Creating the Right Workspace for AC Energy Holdings

It’s no secret that the right workspace can make all the difference for a company. A well-designed office or workplace can inspire employees, boost productivity, and create a positive company culture. But what if your current space isn’t quite right? Or what if you’re in the market for a new workspace but don’t know where to start?

SDW was commissioned to create a workspace for AC Energy Holdings, Inc., a firm dedicated to developing a portfolio of power generation resources using both renewable and conventional technology. AC Energy Holdings, based in Makati City, Philippines, is looking for a place with a simple aesthetic and enough personality to allow its brand to blend in.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key factors we considered in designing the new workspace for AC Energy.


AC Energy office


The Benefits of a Good Workspace

A well-designed workspace can do wonders for a company. It not only provides a place for employees to work, but it can also help boost morale and increase productivity.

When employees are comfortable in their surroundings, they’re more likely to be productive. A good workspace has to be designed with the needs of the company in mind.

Think about it: when you’re surrounded by things that inspire you, it’s easier to be creative and come up with new ideas. That’s why it’s so important for a company to have a workspace that feels like “home.” It should reflect the brand and culture of the company, and help employees feel connected to their work.


meeting room
One of the numerous meeting rooms with polished concrete walls and wooden ceiling trellises. Wind turbine blades decorated the space.


How to Design the Perfect Workspace

There are a few key things we kept in mind in designing this office space. First, we made sure it is functional. The employees need to be able to work comfortably and have everything they need at their fingertips.

Second, we take into account how the employees should feel.  They should feel inspired and motivated, not cramped and uncomfortable. So we made sure there are plenty of space for them to move around and collaborate.

Finally, we added some personality. Making the space feel like home by adding some personal touches that reflect AC Energy’s brand. A little bit of creativity can go a long way in making employees feel valued and appreciated.


main boardroom with renewable bamboo panel
High STC ratings in meeting spaces were stated in the design brief. The main boardroom featured Smith & Fong’s Plyboo, a renewable bamboo panel with a sound-absorbing substance.


The Five Elements of a Good Workspace

When it comes to workspaces, there are five important elements to keep in mind: function, comfort, privacy, esthetics, and culture.

If you’re not sure what your company’s workspace should look like, start by thinking about these five elements. Ask yourself: what is the primary function of this space? What kind of comfort do we want our employees to feel? How much privacy do we need? What kind of aesthetics will make our company feel like it belongs in this space? And finally, what type of culture do we want to encourage in our employees?

By keeping these five elements in mind, we created a workspace for AC Energy Holdings that is not only functional and comfortable but also stylish and reflective of the company’s culture.


Simplifying furniture design to create spatial stability.


The Importance of Ergonomics in the Workplace

When it comes to the workplace, ergonomics is key. To focus on their work employees must be comfortable. And the space should reflect the company’s brand, so employees feel like they’re part of a team. SDW was tasked to create a simple workspace with enough personality to meet the client’s identity.

Together, AC Energy and the SDW collaborated to design an elegant and functional facility. By incorporating vivid hues and cutting-edge furnishings, we developed a space that was both inspiring and energizing. We also made sure to use ergonomic principles in the design so employees would be able to stay comfortable all day long.



employee lounge office space
The employee lounge is separated from other sections by wooden cupboards and trellises. Most elements are left exposed, including polished concrete floors, cement board partitions, and exposed ceilings. This rustic concept contrasts beautifully with glass and black American walnut casework and joinery, creating a modern industrial office atmosphere.


How to Choose the Right Workspace

When it comes to choosing the right workspace, there are a few things to consider.

First, you need to think about your target audience. Who is your company targeting? What type of office environment will appeal to them? Once you have an idea of what your target market wants, you can start thinking about the design and layout of your space.

Second, you need to think about your company’s culture and brand. What type of atmosphere do you want to create? How important is it for your employees to feel like their brand is reflected in the space they work in?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start looking for spaces that fit your needs. SDW is here to help make the process easier for you.


garden lounge workspace area
The garden and lounge on the terrace overlooking Ayala Makati help cool the interiors in the warm tropical climate.


office space floor plan


A well-designed and executed office space can make a profound impact on your company’s success. From boosting productivity and creativity to improving employee satisfaction and morale, a great workspace can help your team work smarter and happier.

SDW is proud to have been a part of AC Energy Holdings, Inc.’s new office fit-out. Our team worked closely with the client to create a workspace that was stylish, functional, and reflective of the company’s values. If you’re in the market for a new office or are looking to renovate your current space, please contact us for more information. We would be happy to help!

6 Tips for A Smoother Office Renovation

Your office is set to undergo a significant makeover. Congratulations! It is essential to be organized and efficient throughout the procedure. Here are a few suggestions to make the renovation as seamless as feasible.

1. Understand Your Purpose

So, your company has finally decided that it’s about time you conduct an office renovation. You think it’s great timing because you’ve heard employees complain about the creaky corridor, lackluster front desk, and duct-taped hole near the cafeteria.

There are many other reasons for pushing for an office renovation, but mostly, it’s for improving the quality of your office’s surroundings. A renovation would eventually translate into how much you care about your employees’ workspace and well-being. Making your employees feel safe and comfortable in office renovation could also mean more income for your company, so it’s a win-win.

Before moving to the planning stages, you must ask first ask the following types of questions:

  • Is a renovation the best option?
  • Are we 100% certain relocating isn’t a better option?
  • What are the goals and objectives behind this idea?
  • Is our timing right?
  • Are there any physical or financial barriers to completing a successful renovation?

Only after getting the answers should you be able to proceed with the actual thinking of how you want to go about the whole renovation process. This way, your project will make your company look good, and your employees will perform great.

2. Survey Your Office and Your Surroundings

Now that you understand the purpose of the office renovation project, you need to get the current standing of your entire establishment and its surroundings. A complete audit of the different rooms, furniture, and materials can give you a scope of what you are trying to accomplish during the renovation.  This will also assist you in estimating the budget you should allocate for the entire project, and you may be able to reuse some items. Remember that any kind of renovation would cost a significant amount of money. So if you can salvage some from your current inventory, it would be best to take note of it or save it for later.

Also, take note of what worked and what didn’t work in your current office setup. This would prevent you from doing the same mistakes. After all, renovations are supposed to make improvements, not just a simple redesign.

3. Device a Renovation Strategy

office renovation strategy

We understand that there is already a lot on your plate, and you have yet to begin the renovation process itself. As mentioned above, this is no easy task. Without proper management, a renovation could turn into a nightmare fast. To prevent this, it would be best to speak with experts in the field of construction and design and take their word as guidelines. It’s also too great to seek out professionals to manage and help you plan the entire project from start to finish.

A most common piece of advice you can get from them would be to create a checklist of the things you must do divided into tasks and subtasks. This way, it would be easier to keep track of your project’s progress.

4. Keep Everyone Involved, Stay Involved

During the renovation process, you will be working with a lot of different people. They must be properly aligned with each other about what they do and when they need to do it before they join the project. This reduces the amount of wait-around time of people whose tasks are dependent on others—effectively eliminating delays in the project.

As the renovation’s point-of-contact, you’d be responsible for keeping the team updated on progress and delays. This also gives the people you work with a feeling of inclusion and appreciation. You’re not working with robots so a simple “how’s everything going?” goes a long way.

5. Keep Working

The noise and activity of your office fit-out can be distracting. Don’t let all the distractions get to you and your employees and proceed to do your regular work business as usual.

Your company must remain productive throughout the whole renovation process. You have already spent quite a sum to make the office renovation possible. The last thing your company needs are more losses in revenue just because of unproductivity.

6. Transition Like a Pro

Lastly, when all the dust settles, it’s time to move into the newly renovated office space. Expect a surge of energy from everyone, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s understandable, given the construction hype. It’s best to plan the transition months before the project’s completion. It gives you time to decide who moves in first and where.

Your leaders should also conduct a tour of the newly renovated space a few weeks before opening to give employees an idea of where they’ll work. This is important as the first measure of success for your renovation would be your employees’ reactions. Going back to tip #1, if the renovation’s purpose is met, you can expect good feedback. If you exceed their expectations, you’ll learn from them and realize your efforts were worthwhile.

3 Reasons Why Office Redesign Can Increase Revenue

Redesigning your office fit-out isn’t as simple as changing the hallway paint or rearranging desks. It’s more about changing your workspace’s overall vibe, look, and feel. It should represent your company’s desire for growth and inspire your people to work more productively.

Interior designers and contractors in the Philippines are catching up to the competition. They use trends and innovative designs for workplace fit-outs to make the country more globally competitive. Contractors are constantly under pressure to outperform their competitors. This type of shift inspires individuals who are daring enough to redesign an office.

You’re probably thinking that redesigning your office would cost your company a lot of money. In a sense, you’re right. From planning, and designing, to the construction itself, it would require a significant amount of time and money. However, this kind of expense is somewhat unavoidable. It does have its benefits and, if you plan well enough, could quickly return a profit.


Here are three ways a redesigned office could enhance your company’s revenue.


1. An office redesign can increase employee productivity.

If done well, a new office style will enhance morale and productivity. In 2017, millennials (ages 21–36) held most of the workforce. It makes sense to tailor your office culture and benefits to this generation. Millennials like an open office layout because it creates a high-energy environment that makes them more productive in the long run. And the more effective your personnel are, the more money your clients invest.

Putting your employees in a cubicle wouldn’t work anymore in this day and age.

The overall decor of the workplace has a tremendous impact on people’s attitudes, creativity, and inspiration. You wouldn’t be surprised if you asked your staff about their ideal workplace, and the majority of them said Google or Facebook. These businesses have considered design trends and combined them with the creativity of their personnel. As a result, Facebook was recently awarded the greatest workplace of 2018, while Googleplex is the gold standard for IT campuses.

2. Fresh Designs Attract the Best Talents and Clients

Your office is the face of your company. It is where your employees work and your clients put their investments. With this said, you wouldn’t want people coming into the office and being turned off by how boring the place is.

Redesigning the office to become dynamic and vibrant adds to its overall appeal. It caters to creativity and inspiration for not just your current employees and clients but also those who aspire to be your future employees and clients.

Giving employees a nice spot to unwind and chat with coworkers can raise morale and ready them to travel. Spaces like these might be used for impromptu discussions that generate fresh ideas without the confines of a conference room. Lastly, when applicants see how your office fit-out nourishes people, they’ll say, “I want to work here.”

3. Less is more

The times have changed, and the era of large furniture has gone. Today, space is a precious commodity that no one dares ignore. By investing in the organized use of space, you can avoid wasting your company’s hard-earned money on things that aren’t needed.

Cubicles and dividers are a thing of the past. Sure, they provide privacy, but it blocks communication between your employees. It eats up space meant for interaction and makes the workplace feel like a prison—and in all honesty, that would be the worst-case scenario.

Having a design that can change with your employees’ demands can make them better and your firm more flexible.

In the end, it’s not just about the income anymore. One of the most important things you can do to help your business succeed is to ensure your employees enjoy coming to work. After all, the workplace is essentially the body of your business. It’s best to pay close attention to taking care of it. Eventually, you will reap the rewards—yes, that includes a reasonable return on your investment.

To help you decide if it’s time to give your office fit-out a do-over, please see SDW’s case studies and be inspired by what we can do for you.

Interior Fit-Out Design Tips to Motivate Employees

Interior office. It goes by different names: gray hell, the box, and Alcatraz. But it doesn’t necessarily have to stay that way. The concept of interior fit-out design allows business owners to re-imagine the design and build of their establishments. Make them more conducive for their employees and make their work lives more enjoyable.


Take Google, for example. They have created some of the most creative, unique, and fun workspaces, and the outcome of their work’s creation is still vital to this day. Indeed, their interior fit-out designs have significantly impacted today’s architecture and construction scene, and many other contractors have followed the trend. In doing so, it improved the lives of its employees by leaps and bounds. Take note of these interior fit-out design tips to motivate your employees.


1. Greenery and Natural Lighting


biophilic design


Humans naturally desire to be connected with nature—biophilia, as scientists call it. It would only make sense to let in natural light and add something green to the place humans spend their time; for most adults, that place would be the office.

There have been numerous studies that have proven the positive effects of biophilic design in the workspace. Here are some benefits of having plants near the workstation:

Reduces stress

In 2010, the new University of Technology in Sydney did a study that found that adding plants to the workplace made people feel much less stressed. Results included:

  • A 37% fall in reported tension and anxiety.
  • A 58% drop in depression or melancholy.
  • A 44% decrease in anger and hostility.
  • A 38% reduction in fatigue.
Increases productivity

According to 2014 research from the University of Exeter, employees’ productivity increases by 15% when previously ‘lean’ work settings are filled with just a handful of houseplants.

Reduces sickness and absence rates

Some experts argue that adding plants to the work environment can help to reduce the risk of sick building syndrome. Symptoms of sick building syndrome get worse the longer a person stays in a particular building and eventually gets better after they leave.

Cleans the air

 It is worth remembering that nature works miracles daily. Plants employ photosynthesis to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into food and oxygen. Every day, your staff could breathe clean air without spending a dime.

2. Maximize space



flexible office space design


Every square inch of an establishment costs money. Thus it is prudent to utilize every corner of the office. But it does not imply that you should load the nooks and crannies with useless items; instead, it suggests that you should maximize the available space. 

Here are some solutions to help you accomplish this:

Let there be light

Your office may not have a lot of equipment, but having ample lighting is enough to make it look bigger. Adding more windows that allow natural light to come in may do the trick. It is also known to raise alertness and productivity levels.

Veer away from heavy furniture

Oversized dark-colored furniture may trick the eyes into believing that space is smaller than it is.

Remain flexible

Instead of building concrete walls, use movable dividers or folding partitions to transform your office space. You can also use collapsible or portable tables, desks, and chairs. This way, you can freely use the same pieces of furniture for other functions when needed. With this, you can transform a double-room space into a bigger single room perfect for a small team to conduct collaborative meetings.

Go vertical

There are plenty of ways you can save space by filing your documents. Offices that feature ample wall space make use of a vertical filing system, in particular, to allow for optimal utilization of that wall space.

3. Clutter-Free 
minimalist office design


Your office is a sanctuary, a holy place where you’ve invested your life’s work. You can’t allow it to become cluttered. Otherwise, your employees will feel uneasy, or worse, someone could get hurt in an accident. Here are some office hacks to keep the workspace clutter-free and maintain the aesthetics of your interior fit-out design:

  • Make space for a multitasking message board.
  • Create an order with drawer organizers and use the color coding on your files.
  • Corral messy cables or go cord-free.
  • Divide your office into task-related work zones for maximum efficiency.
  • Set up a paper-processing station.
  • Schedule regular maintenance.
4. Quality Furniture


quality office furniture

Like any remodeling project, upgrades are necessary to achieve better results. You wouldn’t need to replace everything, but adding quality materials to your office is one way to make your employees feel appreciated. Replacing their old desks and chairs with fine tables and comfortable seats would go a long way in setting the right mood in the workplace.

Spending ample resources to get higher-quality furniture will be worth every penny in the long run. Boring office furniture tends to make employees lazy and uninspired. It also results in people feeling irritated and clumsy by the mountains of work on their desks. Being surrounded by boring furniture, individuals often lose interest in work, affecting their productivity significantly.

5. Cozy Lobby


lobby interior design


Your office lobby can also be called the ‘face’ of your company. It’s the first thing that greets first-time visitors, interested applicants, and employees to begin their day. Making the interior fit-out design of the lobby as excellent and as welcoming as possible is imperative.

If you’re a visitor to a company, the last thing you want is a chilly and dull lobby. If you’re a job applicant, it will help if the waiting area is less tense and has comfortable seats. You won’t want to see the same cold and monotonous hall every day if you’re an employee. You wouldn’t want people to think these things when they first set foot in your office. After all, first impressions do last, so there is no need to hold back in designing your lobby.

There you have it. With these tips in your arsenal, your office space will be a wonderland for your employees. They may even get the word out and recommend your company to their peers, and new applicants would swarm in. Your visitors would be impressed that they may finally sign that contract with you. Investing in designing or redesigning your office fit-out would prove to be very beneficial in one way or another.

Do you find interior design interesting? Contact us for a consultation with our professional interior designer. You can also click here to see our portfolio.