All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments Partitioning Suspended Ceilings

Offices on a Mezzanine Floor

Client: H J Knees of Trowbridge
Value: £45k

We are asked to look at making some office alterations to a new office for HJKnees in Whitehorse Business Park. The customer wanted to fit some new offices on a Mezzanine Floor. At first glance we could see straight away that the work would need extra work to make the project comply with Building Regulations as none of the existing mezzanine floor had any fire protection on it at all.

Mezzanine Floors and Building Regulations.

Our first consideration when considering an office project is Building Regulations, does the existing structure comply?, and whatever we do as far as changing things also has to comply. In each case we consider the Regulations and obtain approval before the work starts, during the work we usually have an inspection carried out before the walls all get closed in, and then a post project inspection.

We can then give the client a proper certificate from a Building Regulations Inspector that certifies the design and our work to confirm that all legal requirements have been met.

Please see our articles on Mezzanine floors and what you need to do with Building Regulations on the News section of this website. Unfortunately the customer has never been aware that their existing floor does not comply, and we do come across this quite a lot, so we are always on the back foot before we even start talking about what they want as the whatever work is done, adequate fire protection, escape routes and distances need to be considered to comply with the law.

The additional problem in this situation is that it is a legal requirement to have a 1 hour fire rated separation between offices and warehouse. The construction of a 1 hour wall is not an issue, often it is the height that is the problem as you have to construct the wall to meet the plasterboard and metal stud work manufactures specifications.

The most expensive parts are the doors and windows, so the plan is always to keep these to a minimum.

Initial site Photographs.

Original upstairs rooms not meeting fire regulations

Another view of old offices

Another view of old offices

Another view of old offices

They stored things next to the offices

They stored things next to the offices

Underneath the mezzanine, hardboard used a potential fire hazard!

Toilets needed doing

None of the mezzanine floor steels protected.

Edge of mezzanine not protected.

As you can see from the above photographs, a general builder has built the offices ontop of a steel mezzanine floor with no fire protection using timber windows and non fire rated materials. The offices look ok but does not comply at all. The whole lot needed to be stripped out and started again. All of the mezzanine floor underneath needed a 1 hour fire rated suspended ceiling, along with column encasement protection (1 hour) and some re-organisation of the access routes with toilets, a small office and warehouse access with some basic security.

Construction Photographs

The other constraint that we had is the whole job had to be completed in 3 weeks as a new machine was due to arrive in the unit. The reason why the toilet block had to be halved, was that the new machine was 26 meters long and so it would not quite fit.

Staircase needed to be scaffolded

Main fire wall plastered ready for decoration

First fix electrics underneath mezzanine

Demolition of existing offices

Timber frame exposed to be removed

Timber frame exposed to be removed

Start of dry lining the walls

Boarding of the main fire wall between the offices and warehouse

Building the frame under the angles steels of the building

Suspended ceiling grid is quite quick to go in.

Construction of the new offices started

Outside walls plaster drying out

Ceiling tile just starting to go in.

Fire rated ceiling going in under mezzanine floor

Underneath of stairs

Windows dry lined around and window boards fitted

Offices starting to take shape

LED panels fitted

More office walls going in

Column encasement system fitted to steel uprights

Offices starting to take shape

Offices starting to take shape

Window boards fitted, insulation for ceiling arrived

Completed column encasement and ceiling tiles fitted.

More fire rated walls downstairs

Mezzanine floor edge protection

You can see the back of the light fitting has a 1 hour smoke hood fitted.

Downstairs work nearly finished

Offices nearly done

Offices nearly done

Offices virtually done

Final Result

We do not have any finished photographs as the customer needed to move in straight away. We kept to the dates that we advised the customer and we did have a couple of snag items to deal with which was not a problem once they were in. The project was inspected by Building Control and a passed certificate was issued to the client, as well as the Health and Safety file. The Health and Safety file included all of the as built drawings, certificates and evidence of emergency lighting and fire detection equipment that acts as a reference binder for the client to use in the future.

We chose demountable partition for the main office upstairs due to the speed of construction and the final finish looking much more modern and professional that a traditional stud and plasterboard wall.

Summary on Demountable Partitioning

  1. Using Demountable Partitioning is very tax efficient as they are seen as movable items and so can be treated differently in writing down allowances in the accounts.
  2. We can also lease Demountable Partitioning as they are movable, this spreads the costs of having the work done as Demountable Partitions always cost more than customers think.
  3. Leasing of demountable partitioning is very tax efficient and Cre8tive can provide illustrations, please contact us for further information.
  4. Most landlords insist on Demountable Partitions being used for offices as it is much easier to take them out should the tenant renting the space leave for any reason. The benefit is that is saves making a huge amount of mess and destruction that would be need with a conventional stud and plasterboard constructed wall.

Questions on Demountable Partitioning?

If you are not sure about anything as well as taking about all kinds of partitioning including Demountable we love to talk about projects and sort out problems and issues with space, please give us a call on 01380 738844

Air Conditioning All Project Categories Design Office Refurbishments Partitioning Suspended Ceilings

Complete Office Design and Refurbishment

Client: Thales Optronics
Value: £55k

Cre8tive Interiors were ask to look at the complete office design and refurbishment for Thales Optronics in Taunton, to convert an existing factory area into a new reception area. Initial work required the removal of a metal skinned demountable system, ceilings and lighting, along with stripping out and replacing the entrance doors with new glass doors.

The lighting chosen was LG3 direct / indirect fittings which is the recommend lighting systems for modern offices. The partitions included silicon jointed glass called Komfort Polar, joining into Komfort Kameo 75mm system which offers a soft radius profile and joins neatly with the Polar silicon jointed system. The doors are disable access width to conform to the DDA regulations.

Existing Space

Thales did not use this building and wanted to create more of a main reception for the site. The building inside was very factory looking, in that it had metal partitions. Fine for a laboratory environment, not very nice for offices. The lighting was also pretty bad with old lino, the whole area needed replacing.

Drawing and Design work

Construction work

Final Photographs

Design and Refurbishment Work

Often with these projects the hard part is knowing where to start. The customer knows it is not right and may have seen other areas that they like. Translating that into a cost can be quite difficult, so what we do at Cre8tive is to listen and then try and interpret what the customer wants. We go through certain steps and doing the drawing work is one of them.

If you are struggling to come up with something, please do not hesitate to give us a call 01380 73 88 44 or email us on [email protected]

Air Conditioning All Project Categories Mezzanine Floors Mezzanine Floors Office Refurbishments Partitioning Suspended Ceilings

Office Refurbishment in Milton Keynes

Client: Edwards International
Value: £187k

Office Refurbishment

We were  invited by this customer to have a look at their existing office space as it needed an office refurbishment in Milton Keynes and the customer did not know where to start. They found us on the internet and liked our website as it showed real photos of actual projects rather than nice photo shopped images.

Out of the few that they contact we were the only ones to respond to their enquiry within a day.

When we first visited the client it was very obvious that the while area needed stripping out and starting again. What was surprising, although in reality we are not surprised, was that the existing partitions and mezzanine floor were not fire rated. We recognised the system below the mezzanine as a 50mm wide demountable partition system which has no fire rating at all. None of the exit routes out of the building were 30 minute protected and the mezzanine floor had a suspended ceiling fitted but it was not fire rated. The staff were working in a death trap. If there was any problem in the building then there would be a lot of trouble. The customer specialises in fire detection equipment, so for them to be in a building that was a potential death trap as it was not properly fire protected was nonsense.

Building Regulations

There were three different mezzanine floors installed at various times at different heights, and no paperwork to show that they had been passed Building Regulations, so from a fairly straightforward requirement to refurbish the offices there was a need to look at the whole building, design and specify it properly and get Building Regulation Approval. In the design we had to consider:

  • Fire protection of the mezzanine floors using the correct grade of suspended ceiling tile and support  column encasement
  • Correct design of protected fire exit routes throughout the building, checking of escape distances and signage
  • Full electrical design to suit.
  • New fire rated partitions where needed to meet Building Regulations
  • Supplementary fresh air systems to enclosed offices
  • Changes to air condition systems
  • Heating were needed.


There was no doubt that we were going to be on site for more than a month, and have more than 5 people on site, the whole project was quite a bit of work and so the work comes under the Construction Design and Management Regulations. The purpose of the regulations is to protect the employee and employer in making sure that a construction project is run safely. If you do not notify the Health and Safety Executive that the project is being carried out and there is a problem then directors of the company where the work is being done can go to jail.

Where do we start?

The first step is to measure everything and take lots of photos to see exactly what has been fitted. The next was to understand from the customer how they wanted to work in the space, so this included some basic functional block drawings identifying where they wanted Sales, Accounts and Technical. Once the broad locations were identified then the detail layouts were carried out identifying voice and data positions, partitioning and ceiling layouts and the work that had to be done on the mezzanine floor. Once the layouts were agreed we had to submit the plans to Building Control and get their approval which we did.

We produced many many drawings. All showing everything that was needed for each trade. Some shown below. The important document was the Building Regulations Approval document that is a legal requirement.

Existing Photographs

The first two photographs below show the immediate and obvious problem. The partitions are 50mm wide demountable and are not fire rated at all. The third photo shows the the vast storage area out the back. The rest just show the general bland and dated look of everywhere needed some tlc.

Stripping out and Construction work

We produced a plan and submitted all of the documents to the local Building Control people who assessed the drawings and arranged for some visits throughout the work. We also employed a Health and Safety Consultant who oversaw the work and kept all of the sub contractors on their toes, and they submitted the F10 to the Health and Safety Executive.

Refurbishment Projects

All Project Categories Office Furniture Office Refurbishments

Reception Refurbishment

Client: Smurfit Kappa
Value: £49k

We have been working with the customer over a number of years and they wanted us to come up with some ideas on how to deal with the customer interface into the factory. The brief was to redesign carry out a reception refurbishment to represent a modern clean and welcoming customer entrance into the building.

The total open area was vast, dominated by an open egg crate ceiling, dull lighting, brick walls with a dark oppressive atmosphere, and a dated looking ceramic tiled floor with a mosaic of colours pinks and dark greens. The reception office was situated in a brick built room at the far end of the open foyer area.

What we did was to look at the area that was important and that is the meet and greet to potential customers and suppliers by the entrance doors, and guiding important visitors into the main boardroom upstairs, or the CEO’s offices which were situated just off the main entrance doors.

We therefore came up with the idea of bringing the whole reception area towards the main entrance doors and just focusing on this area. We would then leave the majority of the area behind a glass wall alone and focus on the main lobby. By doing this, it also meant that we could meet the customers budget. It would simply cost too much to deal with the whole area.

Existing customer experience into Reception

Reception Refurbishment construction photographs

CDM and Health and Safety

The duration of the project and the number of people on site, as well as the access issues meant that we had to employ a Heath and Safety consultant to carry out a risk assessment and discuss with the client safe fire exit routes and means of protection from the staff whilst we were doing the work.

Reception Refurbishment Projects

If you would like us to look at your reception area, or indeed any aspect of your offices, please give us a call just for an initial no obligation discussion about what we may be able to do. We love to talk about projects.

Please call us on 01380 73 88 44

All Project Categories Office Refurbishments Partitioning Storage Walls Suspended Ceilings Toilet Refurbishment

Office Refurbishment and Design

Client: De La Rue
Value: £200k

Office Refurbishment in Bath

The Administration Building looked very dated and did not represent the image De La Rue wanted to present to their customers. The building needed a thorough interior office refurbishment and design to create an environment in which staff feel empowered and involved and to portray the right professional image to visitors to reflect the high company values.

As the company uses wood pulp in the production of security papers, an earthy feel was required to the design. Due to the size of the project the work had to be carried out under the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) which applies to any construction type work taking longer than 30 days or employing more than 5 people on site at any one time. Cre8tive was employed as a principle contractor, and the client employed a Heath and Safety Consultant to help run the project safely. The office refurbishment had a strict timetable of 8 weeks for completion.

Design Work

The design process took around 3 months. The initial proposal was made in competition with another company in which we were able to convince the customer that we had the skills to deliver, as well as come up with a good design. The first step is to measure everything and work out who does what where before moving onto the plan. We thought upstairs the best thing to do was to take out as much of the upstairs walls as possible to let as much natural light into the space. Unfortunately the walls upstairs held up the roof, so we had to employ a structural engineer to do some calculations and fit some steels to the beams. Downstairs also required opening out, and a beam had to be fitted downstairs.

Initial site photographs

Construction / demolition photographs

Office Refurbishment Project?

If you need some office design as you are unsure what to do Cre8tive can help, regardless of the size of the project we like to be Cre8tive with what we do with the space. As well as all of the practical things such as running the project as Principle Contractor, dealing with Health and Safety and running the project well we add something extra and that is the Cre8tive effect.

Please give us a call on 01380 73 88 44

All Project Categories Design Office Refurbishments

Refurbishment Projects in Bristol- Innovations Centre

Client: Smurfit Kappa
Value: £118k

Office Refurbishment Projects

We have carried out several refurbishment projects for Smurfit Kappa over the years and the customer had every confidence that we could deliver. The project had to be run under the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) due to the time on site, and the number of fixers on site as well. Please click the link to go the page which explains more about CDM.

The office refurbishment project was made more complicated as the main staircase had to made available whilst the work was carried out, so planning and carrying out the appropriate risk assessments was important.

Office Refurbishment Scope of Work

The work included:

  • Initial project brief
  • Development of ideas with the customer
  • Drawings, designs, 3d visuals
  • Costing
  • Liaising with on-site Health and Safety advisors, production of Health and Safety Plan.
  • Running the project under CDM
  • Completion on time within budget

Supply and fit of: stripping out, electrical work, flooring, lighting design, office furniture, design of colours and specification of finishes, air conditioning, decoration and construction of a curved presentation wall and fitting the customers own artwork.

Initial photographs of existing space

This was essential to try and work out what we were dealing with. The constraints as well had to be considered which mainly revolved around agreeing access times to get materials up and down the main staircase. First task is always to take loads of photos, measurement, then to go away and think about it.

Initial Designs

The first step in any office refurbishment projects that needs design is to work out the basic space plan first, once this was done we produced a series of the 3d visuals to help the client understand what the space may look like, and use this tool to further refine and ensure that the customer will get exactly what they want.

Detailed drawings

Once the design was approved the next task was to detail up the drawings to ensure that we produced exactly what the customer wanted. The table for the downstairs meeting room was made to a Smurfit Kappa specification and design. We had to squeeze it in to the space however which was a bit difficult.

Construction Photographs.

One of the tricky things to do was to actually get to the height of the roof using mobile towers. The insulation had to be tacked in place so it did not slip down the roof, everything boarded, tape and jointed then painted, all working 5 meters off the floor.

There are so many awkward angles, it is hard to show with photographs the geometry of everything.

Final Photographs

The final result was a mixture between the original design that we did and adjustments made by the client. The actual box wall itself was made by the customer as this is what they do, construct things in cardboard. We had to give them the curve and they did the rest. Overall the customer was very happy with the result

Similar Project?

Although it is very unlikely that we will ever come across a project exactly the same, the same basic principles in what we do are carried through all projects.

If you are stuck for ideas but know that something needs to be done, please give us a call on 01380 73 88 44 or email us at [email protected]