There are many important aspects to your business.  Your employees and clients/customers are, of course, at the top of the list, but have you ever considered how large a part your building plays in your company’s success?  Your office building may have a large impact on your employee’s happiness and productivity and it could also be adversely affecting your bottom line if it is not an efficient structure.  Putting some money into remodeling now could save you money and improve employee retention while also increasing your image and maybe even bringing in more clients.  Here are a few project ideas.

“Green” Projects

Making your office more efficient should be at the top of your list, especially if it is an older building.  Kevin Ross with Superior Lighting has the following ideas for efficient projects:

Replace or retrofit existing lighting. In warehouse or factory spaces, HID or (High Intensity Discharge ) fixtures are no longer efficient and can be replaced with T8 or T5 fluorescent fixtures that offer better light levels and also energy savings.

“We are also doing many office environments where the existing fixtures are being retrofit with a kit that reduces the number of lamps and eliminates the flat lens offering a more modern, appealing appearance,” says Kevin. “Superior is also doing many lamp and ballast retrofits as the T12 lamps which have been a mainstay in the lighting industry for decades are nearing the end of their existence. By Government mandate most of the T12 lamps used for interior lighting will no longer be produced after July of this year.

We are seeing more use of LED products not only in signs, but in ceiling fixtures and track lighting products as well. Occupancy sensor use has shown a huge increase in our business. We have installed them for many school districts, office buildings and other commercial customers. They are adjustable in time range so if a room is not occupied for a certain period of time the lights are shut off.

“We can provide expertise in the different types of fixtures available,” explains Kevin, “and we can also generally provide equal or better lighting using fewer fixtures and fewer lamps.  When undertaking a project like this, make sure you explore your options and gather information from qualified contractors.  It will be well worth it.”

Pat Killeen, President of Engineered Controls, Inc. ,explains, “Integrating complex buildings control technologies are getting more cost effective every year. Business owners need to become educated in what technology will do for them (and their employees) as it relates to optimizing the mechanical and electrical systems in their buildings. Engineered Controls can assist them to control the right amount of everything (air, water, electricity and natural gas) to create a comfortable building environment and, at the same time, optimize cost. System integration with other intelligent building networks is where the technology is going.” This system integration will enable businesses to monitor and control all aspects of heating, ventilating and air conditioning, security, card access, video systems and even control parking access to a facility.

Engineered Controls, Inc. is leading the installation of these capabilities from their branch offices in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. and Des Moines, Ia. Pat added, “Engineered Controls provides customers with products and services to create efficient, safe and comfortable building environments. As a leading Honeywell building control technologies contractor, Engineered Controls offers control solutions for commercial HVAC and security systems, including video surveillance and access control, parking systems, lighting control systems and building indoor air quality.” Contractors and business owners choose to enlist the help of Engineers Controls Inc. for two reasons.

Pat said, “First, our size and experience enable us to do projects ranging from small, to medium and large. Our staff is every experienced in very complicated system integration where we connect multiple systems of different types into one network. Second, we have the capability to handle a variety of scopes of work from automated temperature controls, lighting, video surveillance and building access control and building indoor air quality.

We have a well-established service department with front line service providers located in Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk and Kearney. The closer we can get to the customer the better.”

Landscaping Projects

When considering projects, look outside of the actual building and consider ‘curb appeal’ remodels as well.  Landscaping companies can help create visual interest for your office, which will not only make it a more pleasing environment for your employees, but can also draw clients or customers in or at least impress them when they visit your office.  Examples of projects would be water features, patios and landscape lighting.

Of course, lawn care and maintenance is also extremely important.  What will your clients think if they come to your office and you have an overgrown yard, weeds or dead patches in your grass?  It’s likely they will wonder if you take care of the rest of your business the way you take care of your lawn.

Since it’s unlikely you or any of your employees want to be out mowing and weed-eating while they could be doing their jobs, it’s almost always in your best interest in hire a lawn care company that can take care of everything and free you up to worry about your business instead of your landscaping.

Nancy Fredrickson with Sevenings Landscaping Inc. explains, “We recently took over a contract that needed a lot of TLC when we arrived.  I think the most important things involved with commercial remodeling are control, cleanliness and communication.  Taking an assessment on the entire property, figuring out what can stay and what must go, figuring out how to make the property more friendly, inviting a safer, whether that be pathways, seating areas, water features or even a nice outdoor employee lounge where they can grill out for a special occasion.  It is always fun to see the finished product, but the most important part is the upkeep and maintenance.  Making sure that everything is being fertilized, mowed, weeded, trimmed and that all sprinklers are working properly and efficiently and not leaking is very important.  It’s so nice to see a well-kept property that has had the same company maintaining it for several years.  The landscaper then is familiar with the property and its problem areas and what grows best where, etc.  Sevenings prides itself on attentiveness and communication with the customer and we try to give daily/weekly updates depending on what is being done.”

Security Projects

Increasing the security of your office is also extremely important.  Window film can be an excellent way to increase the security of your building.  MSL offers a window film that has multiple interwoven layers of poly using ‘nano technology’, which is 2000 times thinner than a human hair.  Their flagship product has 224 layers of film cross-layered and is thinner than a post-it note.  Applied to a window, it is virtually unnoticeable because of its clarity and the film holds the glass in place.  Upon the impact of hail, a hammer or any blunt object, the glass will break and the film will begin its job:
keeping the threat out of the structure and buying the client time and peace of mind.

Window films give you the confidence that if a break in should occur, your valuables will not be harmed.  Replacing the window with minimal glass clean-up is usually the norm. Along with security film, MSL also offers window tinting, which can save a building owner up to 35% on their monthly energy cost. Film also improves tenant/employee comfort and computer screen glare driving up production. Using the proper film, a building can be cooled 12-15 degrees.

Involving Sub-Contractors

Depending on the type of project you are undertaking, there will sometimes be a need for subcontractors.  This is especially true in the case of a build-out or addition.  An example of a subcontractor and how they are involved in the process is Christensen DrywallNancy Sempek says, “We would be involved in a project like this from the very beginning as we frame the walls.  Commercial buildings are typically all steel stud framed, so after all the rough-ins we back in and insulate and hang/finish the drywall.  We also do the acoustical ceiling tile, so we are involved in every stage of the remodel.  It is best if all subcontractors are involved from the start as we can all work together and create a flow of work, especially if the business is remaining open during the remodel phase.  There are always ‘unforeseens’ in a remodel, so there needs to be some flexibility in the bid process due to the unknown.  It’s also always important to work closely with the general contractor through this phase so everyone knows what to expect.  The end results are always worth the headache of the remodel process.”

Construction Clean-Up

Cleaning up after a remodeling project is of the utmost importance, and one that Broomers, Inc. can help you out with.  Broomers, Inc., a local street and parking lot sweeping company that also cleans constructions sites.  This can include new developments under construction or current retail, commercial, or industrial facilities that are being remodeled.  Broomers, Inc. uses large street sweepers equipped with water and high lift hoppers to collect dirt and debris without creating a dust storm on construction projects.  The equipment is capable of dumping into dumpsters or dump trucks.

Broomers, Inc. can schedule weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sweepings to keep the parking areas and local streets free from dirt, gravel or sand, dust and construction debris.  Broomers, Inc. can also provide one time final cleanup services for parking areas and driving lanes on developments.  While building or remodeling commercial construction projects, it is important to keep track-out onto city street and roads to a minimum.  Broomers, Inc. will help keep your job sites clean and avoid costly penalties for tracking out of construction sites.

Example of Client Remodeling Project

Nancy Fredrickson says, “With our recent expansion of the spa, we decided that we needed a larger space.  We also decided that individual offices for the owners, sales people and operations manager were important.  I believe that allowing employees to have their own office space is important because it offers them the chance to make it feel at home.  We encourage individuality in decorating or not decorating one’s office, paint, pictures, etc.  My office will even have a special spot for the days I bring my pooch, Thor, to work with me.  Another key ingredient to a well-run office is cleanliness and tidiness.

It has always been important for me to leave my desk clean at the end of the day.  With cleanliness comes team work.  An office is well-run when everyone is pitching in to help keep the office clean and tidy.  We have also incorporated a large conference room in our new space.  We will have weekly meetings for each company in this space and it will have the warm feeling of a family room.  We will also use this space to educate our clients and employees on the latest and greatest in our industries.

I think that lighting is extremely important in an office space.  Getting away from the florescent lighting is a must.  It seems to relieve tension and headaches to have softer lighting, can lights and desk lamps.  Last of all, we always try to keep snacks and refreshments on hand for our employees and customers.  Bottom line is we want our employees to feel like they are at home as much as they can while they are at work.”

Making your office attractive, safe and friendly for your clients and employees should be on the top of the list when it comes to your commercial remodeling project.  Make sure to plan ahead and use the correct professionals to ensure your project is stress-free and delivers the results you want.