Now more than ever, we are witnessing the office environment become increasingly flexible in terms of space, location, and aesthetic. In recent years there has been a shift away from the traditional concepts of purpose-built buildings and the adoption of more open-minded ideas of what a functioning office could look like.
In gentrifying suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, old, inhabited warehouses are in abundance. What once would’ve been thriving industrial spaces now makes the perfect blank canvas location for a new office fit out.
With the right design and space planning, a warehouse office can provide a multitude of benefits for your team and company. From improving employee productivity to cultivating a rich culture, and a unique aesthetic, warehouse-to-office is the next big thing in commercial fit outs.
Gone are the days of cold, dark concrete warehouses. Now warehouse-converted-offices can feature meeting rooms, break out spaces, booths, feature lights, and walls, as well as ample open and flexible space.
If you are considering remodeling an old industrial warehouse to a creative office space, what are the steps you need to consider? We’ve put together our 3 top tips to ensure you create a workplace that’s fit for purpose, versatile, and provides all the facilities to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction.
Warehouses weren’t originally designed to meet the requirements and logistical features an office needs; that’s not to say they can’t be converted! To ensure your warehouse is compliant as an office, you will need to re-zone and have the space re-classified from a Class-7 to a Class-5A.
Don’t worry, though; this is where the experts come in. Town planners, building surveyors, local councils, and traffic management will work hand in hand with your designers to ensure the space is fit for purpose and meets all relevant, compliant, and code regulations.
2. Building Architecture
Warehouses have existing architectural features and frameworks, for example, high ceilings, large windows, columns, and open floor space. For a successful warehouse to office conversion, the building’s structure needs to be altered to fit the requirements of an office while retaining the defining warehouse characteristics. Plaster walls need to be considered to create separate rooms, divide the floor space, and ensure there is an entrance/ reception area.
Originally warehouses were designed to store large items, usually with minimal (5 – 10) people in the space and no end-of-trip facilities. This means bathrooms, showers, and amenities need to be completely redesigned and satisfy the space’s new occupancy numbers.
Arguably one of the most critical structural elements your business needs to consider for a warehouse-office conversion is acoustics. Traditionally warehouses weren’t built to support acoustics, making the original structure impractical for the modern office. However, the ability to start from scratch on a blank canvas can be exciting. You have the flexibility to design and develop the perfect acoustics for your business needs, for example, private meeting spaces versus open floor working areas.
To ensure a sound and safe office space while altering structural elements, the team at Concept engages with structural engineers and consultants, guaranteeing safety for the team on-site and the long-term safety of the building and future tenants.
3. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning)
Warehouses generally are built to house objects, with tin roofs and little insulation. This means it is imperative your redesign includes the correct heating, ventilation and air-conditioning solutions are in place to provide comfort and well-being for staff and visitors alike.
Temperature control and adequate HVAC systems may seem minor, but the wrong office climate can negatively affect employee productivity. When people are too cold or too warm, it alters their mood and impacts their working behaviors. Therefore, to ensure staff has optimum comfort levels and emotional satisfaction in their environment, sufficient HVAC is a high priority.
Purpose-built offices are no longer the only environment fit for a ‘successful’ business.
The authenticity and character that converting old warehouses to an office can bring to the workplace is something a modern day office building can’t compete with. One of our favourite projects completed last year by the Concept was a converted warehouse into a buzzing (no pun intended) co-working space called The Hive in Collingwood.
When planning your warehouse-office conversion project, it is essential you not only focus on the design and aesthetic of the space but understand the complexities involved and seek trusted professionals that can guide you for a seamless conversion.
Keen to know more? Get in touch with our team today to discuss the next steps for your conversion project at firstname.lastname@example.org.