360 Magazine

Planning A New Space

Planning A New Space

Whether you renovate a space or build new construction, the process of finishing the interior is similar. The checklist below can aid in understanding the design process.

Initial Planning

  • Assemble a team to help manage the project and discuss ways to efficiently advance the project. Establish procedures for information collection and distribution, approvals and decision making.
  • Identify goals, proposed outcomes, what works in the current space and what doesn't.
  • Schedule a walk-through of your existing workspace to determine how to update your facility needs – space needs for different areas, adjacencies, telecommunications needs, data/technology needs.
  • Examine areas that are critical to your operation – areas such as loading docks, storage spaces and raised floors – which will impact or be affected by new planning, design and construction.
  • Identify services and resources that will be needed and are not available in-house, e.g., an architect, a designer, an engineer, data/phone/technology providers, movers, etc.
  • Investigate local regulations and codes for commercial facilities.

Design & Space Planning

  • Talk with a designer about facility needs and business goals. 
  • Identify prospective sites in the area where you might relocate and make an evaluation of each.
  • Inventory existing furniture and equipment, and evaluate its current condition and suitability for continued use.
  • Establish project team procedures, protocols, schedules and task assignments, including a meeting schedule to keep your project on track.
  • Survey employees to complete a workstation needs analysis.
  • Review local building codes with the designer.
  • File appropriate forms with regulatory agencies.
  • Meet with the landlord or building manager about building restrictions.
  • Have a block plan created to see where departments will be located.
  • Create a preliminary budget.
  • Have a space plan (with furniture symbols) created based on your organization's space needs.
  • Have the designer prepare 3-D drawings of typical workstations.
  • The designer will then present furniture and material recommendations.
  • Make revisions to the plan.
  • Choose your color palette for carpet, paint, wall coverings, fabrics and window treatments.


  • Approve the designer's final space plan and working drawings.
  • Approve specific products for the new space.
  • The designer then writes the product specifications.
  • Prepare documents to describe the project, including bid documents and structural, mechanical and electrical documents.
  • Issue purchase order(s) for furniture orders.
  • Observe installation of phone/data systems, equipment, furniture, and prepare site for delivery.
  • Select accessories – plants, artwork, work tools.
  • Installation of new furniture takes place.
  • Select moving company.


  • Prepare punch lists.
  • Prepare move-in schedule.
  • Complete post-move follow-up.
  • Complete punch list.
  • DONE!

The construction phase of a new building will entail many more steps to be considered. However, your architect or general contractor will help guide you through the building phase.

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