Do you have any questions about your office fit out or refurbishment project? Here we have compiled some of our most frequently asked questions to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Zentura do?
Zentura helps companies throughout London and East Anglia with office design & fit out, office refurbishment, office relocation and office furniture.
We help companies from the earliest stages of planning through to final handover – we like to think of ourselves as being someone that can hold your hand throughout the process and ensure that your project is completed to the best possible standard whilst minimising the downtime to your company.
Who does Zentura work for?
We work for all kinds of companies and organisations, from small start-ups with only 5 staff to large international organisations with over 500 global offices! Our projects range from supplying small works moves and changes for large corporate organisations through to large trading floor relocations, multi-floor office refurbishments and full office design & fit out projects.
We absolutely do not walk away from small projects, we thrive on them. We know from experience that value, quality and attention to detail are equally as important in a small works office fit out project as in a large design and build project.
What size projects does Zentura carry out?
Typically, the majority of our projects range from 1,000 sq/ft to 10,000 sq/ft but we have completed projects of over 15,000 sq/ft.
How quickly can Zentura get on site?
Zentura can typically have contractors on site within 5 days. However, this is somewhat dependant on landlord/Building Control permissions or consent to proceed. Another key consideration is lead times for materials such as doors, flooring, glazed partitions and lighting. Office furniture can often be a challenge, with the majority of furniture being made to order and typically on 3-4 week lead times. However, Zentura have partners who stock a basic range of materials and furniture to enable us to provide a very fast turnaround on smaller projects.
How can we achieve more from our existing space?
No matter what size your existing space happens to be, there are many simple design techniques we can implement to enhance and transform your existing space into something great!
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be expensive! Clever use of colour, for example, is a great way to enhance your workspace and by utilising textures to create feature walls or using multiple floor finishes to create zones, you can create an amazing office.
Whether it be creating hot desking zones or multi use shared spaces, using advanced furniture strategies and space saving features, we can develop innovative methods and processes to make your office environment work as hard as the people in it.
What are the benefits of open plan offices as opposed to individual offices?
The main benefits of open plan offices include:
- Budget: An open plan office is signifacantly more cost effective with the key benefit being that it allows for more employees withing the same floor space giving better value for money on office rental. Other cost advantages of open place offices include the reduced costs of initial fit out and also reduced heating and cooling expenses.
- Communication: Good communication is essential to an effective workforce and opting for an open plan makes interaction between employees easy. Colleagues are able to collaboration ideas or ask for assistance, and there is an increased integration between job roles.
- Culture: The office design and layout plays an important role in determining the company culture. Open offices tend to encourage a collaborative culture, team brainstorming and group conversations leading to happy motivated employees.
- Capacity to Increase: If you are planning to grow your company, having space to accommodate more people is an important consideration. Open plan offices allow a lot more flexibility then traditional individual offices as they can be easily reconfigured to create more space.
What is the difference between Cat A & Cat B office fit out?
As with any industry, the office fit out, refurbishment and relocation sector has its own selection of industry terminology that can be confusing to those not familiar with the project phases that take place.
Shell & Core Fit Out
The Shell & Core phase is the initial phase of any building fit out. It is a vital part of any project and covers the essential elements that must be in place prior to the bespoke requirements. The Shell & Core phase will apply to the basic structure of your building and usually encompasses most communal areas including stairwells, lifts, toilets, lobbies and receptions.
Once this first phase is complete you will be left with a bare ‘shell’ that is prepared and ready for phase 2 to commence.
Category A Fit Out
The Category A (Cat A) fit out is the second phase of your office refurbishment. It is important to remember that each and every project differs in size and requirements, therefore the Cat A elements may vary depending on the client’s wishes and any site or landlord restrictions.
Generally the Cat A phase is where the building structure itself starts to take shape in preparation for the final stages. It could involve items such as:
- Raised floors
- Suspended ceilings
- Mechanical and electrical services including air conditioning and lighting
- Health and safety features such as fire detection and protection
- General decoration to the perimeter walls
All these vital tasks must be completed as planned before the more visible office fit out installation can take place.
Category B Fit Out
The Category B (Cat B) fit out is usually the most exciting part for our clients. This is where you can clearly see your vision become reality as your new working environment is created. Again, each and every project is different and we tailor our services accordingly, but the final Cat B phase will usually include the installation of:
- Reception areas
- Cellular offices
- Meeting and conference rooms
- Communication rooms
- Refreshment and break out areas
- Partitions and doors
- Floor finishes
- Electrical elements including power and data, specialist lighting and AV equipment
- Branding and graphics
Once this final phase is complete there can be some post project tasks to consider such as snagging and maintenance, but at this point you should be enjoying the many benefits of your newly refurbished working area.
How much will my office fit out cost?
In our experience, office fit out costs vary widely from business to business and factors such as design scope, size, complexity, specification all have a significant impact in deciding the project budget. For example, we have completed projects ranging from £30 per square foot (£320 per square metre) up to £80 per square foot (£855 per square metre).
As a general guideline, we normally recommend budgeting a year’s rent towards an office fit out project. We will guide you step by step through initial budget costings, from the initial design right up until the point where you have a firm fixed cost that we sign off against a fixed design and specification.
We provide all of our clients with a fixed cost to maintain cost clarity throughout the project. Control is maintained throughout the build stages with any variations to the specification or design costed and approved by you prior to implementation.
What is the difference between Cat 5 and Cat 6 data cabling?
Cat5 and Cat6 cables are compatible with the same ports. The difference between each of these cables is in their capabilities, as well as the methods and materials used to create them. The “end” that all the cables have is commonly known as RJ45, and it is capable of plugging into any Ethernet jack on a PC, router, or another similar device.
Cat 5 can handle 10/100 Mbps speeds (Fast Ethernet) at up to 100 MHz bandwidth. However, in todays world, this is slow and almost obselete. New data installations don’t even use it, as there are newer, better, faster and stronger options on the market.
Cat 5e (Cat 5 enhanced) is currently the most commonly used in new installations. It’s designed to greatly reduce crosstalk, which means the Cat 5e is better at keeping signals on different circuits or channels from interfering with each other. A level above Cat 5, it can handle 1000 Mbps speeds (gigabit Ethernet) at 100 MHz.
Category 6 is a major improvement over Cat 5e. It’s suitable for up to 10 gigabit Ethernet at 250 MHz. To even better tackle the issue of crosstalk, Cat 6 cable has an internal separator that isolates pairs from one another. For those who want to “future-proof” their network as much as possible without a significant cost increase, Cat 6 is a great choice.
What does HVAC stand for?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This is the technology of indoor environmental comfort and it’s goal is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality.