Retrofitting Your Office or Company’s Space: Some Basics You Should Know
If you are involved in retro-fitting your office or refurbishing an office space, you will benefit greatly if you use the design skills of a commercial office designer – someone who is well-versed in managing both small and large spaces and has a good eye for design. In any good design, form follows function. Therefore, you need to make use of a professional designer who uses this approach if you want your office to run with streamlined efficiency.
When retrofitting the design of the office, you need to consider first how you want each area or space to be used. Are your current areas being used with optimum efficiency? What about your furnishings? Are they too bulky? Could they be condensed? Today, laptop desks are available for all technologically upgraded office spaces.
Opening up Space for Use
For example, you can utilise laptop desks that can be folded when they are not in use. This convenient furnishing can be stored when you want to open up space, say, for an activity that involves brainstorming or a similar group-oriented pursuit.
However, adding the furnishings is a minor consideration when retro-fitting an office space. You need to remember that, in order to practice sustainability, the construction or retrofit should be designed to recycle, reuse and/or reduce waste. You do not necessarily have to start from scratch either when you are building green. Retrofitting a building offers a variety of opportunities for a company to save energy, money and natural resources.
Maximising Your Work Area
Retrofitting a building can end up being a high-standing environmental accomplishment with the latest in green product designs. Accepted green retro-fitting today includes the addition of high-efficiency HVAC and the use of daylight harvesting. Painting walls with low-VOC paints is also a regular practice. Therefore, the work of today’s commercial office designer is recognised as a role that is responsible for the maximum allocation of space and utilisation of sustainable products. Designers who retrofit offices today often incorporate daylight harvesting and movable wall systems into an original building’s design.
Maybe you have chosen to refurbish an office for future expansion. You can save on the expense of new construction projects by retrofitting a commercial building that is available for sale or lease. Open your mind to the innovative solutions that are profiled by interior design companies in London such as Oktra. Vacant commercial real estate that may have previously served as retail or manufacturing spaces can be retrofitted to create shared-use offices and regular office designs.
Sometimes it is better to look at the bones of a building that is already available, taking into account the zoning, parking and utilities – all of which can save you time with respect to obtaining permits or undertaking property inspections.
Making plans for a retrofit can assist you in scrutinising a building’s structure. Select a building that suits your requirements and style and that needs less in the way of reconstruction. Work with a designer to retro-fit the place so everything “fits” into place, including building exits, restrooms, entrances, HVAC, and ceiling height. You might consider adding cabling or wires within demountable-type walls or raised flooring too. A designer can show you how a space can be used and optimised.
If you are planning a retrofit, it is important to include your employees in the decisions you make with respect to refurbishment. After all, your employees have to work in the space as well. Therefore, it is imperative that you gain their input about your ideas and the concepts initiated by your design firm. For example, if you plan to retro-fit a warehouse space, your staff can provide a good amount of insight to help you gain the most in terms of functionality and process optimisation.
In this situation, you want to find out from employees what specific features would improve the workplace, what equipment is working and what can be reused or added to help them do their jobs. If you gain input from your employees in this phase of the design process, you can save a lot of time and money.
When you retrofit a building or office with the existing elements, you have the latitude to work with a variety of wall systems, partitions and frames. These wall-type structures can be used to expand workstations, including demountable glass. When moveable wall systems are used, they not only serve to complement the aesthetics of a space, they also reduce both expense and waste.
If you wish to update the textures and colours on your walls, then you might consider the use of low VOC paint on breeze blocks or gypsum. Outdated upholstery on old office furniture can also be replaced by recycled materials and new panels of upholstery. The cost of lighting can also be reduced by making use of natural lighting through the installation of energy-efficient solutions such as LED lighting and glass walls.
If you need to alter the lighting layout, consider reusing the old lighting fixtures in the space if possible. From the doors and the office walls to the plumbing and lighting fixtures, retro-fitted buildings that use the existing elements in an office save on landfill waste and give the office a whole new look.
Today, retro-fitting is a sustainable alternative that companies can use to make the most of an office or commercial real estate that is standing empty and ready to use. If a retrofit is in your future, depend on your employees’ input about the new design and consult with a design firm that is well-versed in retrofitting and refurbishment.
Don’t leave anything to chance. If you want to make the most of your office’s or facility’s design, you need to involve your staff and a good design firm to allocate the best use of the space and furnishings that are available to you. You need to make use of the input you receive from your employees and the designer who is working on your remodelling.
“Retro-fitting” is a buzzword in the field of commercial design. If you want to improve your office’s set-up and increase employee motivation, retrofitting is a buzz word you won’t want to ignore.
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