Generally speaking, the concept of „fit-out” can be defined as developing a given space in order to adjust its functionality to the requirements and needs of its users. This kind of surface usually means public facilities such as offices, shopping centres, hotels, hospitals, halls and the like. The finishing may comprise internal walls, electrical and telecommunication installations, flooring, decorations and branding, lighting, fire protection systems, HVAC and BMS installations, household and consumer electronics appliances as well as any other improvements to the interior of a facility. This is definitely more than just a refurbishment of an office or equipping a hospital; it’s more than just a hall design. This is a comprehensive service consisting in space development of a public utility.
A new, ready-to-use space is a response to the needs of creating a new place such as an office, a shopping centre or a hall for a new company. It may also be a response to a company’s expansion and it may be about adjusting the space to its new and greater needs. Fit-out often involves a deep renovation of the existing Surface, including such changes as: equipping a hotel or renovating a hospital. In such a project, it often happens that the entire electrical, teletechnical or fire protection installation gets replaced.
1. The general vision and aim of a comprehensive space realisation
First of all, you should start with identifying the client’s needs and the stage of their preparation for realising the intended goal. Carrying out the so-called briefing allows for the material matters connected with the general vision and the purpose of a new space to be sorted out. One should think over how the space is to characterise the brand and the ideas behind it. What are the requirements as to the teletechnical or electrical installations. Are there any specialist requirements or specific requirements determined by the nature of the organisation; requirements such as, for example, the ones referring to safety or a need to implement an intelligent access or a demand for an additional storage area, or specialised facilities (such as an industrial kitchen or a hospital laboratory). Defining all these goals will help to avoid radical changes during subsequent stages and, in the first place, to organise the entire realisation.
2. Designs and visualisations of commercial space
The next step is the conceptual design - space plans. An extremely important thing is to prepare detailed visualisations of space. A professional, properly prepared usable space visualisation ensures success at subsequent stages of implementation. Among others, it can be a visualisation of a hotel, an interior office design or a design of a production hall. Apart from developing a conceptual design, a detailed design and a constructional design are also created.
One should remember about such issues as: industry documentation, giving opinions on designs, expert’s opinions, obtaining permits and technical acceptance. A cost estimate is also created at this stage, as well as a full documentation connected with the budget of the realisation. All these documents are an extremely important, but also time consuming, element of the realisation of an investment and that is why it is worth entrusting these issues to a professional company.
3. Construction works and installations
The next stage is wide and complex as it comprises a lot of elements. Among others, it covers: installing plasterboard partitions and erecting brick walls as well as glass and mobile walls. At this stage, the finishing elements are carpets, parquets and the flooring as well as raised system ceilings and door and window joinery. An integrated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, the so-called HVAC, is installed. Additionally, plumbing as well as the extremely important electrical and teletechnical installations, are realised at this stage.
Among teletechnical installations there are fire protection systems in buildings. A fit-out company deals with building, installing and, at a later stage, inspecting such an installation. It is also worth implementing an intelligent building management system, i.e. the so-called BMS. BMS building automation system solutions are intended for office buildings, hotels, shopping centres, housing estates and hospitals. This widely understood building automation is increasingly used to support administration and operation of a building.
Teletechnics also comprises a DSO, that is a sound warning system – a system increasing security in a building, as well as an SSP, that is a fire alarm system in buildings. Installing a fire extinguishing system is also very important – a gas extinguishing, sprinkler or water mist systems can be installed.
If a garage is planned in a building, for safety, gas detection systems, namely CO and LPG detection systems, have to be installed. Garage gas detection systems are designed to be installed in underground car parks.
Access control to large-scale buildings is undoubtedly an indispensable element of finishing just as monitoring of a building and Burglary and Assault Signalling Systems.
4. Comprehensive equipment for commercial facilities
Equipping hotels, hospitals or offices is an extremely important element of functioning and working not only for the employed people but also for the clients or patients of a given facility. Undoubtedly, a nice reception area, a practical kitchen or a walk-in closet and a comfortable conference and multimedia room can be a determinant of the organisation’s success.
During this stage, panel furniture and fittings are selected. Turnkey equipping of commercial facilities additionally includes installing branding materials such as panels or advertising logos. Interior illumination as well as separate recreational areas with appropriate furniture also get installed. Comprehensive furnishings of hotels, commercial facilities, hospitals or offices are an element of an all-encompassing planned implementation concept. An intelligent approach to the selection of furniture, consumer electronics and household appliances strengthens every aspect of the business. It refers to the health and comfort of employees, a coherent brand concept, employee attraction and retention and integration of technology, as well as productivity and high morale. It is worth remembering that all these elements consist the basis of a company’s success and development.
5. As-built documentation
As-built documentation is the last stage of a complete fit-out realisation in which the design department is involved. Although the handover is connected with the final stage of construction, it is essentially the first stage of a much longer operation and maintenance phase of a building’s life cycle. The quality of documentation from the handover phase of a building is critical to its proper and safe functioning, operation and maintenance. As-built documentation includes, among others, the manufacturer’s guarantees, instruction and maintenance manuals, as-built drawings, formal reports regarding tests and completed inspections, as well as certificates of completion from local authorities.
Complete fault-free acceptance and collecting the full documentation is time-consuming and requires accuracy in operating. Therefore, outsourcing this activity to an external company allows the investor to save their precious time. What is more, the formal responsibility related to the elements of this stage rests on the Fit-out contractor, which substantially relieves the investor.
Thanks to intelligent implementation and comprehensive design, the area is used optimally. A comprehensive turnkey solution ensures that finishing works are performed by experienced and cooperating experts and specialists. There is no doubt that abilities to design, provide innovative designs of equipment and renovation in many sectors help to create and transform areas into ideal places to work and live. An experienced fit-out contractor efficiently and timely manages every stage of a project. From the initial consultation to the last brush stroke, a fit-out company deals with interior finishing design in such a way as to save the client’s time and money ensuring the best possible results.