Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Perceptions of change in office space design: redesigning Barwon Water’s office environment

conference contribution
posted on 2015-12-10, 00:00 authored by Jessica Chapman, David Jones, Fiona GrayFiona Gray
In early 2015 Barwon Water received State government funding to rationalise and renovate its various Geelong-based administrative offices into one complex. Integral to the renovations is a new green-star retrofit of the existing Ryrie Street complex by GHD Woodhead. The project will consolidate all of Barwon Water’s offices onto one site, increase floor space, provide a new ‘green’ atrium, and adopt an open plan layout. Having set a new strategic direction, Barwon Water is now undergoing a wholesale cultural and operational change in order to realise these strategic objectives. Aspirations for workplace design have been identified as: environmentally sustainable; foster innovation and creativity; establish connections; improve communication and collaboration; provide efficient space for effective work; flexibility over time; welcoming and connected to the community; healthy; and, up to date technology. This paper investigates Barwon Water staff perceptions and apprehensions of this prospective consolidation, particularly the proposed open plan office environment. While most research in this topic is informed by an immediate pre-design workshop of staff needs, this research provides a longitudinal perspective of human perceptions about work place environment change and a review of how changes in office environment synergistically align to architectural responses and changes in corporate strategies.



Architectural Science Association. Conference (49th : 2015 : Melbourne, Victoria)


203 - 214


The University of Melbourne


Melbourne, Victoria

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2015, University of Melbourne


R Crawford, A Stephan

Title of proceedings

Living and learning : research for a better built environment : 49th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association : proceedings