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Vortex Design Solutions / Building Compliance  / When Building Compliance Meets Space Planning (Part 1)

When Building Compliance Meets Space Planning (Part 1)

“Space”, best planned and maximized, by extension would require enlisting the services of a professional Interior Designer with an experienced understanding of your individual needs. Vortex Design Solutions undertakes space planning projects for each client from the onset of the initial brief taking into consideration the following elements:

  • How many people occupy the space;
  • How many departments will cohabit the space;
  • Which departments need to work closely together;
  • Forecasting company growth within a 6 month to 3-year cycle; and 
  • What type of clientele the company services and how often they service them.

Identifying these core elements brings together creativity and functionality in design and space planning which further allow us to identify which area of the building each department can adequately fit into according to their storage, printing, technology and cross-departmental operational needs including which peripheral spaces in the office they require quick accessibility too.


We need to remember that space planning is not done in isolation because building compliance has to be considered together with the design. A typical example is the IT department requirements within a building. This specific department requires less desk space, an Interior Designer will plan 1400mm wide desks, however, they need multiple monitors, we advise a desk arm that can support 2 additional monitors for functionality. The physical space placement of an IT department needs to accommodate quick access to the server room for business support and crisis management. An additional storage room for their equipment and spares needs to be situated close together.

Space planning that allows for these requirements upfront can efficiently allocate sufficient space for the IT department to work efficiently. These considerations will overlap with building compliance as server rooms vary in size, depending on use and equipment. The larger a server room gets the more structurally sound it needs to be. Equipment in a server room and the batteries which ensure uptime of a server during a power outage are very heavy therefore structurally they need to be placed close to columns and structural building walls.


It is important to note that building compliance supersedes interior design and, in places, architecture as it follows the essence of building, relevant to fire, structural and electrical principles and rules which make a building safe for human occupation. Adhering to these principles we calculate the best route for fresh air flow and electrical ducting in tandem with the space plan for a particular client keeping in mind that the space may evolve and have different tenants in the future or growth stages for a particular tenant or client. Airflow and electrical are building services which ideally need to be designed to be workable and malleable when it comes to relocating said building services to ensure that the cost of implementing the future changes do not override aesthetic enhancement. 

Furthermore, building compliance improves space planning and work performance in the following ways. A standard building requirement is sufficient fresh air flow supplied to an office or retail space. Increased oxygen increases blood flow and has a positive effect on staff performance and overall productivity. Or for example, a building with multiple floors and IT server rooms which need to link between floors, the server rooms are always placed first and planned together with service engineers allowing for more cost-effective electrical connections between floors. The long term benefit is more cost-effective data connections between building floors giving you an optimally connected space for the current, and future tenants.

Vortex Design Solutions endeavours to provide each project with its key strengths in interior design and architecture, consulting the best professionals in their particular fields and striving for excellence to ensure our clients have the best value in a turnkey service.

To find out more about this insightful topic, read When Building Compliance Meets Space Planning (Part 2), or contact us for more information.

If you require our services to improve your space, simply click on the button below to book a free online consultation now!

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