The British Council for Offices is set to increase maximum allowable floor weight and lighting heat loads to bring UK office specifications into line with the rest of the world.

Bovis director and council technical committee member Chris Spackman said the decision to revise BCO specifications followed a worldwide benchmarking project.

The change is good news for users, because relaxed specifications will make offices more flexible.

The survey of 20 offices across Europe, Asia and the USA found that the current UK specification is out of step in two main areas.

An office floor loading of 3 kN/m2 is the most common, compared with the BCO recommendation of 2.5 kN/m2. The BCO's specification for maximum heat loads caused by lighting is low, at 12 W/m2, compared with the international benchmark of 22 W/m2.

Spackman said that in the forthcoming review of BCO specifications, 3 kN/m2 would be recommended as maximum floor loading, and the lighting heat load would also be revised upwards.