Space Planning

The British Council for Offices (BCO) carried out an Occupier Density Case Study in September 2013, in which it estimated that about half of the UK’s 30 million workers worked in offices, most of them dedicated to commercial ventures. It also estimated that rent and rates represented about 60% of occupancy costs and that “if demand for space can be managed downwards, then significant savings can be made.

Effective office space planning is key to making business occupancy as cost effective as possible. At the same time designing an office space involves creating a working environment that promotes productivity, motivates the workforce and does credit to the business concerned.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) describes the legal requirements on space planning in its guidance titled How much space am I entitled to at work? citing a formula that: “The total volume of the room, when empty, divided by the number of people normally working in it should be at least 11 cubic metres.” The HSE also maintains that: “The figure of 11 cubic metres per person is a minimum and may be insufficient if, for example, much of the room is taken up by furniture etc.