All posts by BE Furniture

What is Sustainable Office Construction?

We’re sure you’ve heard about green or sustainable construction, but what exactly does it mean? Construction techniques, resources, and building practices have evolved over the years, and with the increased interest in energy conservation, new methods of construction that focus on sustainability have been developed. Two main elements go into sustainable construction: the materials that are used and the methods that are utilized. Here’s how you can apply both to your commercial office buildout in New Jersey.

Defining Sustainable Construction

Sustainable construction, also known as green construction, is about taking a holistic view of the construction process and design of the building to reduce environmental impact or even support environmental benefits throughout its lifetime. It means setting and achieving goals for reusing and recycling, conserving resources, protecting natural systems, as well as building to a high quality.

Green construction is not just about the construction process itself, but the site selection and design process. Not to mention, how people will use the building and for how long it will be viable.

Why Green Construction Matters

Many people are passionate about green construction, but personal reasons are not the only driver of this trend. Consumers want to work with organizations that care about their environmental impact, investors want to put their money into organizations that value sustainability and employees want to work for these green companies. In addition, operational costs are also decreased when the right sustainability measures are implemented during the design and construction phases.

Sustainable buildings are also healthier, helping employees to be more productive, more alert, and focused while reducing absenteeism due to illness.

In the USA, buildings account for 39% of all energy use, 68% of total electricity use, 12% of water use, 60% of non-industrial waste (construction and demolition), and 38% of total carbon emissions. As a result, commercial construction is also one of the areas where sustainability measures can have a very real impact, so there’s a significant opportunity to make a difference.

Materials and Methods Used in Green Construction

Let’s start with the materials used in sustainable office construction. The most sustainable materials are those that are locally and responsibly sourced, ethically produced, durable, and those that help reduce the carbon footprint of the building. These include:

  • Recycled and upcycled materials, including recycled steel
  • Recycled plastic
  • Bamboo and wood from sustainably managed forests
  • Recycled or green insulation
  • Non-toxic/zero-emission products
  • Timbercrete and eco-friendly composites
  • Ferrock
  • Cork

Now, we move on to methods. This is a way of building to enhance and improve sustainability efforts and is an intensive, but rewarding process. It can include:

  • Measuring the environmental impact of your building
  • Designing the building to support the local environment
  • Investigating and implementing Net Zero systems for energy and water
  • Reducing material waste during the construction process
  • Recycling materials from the site, including donating or recycling old furnishings
  • Reusing materials where possible
  • Managing the construction site to improve environmental conditions and compliance
  • Conserving energy during the construction process

Green Construction that Works for Your NJ Business

At BE Builds, our experienced team has worked for decades with businesses in New Jersey across all counties. We know the importance of understanding what your business wants to achieve with their office space, from the work you do and the people you employ to the environmental and sustainability measures you want to support. Together, we can set your brand in a powerful position, creating a space that’s productive, enjoyable to use, healthy, and tailored to your workflow. Contact us today to find out more about our state-of-the-art green office construction services or visit our website at: https://bebuilds.com/

Originally posted at https://bebuilds.com/what-is-sustainable-office-construction/

Sources: 

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/sustainability-as-a-value-is-changing-how-consumers-shop?IR=T
  2. https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/sustainability-investing-institutional-asset-owners
  3. https://greenerideal.com/news/business/going-green-can-improve-employee-engagement/
  4. https://www.worldgbc.org/news-media/business-case-green-building-review-costs-and-benefits-developers-investors-and-occupants
  5. https://www.kmbdg.com/news/energy-engineering-company-sustainable-building-design/

Building Design Ideas for Smaller Commercial Offices

Every commercial office space needs to be designed and constructed well, no matter the size. Small spaces in particular require more attention to detail and strategies to make it feel larger than it is and work with optimal efficiency. Building design and construction for your small office should reflect the goals of your business, enhance work processes, and support your desired company culture. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some modern building design ideas to refer to when planning construction for your small commercial office space.

#1 – Choose Minimalist Perfection

A minimalist approach suits smaller commercial offices because it actively reduces clutter, opens up the space, and creates a crisp, functional appearance. When undergoing a minimalist office fit-out, the key is to get everything just right – any small imperfections, the incorrect furniture, or a poor design element is going to stand out on this blank canvas. Go for simple, high-quality materials and fittings, a few stand-out elements that catch the eye, plain walls paired with glass, hidden IT infrastructure, and furniture that is correctly scaled to your space.

A great example of a minimalist office space that doesn’t lack warmth or elegance is the Guilherme Torres Studio in São Paulo, Brazil.

#2 – Go Bold

In architecture and commercial office design, bigger doesn’t mean better. In fact, smaller office buildings have the opportunity to be more experimental and exciting in their design, using boldness to make a splash without becoming overwhelming. Work with your office construction partner to discover a unique personality for your organization’s space, using external and internal elements to create a sense of delight, innovation, creativity, or strength – whatever fits best with your company culture.

A striking example of this type of office design is the 490 Consulting Suites or Mini Tower in Spring Hill, Australia, which was constructed on the site of a single small cottage. Contrasting with the bulky new developments around it, this building offers a creative and irregular external shape, creating an eye-catching but practical, intimate workspace.

#3 – Be Green

Due to their smaller scale, it can also be easier to introduce new technologies and green building techniques into a small office construction project rather than a large one. This allows organizations to reap multiple rewards, including the PR boost that comes with eco-friendly and sustainable initiatives, and the long-term savings on operational costs. There’s massive scope for how your office fit-out can be greener, from installing high-efficiency appliances, wastewater reclamation systems, and solar panels to introducing architectural elements that actively support natural ecosystems. It’s an exciting space for office design and one that can be very successful.

One great example of this is the Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh, which is LEED Platinum and Living Building certified. It uses biophilic design elements, rests softly on the conservation area’s existing slopes, and has both Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water systems in place.

#4 – Use What’s Already There

We live in an age where “new” things are thought of as “better,” but that’s not always the case – especially with buildings. Utilizing what is already on site as part of your office construction project can add character to your design, reduce waste and costs, and create a story for your organization. It requires innovative thinking and a different mindset, but the rewards can be impressive, from preserving parts of history or unique structures to recreating something new and functional out of something that no longer had a purpose.

An interesting example of this is the GS1 Portugal building in Lisbon, Portugal. Designed for business innovation, this building exemplifies this concept and the culture behind it. The building utilizes the site of an 18th-century farmhouse and was inspired by the 1970s Anglo-Saxon University style. The interior and exterior play on reused materials and architectural techniques of the past, from the raw concrete and exposed ductwork to the pre-existing 80s style of the old building’s interior.

Speak to Office Fit-Out Specialists for Bespoke Small Office Designs in NJ

BE Builds is an established leader in innovative commercial office construction services, working to position your NJ business effectively in a changing environment. We know your business is unique, so we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach – instead, we create and deliver custom office designs that work for your business, industry, and budget. To find out more about our interior office construction and design services, contact us today or visit our website at: https://bebuilds.com/

Originally posted at https://bebuilds.com/building-design-ideas-for-smaller-commercial-offices/

Sources: 

  1. Guilherme Torres Studio: https://www.archdaily.com/878403/guilherme-torres-office-studio-guilherme-torres?ad_medium=office_landing&ad_name=article
  2. 490 Consulting Suites: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=+490+consulting+suites+
  3. GS1 Portugal Building: https://www.archdaily.com/871361/gs1-portugal-promontorio

The Ultimate Reno Guide to Your Office Buildout

BE Builds has put together an office construction guide that will focus on what happens after you choose a location, set a budget, and draw up office design plans. Here’s what to expect in the pre-and-post-construction phases of your commercial office buildout project, from our office renovation team in New Jersey.

The Pre-Construction Phase

This phase can be time-consuming, as it relies on your office buildout team to work with other parties to process important administrative and regulatory requirements. Much of it happens behind the scenes, so it’s important that clients not only understand this process but are kept updated every step of the way. This includes:

  1. Applying for and being granted the building permit – This involves submitting the final plans to the relevant building department, addressing any comments on the plans from the committee, and obtaining final approval to move ahead with the project.
  2. Getting all required insurance in place – This includes workers’ compensation, general liability insurance, and builders risk insurance. This is an essential step in risk management, giving clients, contractors, and workers a financial safety net should anything go wrong.
  3. Vendor bids – This focuses on finding the right subcontractors for the job, not only in terms of the price point but the quality of work and materials to be used in the buildout.
  4. Construction team – Selecting the different team members to manage the construction project, including the project manager, field engineer, contract administrator, and superintendent.
  5. Procurement – Once selected, the project manager can begin procuring all the necessary materials, services, and equipment required for the project. With good organization and the ability to leverage an established network, the right team can hit the ground running when the permits are granted – keeping your project on track with the projected timeline.

The Construction Phase

This is when things really get moving. While it may look messy and chaotic from the outside, the construction phase will be organized to run like a well-oiled machine, with different subcontractors being coordinated to ensure that they’re onsite at the right time with the right materials to get their jobs done.

As with all types of construction, office buildouts move from the outside in. Starting with elements such as wiring, plumbing, or structural repairs before moving onto flooring, ceilings, and walls. Last but never least, office construction teams will move onto aesthetic elements, lighting, furnishing, and final touches.

Inspections will be carried out at all stages to ensure that work is of the highest quality, in line with building codes, and the final design. Regular site visits and meetings will keep you abreast of progress and developments. While some minor changes can occur at this stage, the major elements will progress according to the initial, agreed-upon design.

The Post-Construction Phase

At this stage, you can see your final office buildout in person, with all the important elements in place. It’s standard procedure for the contractor and client to perform a detailed walk-through of the space and create a punch list of any small defects and issues that need to be corrected or completed. The contractor and team will then check off each item on the list until you are satisfied with the end result.

The last step is a final building inspection by a certified building inspector to ensure everything is up to code and in full compliance. After passing inspection, you can sign off your project with the office contractor.

The last step is a final building inspection by a certified building inspector to ensure everything is up to code and in full compliance. After passing inspection, you can sign off your project with the office contractor.

The team at BE Builds are not your average office contractors in New Jersey. With decades of industry experience, we don’t just perform office buildouts – we handle every aspect of your project from the design phase right through to furnishing your space with high-quality, ergonomic solutions, and recycling your old office furniture. With a real dedication to understanding what our clients do and what they want from their renovation, we work with you to help develop a space where your business can thrive.

For more information about our approach to office renovation in NJ, contact us today or visit our website: https://bebuilds.com/

Originally posted at https://bebuilds.com/the-ultimate-reno-guide-to-your-office-buildout/

How are Commercial Office Buildings Classified?

No matter what class your building falls under, BE Builds has the years of expertise and resources available to upgrade your commercial office building in NJ. However, it first helps to understand how your building is classified, so you can better understand the types of construction services you will need for your commercial office buildout project. Here’s a brief guide to the different classes of commercial office buildings, what these classifications mean, and why they’re important.

Why Building Classifications Matter

The process of classifying your commercial space focuses on factors like the age of the building, the amenities offered, location, design aesthetic, and infrastructure. This information is used by commercial real estate brokers to determine how much a space should be rented out for and other elements of the lease agreement. It is also an important factor in determining what upgrades should be prioritized and how this could impact future classification and rentals.

Class A Office Buildings

These are first-class office spaces that offer the best of everything, from high-efficiency HVAC and state-of-the-art tech infrastructure to high-end fixtures. They are usually located in the most desirable areas within the central business district and have a strong architectural presence. Usually high-rise buildings, Class A office buildings offer impressive amenities like elegant reception areas, dining spaces, retail spaces, and more. As a result, leasing space in these buildings is expensive and competitive, and tenant concessions are rare because these spaces are so sought-after.

Upgrades and office buildouts in these buildings have to be approved by building management. There are usually strict rules about every aspect of the build, from mitigating inconvenience to other tenants, right down to the quality of the final finishes and aesthetic. All projects will not only have to support your brand and business, but also the factors that support the Class A classification of the building, so it’s essential to have a commercial construction services partner who can work effectively within these regulations and deliver a world-class result.

Class B Office Buildings

Class B commercial properties usually offer the best value for businesses, offering a mix of decent amenities and infrastructure without the high price tag of Class A buildings. Usually described as average to above average, these buildings offer functionality, space, and good aesthetics without architectural wow-factors or exceptional tech innovations. They are also usually located outside of central business districts or in busy suburban areas and tend to be fewer than four stories in height.

As a result, leases tend to reflect more reasonable market rates and greater flexibility for tenants, especially in terms of negotiating office buildouts, rentals, or consent to sublease.
Class B buildings are usually older, which isn’t always a bad thing if they’ve been built well and looked after properly. It usually means that your office buildout has to address more than simple aesthetic changes and that you need to consider tech upgrades, equipment upgrades, lighting, electrical wiring, and more to get the end result you’re after.

When looking at an office buildout in a Class B building, it’s important to have a commercial construction services partner who can properly evaluate your space for wear-and-tear, as well as deliver a result that effectively modernizes your office space for functionality and to reflect your brand’s unique aesthetic.

Class C Office Buildings

These are the third-tier office buildings on the market. They are usually at least 20 years old, are located in not-so-desirable areas, have fewer amenities, and require major repairs and construction overhauls. As a result, the leases are usually aimed at small businesses and carry a low rent.

If you are considering a Class C commercial space, it’s essential that you have space properly evaluated to get a comprehensive idea of the extent of the project, which can be significant – and costly. With the right approach, Class C buildings with potential can be upgraded to Class B, but their age and location usually prevent an upgrade to Class A.

Upgrading a Class C office space can be an opportunity to create a beautiful office space at a very competitive rate. With the right office building construction services partner, it can be done in a cost-effective way that delivers the facilities, appearance, and amenities needed to support your growing business.

Finding the Right Office Building Construction Partner in NJ

BE Builds is an established office building construction company with over 20 years experience in the New Jersey area. Our projects are diverse, ranging from high-end office buildouts in central business districts to complete transformations of older spaces into vibrant, affordable business hubs. Contact us today and find out how our office construction team in NJ can deliver the space your business is looking for.

For more information on our office buildout services, visit our website at: https://bebuilds.com/

Originally posted at https://bebuilds.com/how-are-commercial-office-buildings-classified/

Ways to Maximize Health in Your Office Buildout

One positive outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that there is a renewed sense of importance placed on office hygiene and safety that starts at the very beginning of the office design and construction process. Many industry experts are evaluating popular layouts like the Open Plan Office and figuring out how to make these layouts work safely and successfully in a post-COVID-19 workplace. Here are some ways in which our office contractors at BE Builds can construct a commercial office space that maximizes the health of your valued employees.

A Healthy Workplace – Old Concept, New Ideas

First, it’s important to note that a healthy office is not anything new. Over the last decade at least, we’ve seen a significant emphasis on making wellness a focus for the workplace, from a biophilic design that keeps occupants in touch with the benefits of nature and the maximization of natural lighting to work in partnership with our circadian rhythms, to ergonomic furnishings and corporate programs that support physical and mental health. And it’s an approach that simply makes sense – healthier employees are happier, more satisfied, more engaged, take less time off for illness, and are more productive – making a healthy workplace a real investment with significant ROI1 .

COVID-19 has simply fast-tracked and evolved an office design process that is already an important focus – transforming the workplace into a space that offers optimal efficiency and productivity through safety and wellness. Here’s how office construction post-COVID-19 looks.

#1 – A Breath of Fresh Air

Disease and health specialists2 agree that the best way to prevent the transmission of germs and viruses is to increase ventilation, and therefore the volume of air through our buildings. By bringing in more fresh, clean air more frequently, either through the installation of high-efficiency purifying HVAC systems or the simple act of opening up doors and windows (based on season and outdoor air pollution), the concentration of harmful elements in the air is greatly reduced. And this isn’t just sensible for our current times – it’s an effective way of reducing pollutants, allergens, and those pesky seasonal germs and viruses that steal away $10.4 billion3 in medical expenses and $9 billion4 in lost productivity each year.

#2 – A Little Bit of Nature, Naturally

As mentioned, biophilic5 design plays a significant role in mental and physical wellness – one that is more impressive than such a simple concept would first suggest. Essentially, it’s all about bringing nature into the workspace in a way that suits your brand, your office layout, and design. Elements such as living walls of oxygen-producing greenery, glass wall partitions that allow natural light to penetrate throughout a space, garden-based break spaces for informal meetings and lunch hours, and the use of raw natural materials all work together to create an environment primed for supporting health.

Studies have demonstrated how more natural surroundings help reduce stress and high blood pressure, better control blood sugar levels, balance hormone activity, promote better sleep and serotonin levels, and boost the immune system, helping us work more efficiently, with more focus and fewer sick days.

#3 – Reduced Cross-Contamination

Touching a surface that others have touched is an established health risk, whether it’s sharing keyboards and furniture at hot-desking workstations or touching the same door handles repeatedly throughout the day. New office design concepts that bring together elements of flow and spacing, as well as innovative engineering help reduce this type of cross-contamination where germs and viruses can thrive. From easily sanitized furniture that can be wiped down quickly without damaging the materials and sanitizing stations to doorless bathrooms and touchless office entry systems, we can work to significantly reduce this risk throughout the workday.

#4 – Flexible Design for Flexible Times

Many businesses are reimagining how their office spaces will be used in a post-COVID world, weighing between the relatively low-health risk environment of working from home and the established benefits of team collaboration when working in an office environment. What makes the most sense is to create a successful hybrid. A flexible workspace is all about a conscious and thoughtfully designed office buildout that brings together the best of both worlds for employers and employees and involves a push towards another trend that was already gaining ground in many industries.

This evolved hub-and-spoke design offers many employees a sense of autonomy, as well as a more effective work-life balance, which is better for individual health, wellbeing, and engagement. At the same time, it allows businesses to restructure to new locations, reduce office square footage and prioritize specific in-office functions and processes while supporting employee health and safety. Our office designs that focus on a flexible workplace include transitions to multiple smaller locations, designing spaces according to specific functions or processes (multi-use spaces, hotdesking spaces, and collaborative spaces), and designing specifically for the needs of the new hybrid workforce.

Healthier Workspace Design for Post-COVID Productivity

Health and safety in office construction have always been a priority, but COVID-19 has given it an entirely new focus – one that goes the extra mile to adapt to a new, flexible workforce and supports productivity and engagement on a holistic level. BE Builds offers an end-to-end design, furnishing, and office buildout service that focuses on what your business needs from a space in order to thrive. Contact us today or visit our website to find out how our team can deliver the exceptional for your business in New Jersey: https://bebuilds.com/

Originally posted at https://bebuilds.com/ways-to-maximize-health-in-your-office-buildout/

Sources: 

  1. https://hbr.org/2010/12/whats-the-hard-return-on-employee-wellness-programs
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/business/toolkit_seasonal_flu_for_businesses_and_employers.pdf
  4. https://www.businessinsider.com/2018-flu-season-will-cost-employers-billions-2018-1?IR=T
  5. https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/reports/the-economics-of-biophilia/

Cost Factors to Consider for Your Commercial Office Buildout

Whether you’re opening a single office location or planning many, the cost of a commercial buildout is arguably the most critical concern to address when getting started. The cost of an office buildout will vary depending on the age and type of building systems, existing conditions of the space, the type of business occupying the space, local permitting requirements, the quality and types of materials being used, just to name a few. Here, we will take a look at the major cost factors to consider before construction begins on your new commercial office space.

#1 – Building Space Type

The first factor to consider is the building and space you are planning to remodel. These are generally categorized into two types by the office construction services industry – second-generation (second-gen) spaces and shell spaces.

Second-gen spaces are the most common, as they’re spaces that have been used for business before by a previous tenant. Typically, these spaces are more affordable to build out because the basic structure of the space is already suitable, and work mostly focuses on updating older features, implementing visual changes to make it reflect your brand more accurately, and some updates to plumbing, communications, and electrical systems. One factor that can increase these costs significantly is the age and condition of the building itself, with prices and project scope increasing according to how out-of-date the building is.

Shell spaces tend to be more costly to build out, as they are new spaces that haven’t been utilized before. While you have the advantage of being the first tenants and setting up everything exactly how you like it, the project itself is usually more complex and time-intensive. Also called capital improvement projects, building out a shell space involves major aesthetic, structural and infrastructure changes in order to create a completely custom space.

#2 – The Size of the Commercial Space

Bigger spaces are usually more costly to create, although you do gain the benefits of economy of scale by leveraging wholesale buying of materials, furniture, and so forth. In larger-scale projects, it is important to work with a partner who can properly manage this, balancing fixed costs like labor against discounts for bulk supplies to lower the project’s cost per square foot.

#3 – Layout, Amenities, and Intended Use

The more complexity and customization in your design concept, the more expensive the buildout is going to be – and the sky’s the limit here. While the amenities of, say, the Google campus are renowned as an exceptional workplace, it’s simply not achievable for the vast majority of businesses. This is where prioritizing certain aspects of a project becomes key in controlling and managing costs effectively, while delivering a space that is enjoyable to use, functional and impressive to clients. For example, a high-end café and break space for employees is going to carry significant costs in terms of equipment, furnishings, and design, as will a state-of-the-art conferencing space.

Office layout can also affect price, with private office spaces costing more per square foot than open-concept spaces. Your office construction services partner is invaluable not only in terms of laying out the costs per square foot of your project, but also in developing more flexible, creative, and cost-effective solutions that can deliver a completed space. One that matches your brand’s values and goals without overreaching on budget.

#4 – Quality of Materials

Quality comes at a price, and it’s up to each client to decide where their value point lies. However, it’s important to evaluate different materials and furnishings thoroughly to find those that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and durable for your space – the aim is to land on great value, not cheapness. Simply choosing the materials that cost the least is not going to save as much as many people think. Not only can it result in a space that doesn’t present business accurately to clients and employees, but it also tends to wear faster, break more often and have a shorter lifetime, costing you more in the long run.

General Estimates for NJ Commercial Office Buildouts by BE Builds

As you can see, many different factors influence the ultimate cost of an office buildout. As a general guideline, however, you can expect to budget for your buildout as follows:

  • A low-range buildout can cost $50-$80 per square foot
  • A mid-range buildout can be between $80-$135 per square foot
  • A high-end buildout can be from $130-$200 and upwards per square foot

As an experienced office construction services provider, BE Builds understands the challenges today’s businesses face in terms of designing and creating a functional, brand-centric commercial space that supports business growth. With decades of industry experience behind us and an end-to-end offering that takes each project from design through construction, we leverage our resources to ensure every client gets a custom office design that works for their business, industry, and budget. To find out more about our commercial office buildout services, contact us today or visit our website at: https://bebuilds.com/

Originally posted at https://bebuilds.com/cost-factors-to-consider-for-your-commercial-office-buildout/