Warehouses generally come as a basic shell with essential facilities i.e. kitchens and toilets, the business that takes the premises on will need to fit out the internal space for their operational requirements. This would need to cover all the functions like manufacturing, production, storage, and, supporting administrative departments such as purchasing, sales, marketing etc. It might be that a company is just expanding and requires more office space to grow specific departments or teams. Creating offices can provide that much-needed additional space for growing administrative needs such as inventory management, order processing, showrooms, and meeting rooms, whilst minimising disruption to day-to-day operations. Whatever the reasons for wanting to add that office space to your warehouse there are a few things that need to be considered first.
How to create a new office in your warehouse
There are a variety of ways to create a new office space in a warehouse setting that will depend on the area being considered, the purpose, desired finish, and the budget. These different types can be fully tailored to your space and needs. Almost all partition walls are temporary and removable, giving you the flexibility to relocate them and reinstall them should you move buildings or adapt the layout.
Using partition walls, you can section off specific parts of a building to create multiple rooms or spaces. Offering a quick and cost-effective option to transform a warehouse to meet a business’s requirements. A key consideration to a room-build is enclosing the space, this is to provide acoustic and thermal insulation, lighting, heating, cooling, and/or ventilation as well as the ability to conceal all these services. This is most commonly done by installing a suspended ceiling also known as a drop ceiling or false ceiling that is hung from the roof or floor above.
For more about partitioning solutions for offices check out our blog on the type of partition wall that works best for offices.
A mezzanine floor is great for adding extra office space while freeing up the ground floor for manufacturing, production, or storage. Offices can be built on top or underneath a mezzanine floor and with enough headroom a mezzanine can have multiple stories, allowing for each level to be designed to meet different requirements. Whether that be offices to the underside or on top, and storage on the other, there is double the floor area to work with. Connected by staircases from the floor, a mezzanine can be one of the best ways to utilise available space, creating that much-needed floor area to add the necessary office space, meeting and break-out rooms, restrooms, canteens, or even kitchen areas for staff to relax in whilst on breaks. More information about office mezzanines can be found in our blog.
More permanent options would include remodeling the internal of the warehouse by building walls and fitting it out like a new build, this is not always feasible if especially if you don’t own the building. Also, if changes impact the building’s exterior it will require more complicated planning permission and is likely to be much more expensive.
Considerations when planning to add an office space inside a warehouse
Some of the elements that need to be considered when deciding on what you want from your space are related to the design, including how the office is going to be utilised. Future-proofing your installation will mean considering how the business is likely to expand and change over the coming months and years. Whether you want to create the potential for growth in terms of usable spaces without impacting your storage, manufacturing, or production potential – which are generally key drivers to a company achieving its objectives.
The first thing to consider is the available space for your office installation. A modular office on the ground floor of the warehouse will take up potentially valuable manufacturing or production space and if you need to be able to observe operations on the warehouse floor, it might be that a partitioned office doesn’t give the viewing angles you need. If floor space is a premium, then you might lean towards a mezzanine option so that the office can be raised up – keeping that ground floor area free for functional workspace.
Heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC)
The indoor environment where your teams can work or hold client meetings is crucial to their comfort and performance. Factoring in how the room will be heated, cooled, and potentially ventilated is key to providing those optimum climates. Especially in warehouses, as they are notoriously large spaces that are not necessarily well insulated, creating those enclosed spaces where you can maintain the temperature and air quality is essential. It will also help to keep energy bills down, as maintaining temperatures in insulated rooms means that the heat is retained in winter, and not lost when the large roller doors are opened. HVAC systems will be more effective and efficient when the space they are heating, cooling, or ventilating is designed to maximise thermal efficiency.
Factoring in the external noise from the manufacturing, production, or general warehouse activity is important for your team’s focus and comfort. Partitioned offices or a mezzanine office fit out will be designed to provide acoustic insulation that combats those disruptive or distracting background noises, making a quieter and more pleasant space for your workforce. Deciding on the level of insulation is something a supplier will discuss with you in more detail to achieve the noise reduction required.
It is a good idea to consider the materials that will be used for your installation in the design stage of the new office. Some materials will be cheaper and easier to fit, although you may wish to pay a little more to make a statement, such as glass facades that create a more aesthetic and design-driven feel. This could be important in spaces that clients are coming into as it will give a more welcoming and quality appearance to your business. Also, if an office is likely to be for seeing more clients face-to-face then a sleek, professional look is going to be more impressive for a first appearance.
Permits and regulations
Office installations within a warehouse may be subject to building and fire safety regulations, as well as several health and safety guidelines. These can seem bewildering to the uninitiated, but the right supplier will help with navigating the minefield of regulations and permissions. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, 2005 includes requirements for fire risk assessments, fire detection and alarm systems, as well as emergency escape routes and firefighting equipment. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 lays out the duties of employers to ensure the health and safety of employees in the design, construction and maintenance of the buildings amongst other things.
Why choose Advantage for your office installation in your warehouse
Advantage has over 25 years experience in the design, supply and installation of office fit outs. Helping bring our customer’s visions to life. Whether your space requires partitioning or a mezzanine floor, we will work with you to create the best solution for your business. From the first meeting to discuss your requirements and view your site, through to final surveys – where we take precise measurements – and the installation where the project comes together. We work closely with you throughout the process to deliver your solution on time and within budget. Our fit out service brings everything under one roof even down to the furniture, allowing us to deliver projects with maximum efficiency and with minimum disruption to your business.