Calculating the correct amount of office space for your business operations can be tricky but is crucial in so many ways.  By leasing too much space your cash flow may be restricted by an excessive rent payment.  But by leasing too little space you may limit future growth opportunities, which may result in the need to relocate prior to your lease expiration, potentially a very expensive exercise.

Traditionally at the beginning of an office space search a business will procure a commercial real estate broker to help locate space that is available. Invariably the broker will need to determine how much space the client requires before the search begins.  In most cases the client will also need to hire an architect to determine the amount of office space to lease.

Redesign Properties is unique in the fact that we provide both tenant representation and interior architecture services, which eliminates the need of hiring multiple consultants.  One firm handling the process eliminates the communication time lag between the real estate broker and architect, furthermore expediting the process.  If you’d like for one of our Los Angeles commercial real estate brokers to begin a search for office space for your business please fill out our Office Space Search form.  Our overriding goal is to make sure that when the dust settles your new office space not only meets your functional requirements, but also reflects positively on you and your company throughout the duration of the lease term.  Meeting these goals is best accomplished by having a clear program of the space requirements early on. This information is important to assure there are no surprises and provide a clear picture of the size of the office being considered.  Having the programming information in hand at the beginning of the office space search allows Redesign Properties to pre-screen potential spaces and quickly zero-in on only those spaces that really meet your long-term business goals.

Below is the basic outline of the steps taken in locating office space for our clients:

Establishing The Program

This is the information that is collected when our architectural team meets with our client’s company representative. The information is entered into a spreadsheet that can quickly be reviewed and approved by the client.  The program report will document both quantifiable aspects of the new office as well as the more subjective or qualitative goals for the architectural design.  Once the report is approved our real estate brokers can quickly develop a list of building options that meet the space requirements.

Determining Ratios

The programming calculation will take the form of a series of ratios and the most common ratios are listed below.  There may be others that apply to your specific workflow and functional organization.  These ratios go hand in hand with the program and as they are altered the program is modified.

  • Gross Density Per Person Ratio 
  • Associate Office to Partner Office Ratio
  • Assistant to Private Office Ratio
  • Interior Private Office to Private Office Ratio
  • Open Office Workstation to Private Office Ratio
  • Open Office Printer Stations to Assistant Station Ratio
  • Conference Room Ratio

Space Planning

Our design team takes charge in assisting you with the analysis of your current space and the plan(s) for your new space.  Once we find a couple spaces that are attractive to your business, our design team will request CAD (computer aided design) backgrounds from the building and start the space planning process.  Multiple space plan options will be presented to help our clients determine the specific buildings we should start the lease negotiations with.


Adding The Circulation Factor

At first it may appear simple to just list all the spaces needed and calculate their respective sizes to arrive at the total square footage required for the office space.  This is not the case though as additional space should be allocated for hallways and circulation paths within the space. The circulation factor can vary dramatically depending on how efficient the layout will be, given the building footprint.

Determining The Load Factor 

The above calculations calculate your needs based on Usable Square Feet (USF) as defined by standards established by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).  Depending on the building and the nature of your occupancy (retail, full-floor or multi-tenant floor) a load factor multiplier will be applied by the landlord to determine the square footage you actually occupy in your space. The result is a Rentable Square Footage (RSF).  This load factor accounts for your pro-rated share of the common area in the building that you share with other tenants (i.e. building lobbies, corridors, restrooms, etc).  This load factor is important when comparing buildings as it can vary significantly and goes directly to the bottom line.

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