Damond explains, “First, we proceeded to the design stage. We showed Mark the building and explained what we wanted out of it. Once the building had been reviewed and designs submitted, we were able to select the best solution for our staff, current tenants and future rental plans.”
“Working closely with Optrys enabled us to clearly define the scope of the refurbishment work and the associated costs. Optrys were then able to bring in their contractors, while project managing the sub-contractors that we had already brought in to begin work.”
Understanding the required accessibility of the building as part of the design phase was necessary to ensure the new layout would be compliant with recommended guidelines. It was important to consider turning circles and corridor width. Not only this but ensuring the day centre on the ground floor could remain open throughout the project was critical. It all needed to be considered.
Damond continues, “Once the design phase was complete and we’d revised costs to fit in with the budget, we were able to liaise with tenants to ensure we took their thoughts on board. Optrys then separated the work into four different stages to minimise the potential of any disruption. There was structural work required, along with design and fit-out in all areas which had to be split out into four phases.”
As Mark explains, “One of the most challenging parts of this projects was the logistics. There were existing tenants, including a radio station, that needed to continue working from the building while the refurbishment was going on. So, to minimise disruption we devised a plan to relocate some existing tenants including the day centre to elsewhere in the building, moving them back once work in their area had been completed. We also had to ensure any work completed would not disturb the day to day running of the day centre on the ground floor. Further to this, there are around six or eight flats above that also required access as their fire exit was through the building.”
Once work began, the project was fairly straight forward. Structural work took place, with walls removed to open up the space, glass partitions provided privacy while keeping the space open and light. The new air conditioning system was fitted, along with various access control and security features, including the installation of a comprehensive intercom system and intruder alarms.
Damond explains, “New tea points were installed, along with a new kitchen area, with plenty of open space to encourage people to interact. Optrys ensured there was a continuous flow throughout the building, which included designing and supplying graphics that provided consistent, but subtle enough branding in communal areas so as not to draw attention from the other businesses. New furniture was also supplied in keeping with the colours and feel of the new space. Optrys managed and supplied the workforce and products, including the carpets which incorporated our colour choice, LED lighting and all the decoration. The overall finish was corporate, but not overstated, which was perfect for us as a charity within a multi-use building.