A leaner office is not necessarily less sophisticated - it just needs to be smarter
I wholeheartedly agree with both Nicola Gillen and Richard Kauntze (The Future Office, 1 February) that focusing on adding value through reusing existing building stock, particularly in the current market, is the way forward. By reusing the buildings we already have, and making existing office buildings work harder, a cost effective solution (which is really the crux of the argument) can be found whereby intelligent office fit outs take centre stage.
Sure the bells and whistles may disappear, but a return to the low-tech and low-spec offices of the fifties seems unlikely. After all, technology is continually changing and businesses will always utilise what is available at the time. As pointed out by Ed Bartlett, a leaner office is not necessarily less sophisticated - it just needs to be smarter. The trick is to design in flexibility to meet future demands of the client. By engaging with fit-out specialists (contractors and manufacturers) early in the design stage, innovative solutions can be developed to address the needs of the client both now and in the coming years. By getting the overall fit out right first time, there should be less need to make costly changes further down the line.
Future proofing through intelligent office fit-out has to be the answer.
David Frise, chief executive officer, Association of Interior Specialists