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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Facilities management > Facilities for government > Office Accommodation Management Framework > Guideline 3: Fitout > 3.0 Office fitout guidelines and benchmarks

 3.0 Office fitout guidelines and benchmarks

The Department of Housing and Public Works has developed office accommodation workspace and fitout standards (PDF, 695KB). These standards reflect government policy and best practice and have been approved by GOAC for implementation by agencies.

These standards promote:

  • cost-effectiveness
  • consistency and equity
  • adaptability.

The standards address:

  • quantity of office space (area)
  • quality of fitout
  • furniture policy
  • value management in fitout projects
  • fitout project approval
  • ecological sustainability.

Performance benchmarks for workplace density and project cost are included in these standards to promote best practice and facilitate approval through the office fitout project approval process.

Also refer to the supporting reference office accommodation workspace and fitout standards (PDF, 695KB).

3.1 Workplace density

The definition of workplace density is the total net lettable area (NLA) divided by the total number of full time equivalent (FTE) staff. A target benchmark for workplace density has been set and is applicable to each separate office tenancy. A tenancy can consist of a part floor, a whole floor or several floors in a building.

The current office accommodation workplace density benchmark target for agencies is contained in the supporting reference office accommodation workspace and fitout standards (PDF, 695KB).

3.2 Fitout project cost benchmarks 

There are two basic cost benchmark targets:

  1. Maximum cost rate for fitout per square metre.
    This rate includes the cost of fitout construction, alterations to building services and provision of workstations and loose furniture. The rate does not include professional fees, statutory charges and GST.

  2. There are separate fitout cost rate benchmarks for:
    • new fitout projects
    • projects involving substantial rationalisation and/or refurbishment including some new furniture
    • projects involving minor accommodation and furniture changes only
    • projects involving Green StarTM targets.

    The benchmark cost-target ranges reflect the typical cost ranges and upper target cost limits applicable to fitout alteration projects and are based on cost rates per square metre considered reasonable for the extent of work involved.
     

  3. Maximum cost of fitout per person. This rate is calculated as:
    Maximum cost rate for new fitout x maximum workplace density = maximum fitout cost per person.
     
  4. There are separate cost-per-person benchmarks for:
    • new fitout projects, including projects involving substantial rationalisation and/or refurbishment including some new furniture
    • fitout projects involving a targeted Green StarTM rating
    • projects involving minor accommodation and furniture changes only.

    The benchmark cost-target ranges for the above types of projects for both cost per square metre and cost per person are contained in the supporting reference office accommodation workspace and fitout standards (PDF, 695KB).

3.3 Fitout cost variations due to change in workplace density

If the current maximum benchmark target is bettered (i.e. less area per person is achieved), then more people are being accommodated in a particular area (than at the maximum benchmark target) due to better planning and/or functional efficiency (such as is routinely achieved in most modern buildings and in call centres). Because more people are being accommodated in the given area, then more workstations, furniture and technology are generally required. Consequently, the cost of fitting out that particular area will increase by the cost of additional workstations, furniture and technology.

Therefore, the effect of achieving this better efficiency is an increase in the fitout cost rate per square metre compared with benchmark targets. However, the cost rate per person will not increase because the same amount of fitout, furniture and technology is being provided for each person. When this better efficiency is achieved, area requirements can be reduced.

Increasing workplace density can be an effective approach to achieving space and rental savings and should be considered for new fitouts and for rationalising space in existing offices. Expert advice should be sought in the implementation of this approach in order to ensure that functionality is retained, legislative compliance requirements are met and a quality workplace is provided.

The outcome is that every percentage point improvement in workplace density translates directly into a one per cent recurrent saving in rent and building services costs at no additional cost per person in fitout costs.

3.4 Fitout cost variations due to regional location

In some cases, fitout costs in regional centres can be higher than in the Brisbane CBD and metropolitan areas. In such cases, a cost index 'multiplier' can be applied to the Government Office Accommodation Committee approved fitout cost benchmarks to establish an appropriate benchmark for that centre. Please contact the Department of Housing and Public Works for advice.

3.5 Benchmark variations due to building type

The cost of office fitout can vary slightly due to the characteristics of different types of buildings. For example, some heritage-listed buildings have inherent planning inefficiency due to structural constraints or other factors that cannot be altered because of heritage significance. In such cases, fitout benchmarks may need to be exceeded.

Similarly, in newer office buildings with highly efficient floor plates, fitout benchmarks can frequently be bettered. Please contact the Department of Housing and Public Works for advice.



Last updated 16 August 2012    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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