At Workspace Architects we offer big architecture experience with the personal touch of a medium sized practice. Our clients are always at the centre of our service delivery. Whether your project small scale or complex, we will co-ordinate the whole solution because of our expertise in the following areas:
KEY STAGES IN YOUR OFFICE FITOUT PROJECT
1: PROJECT SCOPING & SKETCH DESIGN – We work with you to clarify your needs, develop a space plan to confirm the size of your office, and undertake test fit designs and building reviews to help you choose the right building. We then develop a baseline budget and key project milestones. If you are moving to a new building, we review the compliance aspects of building options, including landlord submissions to assist in negotiating the lease. With the building choice confirmed, we develop the sketch plan to confirm the final design. In this early stage we engage with your team, providing mood boards and preliminary 3D images to help you understand how your new space will look and feel and start people thinking about different ways of working. With the broad design parameters agreed, we develop a scope document for estimation of works by a cost consultant, to ensure your aspirations will meet your business drivers.
2: DEVELOPING THE DESIGN – We move on from the big picture to the nuts and bolts of the project once the project scope, budget and sketch design are completed. We advise on base building integration with tenancy works if required and co-ordinate the technical input of specialist consultants including fire engineering, HVAC changes, lighting, and security integration. The budget is reviewed and costs or design details adjusted where required. Flexible and agile workspaces spaces rely on soft fitout solutions and we work with you to select the right furniture options for desking, social, and collaboration spaces, as well as locker solutions and screens. Detailed 3D models bring your whole design solution together and show your team how the new spaces, furniture and colour selections will enhance their working environment, enabling all staff to feel part of the solution.
3: CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS FOR BUILDING CONSENT, PRICING & TENDER – As registered Architects, our fees are completely separate from the construction works, so the pricing is transparent. In this stage we work closely with our services consultants and co-ordinate all the design documentation into the set of architectural drawings to apply for and obtain the building consent. This is typically the largest section of our works as these documents are also used for pricing and provide the backbone of the project – a constant reference point for on-site decisions. This detailed set of documents enables us to tender the project to the market, obtain the best construction price and assure the quality of the project delivery. For the furniture, we prepare documentation for pricing and seek competitive pricing of furniture elements. At the end of this stage you will have approval from the council to proceed.
4: EVALUATING THE TENDERS & APPOINTING A CONTRACTOR – We can manage the construction tender and furniture tender or work alongside a project manager to review the submissions. We collect and evaluate the tenders, review for consistency and tags to ensure everyone has based their price on the same parameters, and request additional information if required. We prepare a tender report, engage the selected contractor on behalf of client, and put a contract in place. The output from this stage is a pricing schedule that is scope specific and responds to the fully coordinated documentation for the project so that there are no surprises of unexpected scope when the project starts on site.
5: GETTING YOUR PROJECT BUILT – Some of our clients engage a project manager to co-ordinate the project, but for most of our projects we act as engineer to the contract. The New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) provides a contract framework for the management of projects on site. We run site meetings, for the building contractor and client, monitor and report on progress of work against the programme, health & safety, and financial goals. We record variations, especially those having cost/time impact, and assess and report on the quality of finished works and report on compliance with consent documents. During construction we assess and issue payment schedules, determine and certify practical completion and assess defects and issue defects notices. As the build progresses, we coordinate the installation of the furniture, specialist wiring, and any other feature elements. At the end of the build we receive the Code Compliance, warranties and guarantees from the contractor.
WORKPLACE STRATEGY & OFFICE DESIGN
We love working with people to distill the personality of an organization and create spaces where people want to work. As experts in space planning and workplace strategy we will work with you to explore what makes your business tick and how you would like to work in the future.
Together we will plan how much space you need and help you choose a safe and healthy environment by reviewing the compliance of your preferred buildings. We will work through a range of testfit designs to ensure your team not only fit in the building, but also that they have the space to make choices in how and where they work. With staff seeking more flexibility to work remotely, we can also assist with re-stacking options to revise floor plans and optimize your existing space or sublease spare capacity.
Modern work spaces are about flexibility, diversity and inclusivity so they cater for the needs of all employees. From the earliest stages in the design process we use high rendered software so you can visualize how your new space will look and feel. Businesses are seeking to create workplace communities where people can collaborate and connect to new ideas and this means providing the right mix of collaboration zones, break out spaces and hubs, alongside calm areas and quiet zones. Historically offices were homogeneous places with standard lighting throughout, but we’ll use lighting, textures, furniture and finishes to enhance different work settings to meet the needs of all your staff and reflect your business culture.
DESIGN FOR AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND
Our respect for a collaborative design process has given us opportunities to work together with cultural advisers to explore our bi-cultural partnership as reflected in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and what this means for the design of modern workplace settings.
One of our recent projects was to design a new office environment for the Treasury. The design embraces tikanga Māori with the wharenui as the centre-piece of the design, from which all other meeting areas flow. We positioned the wharenui, Ngā Mokopuna a Tāne, centrally to all the meeting spaces with a prescribed journey from the entry to this space. The pou at the centre of the wharenui was extended through the 4 floors of the Treasury, connecting all of these areas.
We welcome co-design partners to test and challenge concepts and together we have achieved designs that are undoubtedly stronger for this collaboration. We have worked closely with Māori advisors and designers at Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission and currently with the NZEI Te Riu Roa to develop new workplaces through a truly collaborative design process.
Increasingly building owners and tenants wish to make positive sustainable choices as they engage in the architectural process. We are experienced in developing energy efficient green focused solutions as architects for both building owner base build projects as well as tenant projects.
We do not work in the `green field’ building sector so our sustainability story comes from repurposing multi-storey buildings for a new future. Building owners often choose us as the lead consultant to work with Green Star advisers to co-ordinate a refurbishment solution that is both environmentally sound and affordable. One of our recent projects is as lead consultant, with a team of advisers, on the building wide refurbishment of the TSB Bank Building to achieve a Green Star 5 rating.
For our tenancy clients we design our fitouts to maximize their life by being flexible and future proof, reducing fitout churn and improving life cycle cost. Recent developments in green building processes, products and finishes allow increasing opportunities for our clients to make sustainable choices.
BUILDING ASSESSMENT & COMPLIANCE
The challenge for building owners with older buildings is to refurbish them to maximize their full potential. We have years of experience invigorating building stock, whether it’s the redevelopment of a heritage building, the modernisation of an office building, or the renewal of an urban site. Building owners choose us because we spend the time tuning the design solution to fit the building and the market. We are often appointed as the lead consultant to bring together a team to optimize the solution for the client and create the ‘blueprint’ for the project – a technical set of drawings which bring together all aspects of the project – and apply for resource and building consents.
If your plans involve a ‘change of use’ for your building, the Council will review the existing compliance. We can help you transform poorly used areas into a vibrant new office, retail space or desirable apartments because we have a team of experts to advise on all aspects of converting older buildings to new uses. We provide expertise in co-ordinating the following technical aspects:
- Local Authority compliance regarding planning and resource consents
- Building Consent applications
- Compliance with the NZ Building Act
- Compliance with the NZ Building Code including close working relationships with Fire Engineers to review egress constraints and fire systems compliance
- NZS 4212 Access and Facilities for the Disabled
- Coordination of separate consultants’ services plans including emergency lighting, illuminated exit signage, Fresh Air requirements, plumbing and drainage
- Contract knowledge of NZS 3910 and NZIA SCC1
- Good understanding of the ‘near as reasonably practicable’ clause in the Building Act and how this can be interpreted to best suit projects
- Passive fire requirements and knowledge of achieving compliance through retro fitting
- NZS 4219 Seismic Restraint for non-structural elements
EARTHQUAKE STRENGTHENING SOLUTIONS
For many building owners the prospect of strengthening their buildings is daunting because the engineering solution is only part of the puzzle. We can help by bringing together a team to develop a ‘whole building’ solution and co-ordinate the structural elements, services engineering and architectural scope. We document this package of works to allow for an accurate cost estimate and develop the work processes for the seismic solution.
If the building is tenanted, we can work closely with you and your tenants and to minimise disruption and allow continued occupancy wherever possible.
When buildings are undergoing earthquake strengthening the Council focuses on the compliance of the building as a whole. We will guide you through the complex compliance issues and ensure that aspects of the building such as fire compliance, disabled access and egress routes are assessed to provide a complete solution. Our retrofit seismic strengthening solutions for heritage buildings won the 2015 Heritage Award and the 2017 Best Solution Award at NZSEE Earthquake Strengthening Awards.
As an independent architecture practice we believe our clients benefit from an independent tender and construction process with transparent pricing and quality assurance. We act for the client to establish the best market price and we tender to proven contractors who have high quality sub contractors. We work with the contractors to identify areas of risk so that the price is realistic and robust. We’re experienced in working with the GETS process to allow our government clients to benefit from this competitive environment.
Because of the quality of our documentation we can ensure that the integrity of the design is not compromised through cost cutting and substitution of materials on site without consulting the architect, which can happen with design and build contracts.
Project delivery is not only about an innovative design, but also about meeting client expectations regarding business drivers for the project, the budget and the programme. The way we ensure the success of your project is to appoint a dedicated Workspace Architects Project Lead, who stays with the project from start to finish.
The Project Lead ensures that as the design develops, the vision and budget are measured against your original goals and, where appropriate, savings are maximized through the integration of the tenancy works and the base build solution.
This delivery model ensures a strong continuum as the project moves from design through to construction documentation and the council and consent stages. Once the project moves on site it is the Project Lead, the person with the greatest knowledge of the project, who will guide you through the construction process and work closely with the contractor to ensure the build is just right.