Predicting future growth within an organisation can be challenging. Failing to establish the potential for growth within a building can be catastrophic.
Limiting factors of occupation are critical when it comes to understanding how well a property can support the functions and growth of a business. Whilst some of these factors can be overcome by financial investment and potentially costly design solutions, such as additional fresh air and toilet provisions, other factors, such as emergency escape provisions within a building are insurmountable challenges.
The Workplace Strategy specifically identifies the minimum acceptable limiting factors of occupation for an organisation’s relocation. This analysis can significantly reduce time spent viewing, appraising and negotiating on properties that simply do not support and match with an organisations requirements.
THE LIMITING FACTORS:
Fresh Air Provision
Modern buildings are designed to provide their occupants with fresh air at a rate of 10 litres per second, per person. This is a statutory minimum for modern buildings that do not possess open-able windows. For older building stock the statutory minimum drops to 8 litres. On the basis that most properties are designed to a minimum of 1 person per 10m2, your Workplace Expert is able to depict the maximum permissible headcount according to fresh air restrictions. Supplementary fresh air is often provided, sometimes to a rate of 12 litres, which, when calculated back to a minimum provision of 10 litres per second, allows increased occupancy.
Increasing fresh air provisions to increase headcount can be a costly exercise and is dependent upon Landlord and often Planning Approval. Understanding what levels of fresh air are required to suit your project brief, prior to searching for property is invaluable.
Emergency Escape Paths
One factor which is rarely overcome is that presented by emergency escape paths through a property. Building Control will place restrictions on headcount dependent upon staircase widths, door openings, the number of escape staircases and the fire evacuation procedure for the property.
Building Control place restrictions on total headcount dependent upon the allocation of WCs. Whilst additional facilities can be added to allow increases to headcount, invariably these are costly to install and absorb premium office space.
For many organisations the assessment of their power requirements is simply never undertaken. This can be a critical factor in assessing how appropriate a property is to cater for future growth. For financial institutions that possess trading floors, selecting properties that provide appropriate power requirements, as well as back up facilities such as dual power feeds and generator provisions, can significantly reduce the cost of their fit-out.
Maris Interiors LLP is the UK’s leading specialist in workplace consultancy, workplace optimisation, office design, office refurbishment, office fit-out and office relocation. Maris design and create world class working environments for occupiers throughout the UK and continental Europe. The Maris team of experts has extensive and in-depth knowledge of how good office design and fit-out can substantially improve business performance, save vast amounts of money and help retain and attract key people.
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