Commercial Design

5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Designing Their Offices

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5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Designing Their Offices
5 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Designing Their Offices

Planning for the correct amount of storage

Understand what you are storing, why you are storing it and make sure it’s not just a catch all place for all the indecisions your staff make. Storage is too often used to conceal clutter. Effective storage creates efficiencies while creating an environment that is both esthetically appealing and practical.  Different storage solutions can provide time saving functionality that boosts productivity and frees up space for other office uses.

Getting employee input

The right office design will help make your business run better.

Involve employees in deciding how the space will look and feel. Employees often have insights into what an operation needs and may have that wasn’t obvious before but may prove valuable. Their involvement in decision-making gives them a voice in something meaningful which increases engagement and improves performance.

Talk to your employees and ask how the old space has worked. Which features have been good or bad, and why do they feel that way? Don’t assume the old layout is necessarily the best to help drive business. Also consider letting employees name common areas such as conference rooms. That way, they can put their stamp on the space.

If you have the time and resources, consider setting up some common work areas, each decorated in one of the color schemes most popular among employees. They can then try the different settings to see how they feel about them.

Besides giving employees a voice in the new office’s aesthetics, encourage them to discuss practicalities, too. Ask for a wish list of items for the new space, such as a coffee bar or certain type of storage, which could help make work a better place to be.

Plan for growth

It’s hard to know the future. Often, we are planning to grow, but just how much, how many more staff and what’s the time frame.

When you’re designing your office with growth in mind, it’s important to look at ways in which space can be reconfigured to accommodate differing team sizes. 

It’s crucial to incorporate adaptable, flexible spaces into your present office design. These spaces can be used for ad-hoc meetings or general relaxation areas for existing staff but can also be re purposed as more formal workspace when necessary or for events and presentations.

Think carefully about your office furniture too. Once you have invested all your money in your latest technology or spent a fortune on the best talent, it might be tempting to skimp on the furniture budget. 

Not enough open and/or private spaces

One of the most significant decisions in developing a company’s culture relates to the division of office space. Open space, division into offices, team-based division, mixed offices, a small or a big kitchen – each one of these decisions will affect the way the company functions.

In theory, an open space office sounds like a great idea – an open atmosphere, accessibility for everyone and, of course, an optimal utilization of space. Most open spaces are usually quite noisy and are not that conducive to actual discussions. Many people are easily distracted by every phone call, joke or noise around them.

Acoustics

New open concept designs are often filled with hard surfaces like polished concrete, open ceilings and lots of glass, that give a wonderful open feeling to spaces. But there is downside – increased noise levels.

When noise enters the workspace, creativity and productivity go out the window.  That’s why manufactures of office furniture have thrown themselves into designing elements that limit and absorb excessive noise, creating pleasant workspaces that improve performance. The trend for open-plan designs, particularly in new workspaces, has put sound at the forefront of design.

Another way of combating noise in new open-plan workspaces is by incorporating dividing elements which provide privacy and encourage concentration.  There are different wall panels which offer solutions that provide contemporary designs with the possibility of personalization, as well as improving acoustics.  From acoustical wall treatments to innovative furniture options there are many innovative solutions to improving the sound levels in any office environment.


D.J. McGauley & Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of Choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If a renovation or relocation of your 2,000 – 25,000 sq.ft. office space is in your plans, contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

D.J. McGauley & Associates’ Newly Redesigned Website

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Newly Redesigned Website for D.J. McGauley & Associates
D.J. McGauley & Associates’ Newly Redesigned Website.

So What’s New?

Our new website has a clean uncluttered design, improved functionality and enhanced content.

Highlights include:

We welcome your feedback and would love to hear from you.  Call 416-239-1931 or email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com

•    Please note we also offer short term and long term, secured storage solutions. Whether you are short of space or need to remove content temporarily during construction we have secure, temperature controlled storage solutions at competitive rates.
•    Ask us about a new or used furniture solution. We have access to a wide range of suppliers for every budget range.

Going Green – Striving for Commercial Building Sustainability

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“Going green” has been a buzz phrase since the late 1970’s. For some, “Going green” meant the old adage “reduce, reuse, recycle”. By the turn of the 21st century, there became a growing interest in using renewable energy (i.e. Solar, wind, natural gas, etc). However, from a developer’s perspective, “going green” has become an aggressive goal to increase sustainability of their structures before, during and after construction without undermining the integrity or stability of the surrounding natural resources or ecology.

Making “Every Building Greener” is the vision and heartbeat of the Canada Green Building Council, the Canadian issuers of the internationally recognized Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. Some of the strategies they encourage commercial developers to employ include the following:

During the design & construction phase, “Going Green” would include strategies such as
incorporating greenhouse or garden roofs to help reduce carbon emissions, and restoring or creating gardens around the parameter of the building
large windows for light emission at the design stage
recycling of building materials during the construction stage in order to minimize the exhausting of natural resources to create building materials and reduce “waste” materials going into landfills
the use of renewable energy resources such as Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) cells along the outside of the building to capture solar energy to offset the use of main stream electricity
During the interior design and construction stage, “Going Green” strategies could include
constructing the interior layout to maximize natural light emission throughout each floor
utilizing energy efficient light bulbs and light sensors to automatically dim or brighten lights based on the amount of natural light coming into the building
utilizing high thermal mass insulation in ceilings and walls to help minimize the energy used for heating and cooling
installing water-saving toilets
installing living walls or indoor garden areas to control carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality
For Building Operations & Maintenance, “Going Green” strategies would include
keeping the building clean
ensuring comfortable temperature for tenants
encouraging the “reduce, reuse, recycle” programs by providing clearly marked containers throughout the building for waste and recyclable materials
ensuring all replacement materials are either energy efficient, or made from recycled materials
Besides being environmentally responsible, developers that have made it a priority to “go green” have seen their utility costs go down. One company estimates that its water and energy reductions alone have saved $40 million. Outside of the savings, these companies have attracted top quality tenants and employees, and thus have seen their vacancy rates decrease. If that is not an incentive enough to consider “going green”, then I don’t know what is.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Ask us about our asset management services!

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

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References:

Wikipedia, “Sustainable Development”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development

Canada Green Building Council, Greater Toronto Chapter, “Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) Industry Development Initiative”, http://www.cagbctoronto.org/initiatives/building-integrated-photovoltaic-bipv-industry-development-initiative

Wilcox, D., Property Biz Canada, “CF Trumpets Global Leadership in Corporate Responsibility Report”, April 4, 2017, https://renx.ca/cadillac-fairview-trumpets-global-leadership/

Wikipedia, “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_in_Energy_and_Environmental_Design

Key Words: Going Green, Energy , building

Tags: LEED, Canada Green Building Council, Facility Maintenance, Sustainability, Commercial Building, construction

Could Leasing Office Space in a LEED-CERTIFIED and/or BOMA BESt building be better for your bottom line?

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20130722_C8835_PHOTO_EN_29185Protecting the environment and Going Green have been ongoing fads, particularly within the last decade. Some companies have made it their mission to be environmentally responsible and publicize this intent in order to appeal to current and potential clients that share the same enthusiasm of going green. Government programs like Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program were even established to incentivize the increased use of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, waterpower, biomass, etc.) for home owners, building owners, and businesses in general aiming to use renewable energy sources to power their operations while tying into the grid…the results of which are apparently paying off. But what about organizations that lease office space? Will leasing office space in a building that is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and/or BOMA BESt (Building Owners and Managers Association Building Environment Standards) certified be better for you, the lessee’s (i.e. tenant’s), bottom line?

Well, a recent investigation reveals that tenants of LEED-CERTIFIED buildings can experience – at least indirectly– some positive effects towards their bottom line in three areas:

Productivity – LEED-CERTIFIED office buildings are generally designed to have larger windows, more open spaces, and significantly better air quality compared to non-certified buildings. For the tenant, this translates to increased comfort, increased brain (innovative and creative) activity, a happier environment and better working spaces for employees, which in turn translates into increased productivity. Ch-Ching!

 

Marketability & Image Reinforcement – Tenants that market themselves as being socially responsible to the environment would only strengthen their position by being in an LEED-CERTIFIED building. When clientele visiting the office sees that the building they are entering is LEED-CERTIFIED, it will send a subconscious message to their brain that your company is likely to be trustworthy because it is consistent with the image set forth in its marketing strategy, one that stands by what it says and believes. More trust means ease in closing of sales leading to potentially more business with existing clients, or referrals leading to growth with new clients. Ch-Ching!

 

Costs – I would be remiss if I did not address costs. LEED-CERTIFIED office buildings save millions of dollars in energy consumption on an annual basis. For tenants, this could translate into lower utility costs per square foot if utilities are somehow treated separately from the actual lease rates within a lease agreement. As for the lease rates themselves, recent studies have shown that lease rates for office spaces in LEED-certified buildings are currently higher than in similar non-certified buildings simply because their unique sustainability increases the overall market value of the building. However, demand for more green-friendly or sustainable commercial properties means that LEED-CERTIFIED and BOMA BESt certified buildings will eventually become the standard for all commercial office buildings, thus the competition to attract and retain the best tenants may result in lease rates eventually declining.

Leasing an office space that is LEED-CERTIFIED and/or BOMA BESt certified has its benefits. Whether direct or indirect, large or small, even a tenant’s bottom line can experience a positive impact on its bottom line when leasing in an LEED-CERTIFIED building.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form

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References:

IESO, Ontario Power Authority, FIT Program, http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca/fit-program

Fergusen, Robert, Multibriefs Exclusive Content, Benefits of LEED certification for Business Headquarters, http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/exclusive/benefits_of_LEED_certification.htm

Clark, John, Property Biz Canada, August 11, 2016, How Many Red Buildings Do You Have in your Portfolio?, http://renx.ca/many-red-buildings-portfolio/

Bentall Kennedy News and Media, October 6, 2015, Ground-breaking research finds that green office buildings deliver higher income and value, http://www.bentallkennedy.com/news-2015-10-06.php

Conventional Broadband or Fibre Optic? That is the Question…

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fibre optics binaryThere are many factors to consider when choosing an office space. The most obvious include location and accessibility to public transit, highways or the airport; square footage of the office space; the layout of the office space and its conduciveness to a company’s business needs—just to name a few. However, with more and more businesses utilizing the internet and telecommunications for social media marketing, video conferencing and other day to day online business activities, another factor companies should be taken into consideration when considering a new office space is the location’s communications infrastructure—more specifically, whether the infrastructure is conventional broadband or fibre optic.

The bottomline differences between conventional broadband and fibre optic are in the cost, safety and resulting productivity. Businesses that are heavily dependent on telecommunications and internet usage would want their office space to be wired throughout with fibre optic cabling because of its higher transmitting or carrying capacity (1G vs 200Mb – literally five times faster than conventional broadband), signal reliability (i.e. less signal interference or degradation compared to that of conventional broadband due to dedicated fibre optic strands per signal or data transmission), and it is less of a fire hazard than that of conventional copper-wired broadband. These features translate into lower operational costs in the long term and higher revenues due to more captures (or less missed) of business opportunities.

Of course, companies should not feel at a disadvantage if the office space being considered has a conventional broadband infrastructure. High speed and relatively high carrying capacities are still available with a conventional broadband infrastructure which could still prove sufficient depending on a business’ operational demands. Besides, conventional broadband infrastructures are more readily available in most locations than would be the fibre optic infrastructure, though that could change in the near future.

So, if your company is in the market for a new office space, ask the real estate representative or landlord about the location’s communication infracture. The response, whether fibre optic or conventional broadband, could help determine the competitive edge your company could have in the marketplace.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

References:

McLean, Steve, Property Biz Canada, june 29, 2016, “Fibre Optic Should Be A factor in Choosing offices” http://renx.ca/fibre-optic-factor-choosing-offices/

Freudenrich, Craig, TECH, Advantages of Fiber Optics, http://computer.howstuffworks.com/fiber-optic4.htm

Braithwaite, Matilda, Broadband Choice, Cable vs Fiber Optic Broadband: What’s th difference?, https://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/ask-our-expert/cable-vs-fibre


A Good Design Begins with Asking the Right Questions

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http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-close-up-business-team-project-layout-people-work-concept-creative-color-palettes-tablet-pc-computers-sitting-image50590301
Office Space Designer Team

In some ways, office space designers are not hard to find …once you can differentiate them from residential designers. They, in general, are quite creative and become very excited to offer their suggestions on how you can improve the look and feel of your office space once they are exposed to it. However, a really good office space designer can’t even begin to produce a proper office space design for a company without first understanding that organization’s wants and needs as it relates to its office space. The best way to know that is by visiting the site and asking the right questions.

What are some of those questions?

Well, to understand the culture and flow of your business, an office space designer may ask the following:

  • How many employees (full time, part-time and contract included) does your company have?
  • Do clients visit your office space to meet with your staff?
  • How important is collaboration or teamwork?
  • How important is privacy within the office?
  • What is the flow of a regular workday for you and your staff?
  • Are there any challenges within your current office space layout that you would want addressed?
  • Are there any benefits within the current office space that you would want preserved or duplicated within your new office space?

This is just a sample of questions an office space designer may ask. With answers to the above, an office space designer can create an initial layout for your company that would immediately address any wants, needs or concerns that are not being met within the current office space layout. In other words, an office space designer that is truly client-focused will save you time and money by doing his or her best to present a design that is conducive to the optimal operation of your organization and best represents the character of your business.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000 sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

Mixed-Use Building Designs — The Ongoing Trend For Toronto’s Skyline

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Toronto Skyline Aerial View
Toronto Skyline Aerial View

It used to be that commercial buildings were just commercial buildings, whether office, retail or industrial, and residential buildings just residential buildings whether apartments, houses or condominiums. But more and more, we see developers marrying the commercial building with residential developments to create new entities now known as mixed-use building designs.

Why the trend?

Well, originally it was in response to the influx of people returning to the urban centres to live closer to where they work. This fostered increased development in condominiums in certain areas of the down-town core, but with land space being limited, developers had to find a new `space` to continue their development projects. That is when mixed-use building designs were brought into being.

With mixed-use building designs, both the business or retail world and the residential world can co-inhabit the same real estate. For businesses, it creates an opportunity to be close to their potential clients or their ideal employees. For residents, it offers the conveniences of everyday living, playing, shopping and working close to home.

Now, developers see mixed-use building designs creating two new opportunities:

  1. The opportunity to establish community within the urban setting. Not only can mixed-use building designs bring general communities together, but they can bring people with common interests together. For example, in an effort to bring people with an interest in making a career in the arts, there is a mixed-use development arts and entertainment tower slated for completion in the fall of 2015 in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, which will include a 43-storey condominium development strictly for arts-focused tenants atop a 6,000 sq ft arts and event venue which the arts-focused tenants can decorate using their talents as well as use for their fine arts, music, dance or drama events.1
  2. The opportunity to preserve the past and blend it with the present. With several older commercial buildings built in the 1920s still standing today throughout Toronto, some deemed historical sites are scheduled for restoration. The plans for these historical retail and commercial sites not only includes restoring these sites to their former glory, but also turning those sites into mixed-use building designs by adding brand new multilevel high-rise condominium buildings atop each site. Some of those sites are slated for completion in 2017.

And it won’t stop there. With a mandate to improve the physical appeal of Toronto for both tourists and urban dwellers, and with nowhere to build but up, more and more mixed-use building designs are certain to permeate the skyline of Toronto.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000 sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

 

1 Artscape, Artscape Sandbox, torontoartscape.org/artscape-sandbox

Williams, Patricia, Daily Commercial News, $300 million Yonge Sheppard Centre upgrade planned, http://dailycommercialnews.com/Projects/News/2015/8/300-million-Yonge-Sheppard-Centre-upgrade-planned-1009361W/