Emergency Operations Center Design

Effective command, control and coordination of emergency response efforts call for an environment designed specifically for that purpose. Special attention to control room furniture design, ergonomics, space planning and audiovisual monitoring tools is crucial to the collaboration necessary for successful crisis management. Specialized dispatch furniture may also be a component of emergency operations centers (EOC). The furniture layout is critical to successful interaction between teams and decision-makers. The audiovisual system is the link to the outside that provides the real time information necessary for a flexible response to changing events. Whether it be industrial emergency operations center design, or designs for government , both share many of the same characteristics.
Tailor-Made Space Planning for Communication and Collaboration
Every emergency operations center is unique in space characteristics, number of staff, budget and the application driving the design. There is no “one fits all” physical layout for emergency operations centers. There are a variety of approaches to government and industrial emergency operations center design. Examples include the traditional command center with rows of control room furniture facing large video screens, the dual-purpose conference room, and the cluster approach that places groups of workstations throughout the room. And then there’s the approach that combines some, or all of these characteristics as shown on the space planning page. Video wall systems are another popular tool for modern emergency operations centers. Americon Visionmaster video walls are modular plug-and-play systems that are a solution for either large or small spaces depending on available space and budget.

First, I should start by saying that I am a proponent of the “one room” concept for emergency operations center design rather than distributing activities throughout multiple rooms where staff have less face to face interaction and don’t share the collaboration benefits of a large room where they can see and hear each other as well as the video wall system. This is not to say that a large operations center surrounded with conference and breakout rooms is not a sound approach. However, when selecting a space, one large room should be the focal point and preferable to smaller individual spaces where the staff doesn’t interact with each other. The one-room concept is not only operationally sound; it’s practical because it gathers all key participants in the same room. Second, budget is always the primary driver, and third, most emergency operations centers are limited in space, or considered dual-purpose. It’s true that the central operations center with its hustle and bustle is problematic because of the noise and distracting movement of the participants within the room. However the advent of crisis management software and modern audiovisual technologies, make the one-room concept for emergency operations center design the most efficient in terms of having all of the right people in the same room hearing and seeing the same things on the large screens at the same time. Certainly the video feeds can be distributed throughout the rooms; however the ability to manage what’s displayed on the large video screens at the same time, and in an efficient manner, trumps individual rooms where someone in each room has to know how to operate the audiovisual system within that room. You can learn more about Americon video walls on the video wall systems page or find information specific to emergency operations centers on the EOC video walls page.

Emergency Operations Center Design
Americon specializes in control room furniture manufacturing and video wall system integration for control rooms, command centers, dispatch, security and emergency management. We have over 30 years in the industry and more than 5,000 customers throughout the US and abroad. We design, manufacture, integrate, install and service what we sell. This means fast, dependable delivery and a single voice for everything involved. We have a large command and control showroom in Camarillo, CA near Los Angeles, CA. Contact me for an appointment.
Ask me about our turnkey packages for emergency operations centers. The package includes needs analysis, drawings, customized workstations and our matching, modular Visionmaster video wall configured for your application. It’s a simple and cost effective approach that includes exactly what you need to get your operation up and running quickly.
For more information on these and other Americon products and services, complete my information request, or call me at 707.539.3321 for immediate assistance.
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