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Office design tips from the RIBA Product Selector Blog – asking the right questions early on

One of our top space saving tips for architects working in an office environment is to make sure they’re asking the right questions about storage requirements at the very start of each project.

Here we look at what you need to think about and the potential consequences of not considering your storage options early on.

At the start of any office design plan, architects should be working closely with their clients to find out a range of factors that will help them make informed decisions regarding the workspace layout and storage solutions that best meet the company’s requirements.

The issues to think about include:

  • How many people will be using the office and how will they be using the space?
  • Open plan working?
  • Individually assigned desks?
  • Is a hot desk policy in use?
  • What type of work is being carried out? How much space needs to be allocated for each worker?
  • How do people travel to work?
  • Is a cycle-to-work scheme in place to encourage environmental sustainability?
  • Is this something the organisation may want to do in the future?
  • If so will a changing room with lockers and bench seating be required to securely and tidily accommodate backpacks and helmets?
  • What materials do employees need for daily tasks? Where will this be stored when not in use?
  • Where will they store live files and work in progress, especially if there is a clean desk policy in place?
  • What are the filing requirements of the company? If they have to file a great deal of records can you offer a space saving workaround?

Failure to plan effectively at the design phase can lead to costly workaround solutions needing to be implemented at the latter stages of the project when it comes to adding storage facilities, because a column or stairwell will be protruding into available space.

Not only can this make the installation run over budget, it often means missed deadlines and results in awkward conversations with key stakeholders. But more than this, thinking pragmatically about your storage options at the beginning of the project can actually mean you end up increasing the office’s overall storage capacity without detracting from the space needed for other uses, by using innovative solutions like mobile shelving or rotary filing units.

We offer a comprehensive free space planning service where one of our experts will talk you through the storage options available and suggest which ones might be best for the your current project. Call us on 0800 169 5151 to find out more.

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