who want to combine outdoor living with their work experience. The Park and similar business centers provide an atmosphere that is not unlike a college campus.
Another feature of newer office buildings in business parks is the use of glass and tinted windows to offer natural light. This saves energy and also brings more of the outdoors to people working inside.
The Reserve in suburban San Diego has glass doors, high ceilings and open floor plans along with skylights to provide natural light whenever possible. It offers outdoor seating areas and access to the hiking trails at neighboring Torrey Pines State Reserve. This complex has charging stations for electric cars in the parking area.
Business and technical parks throughout the country are adopting the open space concept with attractive surroundings to attract employees. This is part of the future of environment-friendly business communities.