Ready to fitout out your new office and not sure where to start?
Mia Feasey, CEO at Siren Design talks to us about pricing, trends and the future of office fitouts.
Is there a guide you use to estimate the amount of office space a tenant requires?
The Australian Building Code doesn’t allow less that 10m2 per person. Dependent on how heavy their built environment requirement is it can be anywhere between this and 15m2 (more if it’s a law firm with lots of offices!)
What is the approximate cost of a fitout?
If there is a good base building such as ceilings, painted walls, base building carpet anywhere between $900m2 to $2,200m2 (This would include everything such as consultants fees, new furniture and services upgrades, high cost items such as supplementary air conditioning to comms rooms and meeting rooms with more than 5 people in them)
What is the benefit of using a fitout company compared to a local builder?
They specialise in this area and understand the sometimes complex process. They would have existing working relationships with commercial contractors to enable the fit-outs to be completed on time and on budget. They take the risk out of the project as they would be used to dealing with landlord and statutory approvals alongside dealing with all the consultants.
Does a Tenant require council approval to install a fitout?
Yes. If it’s not heritage or a change of use of the space, a Private Certifier (PCG) can be appointed to obtain the construction certificate and on completion an occupation certificate.
Is Activity Based Working still popular and how do you see this evolving in the future?
It is starting to lose traction particularly in the war for staff, a lot of our clients see the benefit in giving each individual their own space plus lots of choices for where they would want to work. So it’s still based on the activity that you are doing, except without the hot desking aspect.
With more businesses going paperless and using cloud storage, how has this changed office fitouts?
Lots more flexibility and scope for imaginative, inspirational working areas, that don’t necessarily look or feel like a desk. We often include relaxation spaces or detachment spaces, replacing the traditional requirement for storage.
What are some of the best fitout ideas you’ve come across?
That’s a hard one as each fit-out idea should be the best idea for that particular client.
We design the Siren offices to be more residential looking than corporate, we have big bars and kitchens on entry and hang the Siren family photos on the walls with the fire place surround used as the audio visual hub. The key thing is to create fit-outs where people want to be, foster communication and collaboration or be able to do focused work.
What can small businesses do to enhance their office fitout whilst keeping costs low?
Spend the time involving the key stake holders in your business, getting the brief right will save you money in the long run. Coming up with multifunctional spaces will save on rent, also work with professionals that do this every day, it will save you time and allow you to continue running your business.
Mia Feasey is the CEO and founder of Siren Design Group. She is 38 years old and a mother of 2 children, aged 5 and 6. In 2006 Mia created Siren Design, arguably Asia Pacific’s largest purely Interior Design consultancy, specialising in corporate, hospitality, residential developments and retail design. With studios across Australia and Singapore, Siren is an industry leader in commercial Interior Design.
Siren’s is known for cutting edge work with social media giants and tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Accenture, Uber, HP and Domain, and was recently awarded the Herman Miller’s most livable office award for the design category “Best in Tech”.
In 2010, Mia also won the much coveted NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) Business Woman of the Year Award, and in 2012 was awarded Global Perspective’s “40 under 40” Design Starts of the Future Award. It is a remarkable success story.
Mia has recently founded two exciting new business ventures, both of which are based on an e-retailing model. One is related to the construction industry and the other in partnership with her Pharmacist husband with a focus on Men’s Health.