Things to Consider when Renovating an Older Space for Today’s Modern Office

Contributor: Swinerton Blogger   |   January 22, 2016
Things to Consider when Renovating an Older Space for Today’s Modern Office

In this first installment of a two-part series, Swinerton shares key insight and considerations when renovating an older space in today’s high-tech world.

Collaborative open-office floor plans, huddle rooms, teleconferencing capabilities—all features of today’s modern office requirements—can be a challenge to achieve when renovating an older building. But with foresight and understanding, a design and construction team can easily overcome these situations to deliver a space appealing to varying generations of workers.

Many older spaces were built in configurations dominated by hard walled offices. Though the size of systems furniture workspaces is shrinking, the quantity of the people in these spaces is increasing. This situation warrants more electrical power; and it seems these days that a project can never have too much power. 

Older buildings renovated into new layouts usually need structural enhancements to support extra weight and additional electrical panels to satisfy power needs. HVAC loads increase as more people and technology occupy a building, which often calls for additional mechanical equipment or re-configuring existing equipment to maintain environmental comfort. Tenants with significant data center functions may even demand installation of their own redundancy infrastructure to meet back-up power and cooling demands.

Concerns for Building Owners and Investors
Many times older buildings lack the infrastructure necessary for the amount of people and utilities that correspond with current workplace trends.  It would behoove building owners to consider parking ratios, increased usage of elevators and restrooms, and challenges to the building systems equipment if their building is not designed for new density loads. Upgrading these base building elements can certainly make an older building more attractive to tenants seeking spaces in which their employees can be collaborative
and productive.