Times are challenging, but, says past BCO president Gordon Carey, now more than ever the office fit-out industry needs to work together to achieve a high-quality product

I am sure that everyone would agree that we are experiencing extremely difficult economic times with occupiers, design teams and contractors alike all facing similar challenges ahead. As is often said, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and this phrase is now more pertinent than ever. It is so important that everyone involved in the industry pulls together to be able to find viable solutions that satisfy occupier requirements.

The general feeling I get from the market place is that there is likely to be a great deal of reorganisation of existing space, both in terms of consolidation and expansion. This is likely to involve significant alterations to building interiors and work space – as well as alterations to the building fabric.

Gordon Carey
Gordon Carey

At the recent British Council for Offices (BCO) conference in Brussels, the green agenda was, as ever, at the forefront of discussions. When making improvements to existing building stock, green leases and close collaboration between landlords and tenants is vital if carbon and energy use is to be reduced.

As we all know, retention and improvement of existing building stock is one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient methods that can be explored. There have been many great examples of buildings that have been refurbished in order to satisfy the ever-growing demands of modern occupiers, including such facilities as break-out spaces, hot desk areas and flexible meeting spaces.

Britain has some of the most impressive office space in the world

I have to say that after visiting offices all over the world, it is evident to me that Britain has some of the most impressive office space and is at the cutting edge of corporate design.

The office fit-out industry generally works extremely effectively, involving the occupiers, landlords, project managers, interior designers, contractors, suppliers and the entire professional and construction teams – working closely together in order to create well-designed efficient office space cost effectively and often within short programme times.

Now, more than ever, the overall aim of achieving this high-quality end product is a must – to do so an excellent team needs to be established to deliver the goods.

The following articles arranged by Overbury feature experts from all fields across the sector and cover many of the points that are key to our industry. They will hopefully give further guidance, and help us continue to raise the standards of office space.