2. Suitability and selection of office space

2.1 Building elements

It is possible to consider the potential 'performance' of office buildings and the space within them in terms of physical attributes that can affect the suitability of the fitted-out workplace.

Office buildings typically consist of 3 categories of elements:

  • columns, beams and floors with a structural life of 50–100 years
  • an envelope or enclosing fabric with a structural life of approximately 30–50 years
  • building services (air-conditioning, lifts, electrical, fire safety, management systems, etc.) with an operating life of approximately 15–20 years.

These elements have finite live-cycles and usually cannot be altered significantly to suit relatively short-term tenancy needs. In terms of fitout life, these building elements will influence the design of fitout through several cycles of change and reconfiguration.

2.2 Suitability

These physical elements and other attributes of office buildings can support or constrain a productive workplace according to fitout requirements and the nature of work performed. In general terms, the following building elements and attributes need to be assessed at the time that office space is being selected or committed to, in order to ensure that these elements and attributes complement fitout and service delivery needs:

  • location
  • public transport
  • car parking
  • end of trip facilities
  • accessibility
  • image (quality)
  • communications
  • infrastructure
  • physical condition
  • floor-plate size and shape
  • number of floors
  • structural grid
  • floor-to-ceiling height
  • glazing and sun control
  • core location and amenities
  • column-free space
  • column density
  • façade/glazing grid
  • ceiling grid
  • natural light
  • services capacity
  • services controls

The Queensland Cycle Strategy should also be considered when assessment of building suitability is undertaken.