If you’ve been reading about the latest trends in office design, you’ve probably noticed the emergence of the “office pod.” These pods are small, freestanding rooms that are placed into open office space to support the need for focus, privacy and concentration in the workplace. Many of these pods are factory-built and quickly installed, eliminating or greatly reducing the need for disruptive, messy, and costly conventional construction. While these pods are great, deciding which is best for you can be a confusing and overwhelming process. We’ll compare the SnapCab Pod, the Orangebox Air3 Pod, and the Steelcase IRYS pod to help you understand the important factors to consider.
Not all pods are created equally when it comes to accessibility. Many smaller phone booth pods require a step up into the pod for access. For people with mobility constraints, this can be a problem. And without providing an accessible alternative, organizations can expose themselves to some legal jeopardy.
- ADVANTAGE: Steelcase IRYS Pod – ADA accessible
- ADVANTAGE: Orangebox Air3 Pod – ADA accessible
- DISADVANTAGE: SnapCab Pod – not ADA accessible
One great thing about pods is that they are a flexible and rapidly re-deployable asset. Most can be moved from place-to-place as needs evolve, making pods ideal for growing and rapidly evolving companies. However, one thing can make pods a little less flexible: the need for fire suppression. In most areas, code officials will require pods to have at least one sprinkler head in the room. There is often an exception for the small, one-person phone booths. This makes moving pods a bit more complicated, as sprinkler work must be performed.
One major exception to this is the Orangebox Air3 Pod series. This product has a unique, patented louvered ceiling system that opens automatically in an emergency situation, permitting the building sprinkler system to quench any fire in the pod. If considering a pod for your office, we recommend speaking with your code official early in the planning process. As this is a “new” solution in the marketplace, it’s better to get buy-in from local code officials before purchasing. Creative has all of the technical information you would need, and is happy to help you navigate this process.
- BEST: Orangebox Air3 Pod – Sprinklers not required in most jurisdictions due to patented louver system.
- BETTER: SnapCab Pod – Sprinklers not required on the smallest size, but required on all others
- GOOD: Steelcase IRYS Pod – Sprinklers required
Most pod solutions allow you the freedom to customize their appearance to conform with your organization’s unique brand and culture. However, in order to streamline manufacturing and speed delivery to you, some enable more customization than others. Products like IRYS are available in a very limited range of surface materials, while others like Orangebox offer a virtual cornucopia of choice.
- BEST: Orangebox Air3 Pod – best range of factory installed options and sizes
- BETTER: SnapCab Pod – good range of factory installed options and sizes.
- GOOD: Steelcase IRYS Pod – limited range of factory installed options and sizes.
When comparing the three systems that Creative provides, we believe that the Orangebox Air3 Pod offers the strongest combination of accessibility, ease of implementation, and customization. That being said, Creative’s team of knowledgeable experts are ready to consult with you to determine your best fit, based on your unique requirements. To learn more about these solutions or to contact one of our experts, call 804.329.0400 or click here.