How to design a mechanical workshop: functions, spaces arrangement and a practical example to use
This week’s focus article will cover the main concepts that characterize the design of a mechanical workshop and include a practical example of a render produced with a professional software for architects and engineers.
Download the project file immediately to inspire your next project..
..and the trial version of Edificius, the architectural BIM design software used to produce the render examples.
Mechanical workshop layout planning
The quality of a work environment has a significant influence on its efficiency, productivity and satisfaction of operators and customers. For this reason, designing an optimal working environment requires in-depth studies and, particularly, when it comes to mechanical workshop layout planning, it’s fundamental to follow key principles regarding dimensions, fittings and spatial arrangements.
Primarily, designing a mechanical workshop means guaranteeing a comfortable and safe environment, both for workers and for customers and complying with all the technical standards required. Hence, a state-of-the-art mechanical workshop must be equipped with all the approved equipment or the best possible solutions, in terms of machinery and furniture.
The designer must carefully assess all the operations that will be carried out within the work environment, so as to reproduce a technological and design project that enhances workplace quality and productivity.
During the planning phase, it’s important to examine the different areas ivolved, which definitely influence the spatial conformation in terms of shape, size and environment organization. For example, regarding safety of the workplace you need to take into account where to plan a waste disposal area.
What are other the other aspects to consider? How to correctly start planning a mechanical workshop responding to the current construction standards?
To design a mechanical workshop, it is necessary to organize spaces in such a way as to guarantee the correct performance of the “mechatronic” activities (mechanic-motorist and electrician) or include additional spaces where further activities are to be carried out.
These are the main functional areas of a mechanical workshop:
auto repair shop: car lift area | workbench area;
offices/customer service area: reception | wc |offices;
employees’ area: changing room | wc |showers |lunch break area;
warehouse: spare parts | tyres;
waste storage: tyres area | batteries area | waste oil collection;
other service operations: M.O.T. | painting area.
As previously mentioned, an optimal mechanical workshop layout planning must firstly identify the functions for which the various environments are intended. In this way is it possible to proceed to a correct environment sizing and organization.
In addition to space sizing, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the materials to be used for surfaces, as well as the organization of services that must be guaranteed to employees in order to improve working conditions.
- floor, walls and ceiling surfaces must be made of materials that can be easily cleaned guaranteeing adequate hygiene conditions;
- to avoid unpleasant inconveniences, the premises floors must be fixed, stable and non-slip as well as free from protuberances, cavities or dangerous inclined surfaces;
- the floor must have a joint, waterproof surface and a sufficient slope to rapidly collect liquids towards a discharge points in environments where putrescible or other liquid substances usually fall to the ground;
- environment floors and walls that are used for processing, handling and storing of flammable, explosive, corrosive or infectious materials must consent in certain conditions an easily and complete removal of dangerous or harmful materials;
- windows, skylights and ventilation devices must easily be opened, closed, adjusted and fixed by workers in complete safety;
- traffic routes must be highlighted to ensure workers safety;
- barriers must be arranged to avoid collisions in front of the premises exits and machines transit ways;
- workplaces must be designed so that, in case of danger, they can be quickly evacuated and in full safety for workers;
- emergency routes and exits must have a minimum height of 2 m, minimum width compliant with current fire regulations (generally 1.20 m) and opening outwards;
- sliding doors, roller shutters and revolving doors on a central axis are not permitted in repair or storage sectors, when there are no other emergency exit doors;
- gas, vapours, smells or fumes extraction must be the closest possible to the area where they are produced;
- changing rooms must have sufficient capacity, also be as close as possible to the work area and ventilated, well lighted, heated during the cold season as well as equipped with seats;
- changing rooms must be equipped to store workers’ clothes during working hours.
A practical example of mechanical workshop layout drawing
In our example we will proceed to design a mechanical workshop organizing it in macro-areas, that are subdivided in sectors according to different functions.
Starting off from the workshop entrance, located in the south part of the building, we have identified the repair area with car lifts (inserted in special marked areas), work benches and various machinery. On the left side we have chosen to place rooms intended for customer service (waiting room, toilets, office with toilet).
Next, we have positioned the revisions area connecting to (but not adjoining) the tyres and spare parts warehouse and the hazardous and non-hazardous waste deposits.
On the opposite side to the entrance we have designed the employees changing rooms, with toilets and showers. They can be accessed with a separate entrance, to guarantee employees a clean route both when entering and leaving the premises.
Finally, easily washable cements and plasters surface materials were used to guarantee the best hygienic conditions and to avoid that dangerous substances could persist for a long time, increasing risks for employees’ health and safety.