BUILDING SMALL OFFICE SPACE WITHIN A WAREHOUSE: WHAT TO CONSIDER
We’ve put together some key considerations to think about when you are looking to build a small office within your warehouse.
Often, companies require small office space within their warehouse to accommodate warehouse managers, line managers, production teams or even a combination of all three. But it can be overwhelming with the number of options available to you to create such a space, so to ensure that you make the most of the space available to you within your warehouse, we’ve put together some key considerations to think about when you are looking to build a small office within your warehouse.
FUTURE PROOF YOUR SMALL WAREHOUSE OFFICE SPACE
If you decide to construct the office on the ground floor of the warehouse you are potentially eating up valuable warehouse space. As your business grows, warehouse floor space is a valuable commodity, so we would always recommend you consider a mezzanine floor to house your new small warehouse office space. When utilising a mezzanine floor solution the office can either be placed under the floor, with the first floor to be used for storage or production purposes. Or alternatively, the office space could be situated on the mezzanine whilst maintaining the ground floor for whatever you require.
At the very least we would recommend installing a ‘steel skeleton’ above the office space to future proof your facilities. Mezzanine floors are notoriously difficult to install over existing office space, so as a minimum we recommend installing the steel framework. This involves the installation of the columns, main beams, and the occasional purlin. The advantage of doing this, is that the cost of the mezzanine is reduced significantly as you can finish off the structure at a future date. If the skeleton is installed it is easy for us to return in the future to install the remaining purlins, decking, handrail, and staircases.
BUILD THE OFFICE SPACE ON THE FIRST FLOOR
Although building an office space on the first floor is more expensive (see above), putting the offices in the ‘air’ does bring its advantages. One such advantage is the creation of a vantage point so you can have a clear vision over the warehouse, enabling production managers to oversee warehouse operations.
Another advantage is that warehouse floor space can be extremely valuable. Although mezzanines can be used for storage or production space, that does bring with it additional challenges, such as transporting goods to and from the mezzanine floor. These can be overcome by the installation of ancillaries such as pallet gates or product chutes, but by installing the office space on top of the mezzanine floor, you gain the additional office space without minimising your warehouse’s ground floor space
Often warehouses are noisy environments and controlling sound within your small warehouse office space requires consideration. By choosing the right materials to build the office from, you can control how much noise you will hear when inside the office. Most offices are built from plasterboard, which is available in different densities with some plasterboards offering greater decibel performance than others.
The noise levels within your warehouse will determine what plasterboard is needed, and whether one or two layers are needed. The same is applicable to steel partitioning systems which are available as single or double skinned systems.
REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF GLASS IN THE OFFICE
Glass is a double-edged sword. It helps provide a great vantage point for the people in the office to oversee the warehouse, however if sound is an issue, it can be problematic. The decibel performance of glass is poor so at the very least the glass needs to be double glazed. Realistically double-glazed glass can provide a dB rating of around 45, whilst single glazing can be sub 20dB.
If sound isn’t an issue within the warehouse, then glass can be a great addition to modernise your small office space, but if your warehouse operations are likely to cause disruptive noise levels, then maybe shy away from using too much glass in your design.
MAKE IT HARD WEARING
By selecting hardwearing materials, you will improve the longevity and robustness of your small warehouse office space. You should select floor coverings that are hard wearing (such as heavy-duty vinyl) and specify wall coverings that can be cleaned easily. If plasterboard is used, make sure wipeable paint is installed and avoid partitioning systems that are wallpapered. Depending on your budget, steel partitions are a great option as they are extremely durable and robust.
These are just a few of the things to consider when constructing a small office within your warehouse. Often it’s a compromise between performance and budget, but by highlighting some vital points hopefully this will provide you with some things to consider when thinking of building an office space within your warehouse.