Xmo Strata Moves to Converted Property in Kent
Commercial sign specialists Xmo Strata approached JBH Refurbishments to complete a three-storey Kent warehouse conversion and office fit-out. The new property would accommodate their fast-growing workforce and present a rental opportunity.
Xmo Strata took occupancy of a substantial warehouse in the rural setting of Lenham, near Maidstone in Kent. The former agricultural building spanned three floors. This offered enough space for an open plan office on each level, a reception, two partitioned offices for management, a large kitchen, meeting room and washroom facilities.
Besides the exiting mezzanine floors, the warehouse was an empty shell. There was no glazing, doors, electrics, heating, nothing! It was after all previously used as an agricultural building.
The Office Space and Layout Design
JBH Refurbishments carried out a full site survey with the Xmo Strata management team to establish a suitable layout that would suit the needs of the business. When planning the layout, JBH Refurbishments also had to consider the needs of the future tenants. Xmo Strata planned to utilise the first and second floor but let the entire ground floor space to another Kent firm.
The warehouse was long and narrow, so the layout had to make use of the space. It was decided that JBH would create a large open plan area on each level, with the main staircase positioned three-quarters of the way along the building. This would leave plenty of space for an open plan office one side of the stairs and space to accommodate washrooms, an office kitchen and meeting room on the other side, spread across the levels.
Due to the long and narrow format of the warehouse, a further staircase was installed at the other end of the building to provide an accessible fire escape.
The Open Plan Office – Ground Floor Let
The ground floor office needed to appeal to future tenants, who would want to put their mark on the décor and general layout. For the groundfloor, the space would be left uncompromised by individual offices. Instead the area was left as an entirely open plan space with small tea point and separate washroom to the rest of the building.
Space for a reception desk was factored into the ground floor layout next to the entrance door and main staircase. In the usable space on the other side of the staircase, JBH fitted three toilet installations, including male, female and disables toilets.
JBH kept the design of the washrooms simple, with a hint of Xmo Strata’s green brand colour on the IPS panelling behind the toilets. IPS panelling disguises the toilet cistern to provide a modern finish and optimise hygiene within the washroom.
The Open Plan Office and Kitchen Installation – First Floor
The first floor was Xmo Strata territory. Here, the team were specific about their needs. They needed an open plan space for staff and two offices for the Directors.
The open plan space was centrally located with the Director offices positioned towards the fire escape end of the building with a small server room. This positioning of the offices presented a quieter and less intrusive space for management, yet allowed them to stay firmly accessible to the staff. A glazed panel was integrated into the office partitioning to give a view of the main office.
In the room adjacent to the main stairwell, JBH installed a contemporary fitted kitchen, with integrated appliances, dove grey handless doors, a black work top and breakfast bar.
The kitchen floor was fitted with a durable grey vinyl and cap and cove skirtings to facilitate cleaning thus preventing a build up of dirt in a potentially busy kitchen.
A combination of three office kitchens and tea point were installed at the Kent warehouse conversion for Xmo Strata, which featured a uniform look.
The Open Plan Office and Meeting Room Fit Out – Second Floor
The second floor posed the ideal space for a quiet meeting room and the largest of the open plan offices within the warehouse conversion.
For Xmo Strata, the meeting room was an area where they could introduce a quirky design feature. As part of the suspended ceiling installation, the client specified an LED sky light panel with an image of the bright blue skies, crisp white clouds and even an aeroplane crossing the sky. With such an idyllic image, meetings at Xmo Strata will certainly be upbeat!
Every meeting room worth its salt should feature a tea point/kitchenette. It was especially essential for the Xmo Strata meeting room that sat a level above the main kitchen area. The kitchen designed mirrored that of the main kitchen and featured a small section of vinyl flooring, which integrated with the main carpet.
Opposite the meeting room was the third open plan space within this extensive warehouse conversion. It was the largest of all the spaces and offers enormous potential for this fast-growing SME to expand its workforce.
Décor and Office Furniture
The décor throughout the office fit out remained natural and contemporary. The walls were painted white and the floor was finished in a durable grey carpet, which continued on the stairwells and all levels. Overhead, the suspended ceiling featured a combination of round LED spot lights and LED square ceiling panels.
To retain a seamless interior, the cable trunking was positioned at skirting-level. Once furnished computer cables would remain out of sight.
The main stairwell was finished with a blue metal balustrade and wooden rail, while the emergency fire exit featured a unique scaffold hand rail with a combination of black details.
As part of this all-encompassing office fit out in Kent, JBH supplied the office furniture. New storage drawers, chairs and height adjustable desks were supplied to encourage a more active office lifestyle.
Plumbing and Drainage
We’ve already established, the warehouse was formerly an agricultural building. Originally there wasn’t any windows, doors, plumbing or interior walls. It really was a matter of starting from scratch. Initially JBH adapted the drainage to facilitate new washrooms, kitchen and tea points within the warehouse conversion. With the groundwork complete, work commenced to build the stud walls, finish with plaster and trim with skirtings and architraves.
Newly plumbed pipework for fresh water and drainage meant the toilets facilities and kitchen could be installed on all three levels.
Glazing and Doors
Aluminium framed windows were fitted throughout the development. Ranging in size from 1200mm x 1200mm to 1200 x 1500mm the windows were finished with flashing and trims. The entrance door featured complimentary aluminium frame and glazed panels.
Walnut fire doors with a viewing panel were hung throughout the interior for that extra level of sophistication.
Mechanical and Electrical Installation
Throughout the warehouse conversion Kent, JBH specified turnkey M&E works to include:
- Air conditioning across all levels with combination of cassette ceiling units and wall-mounted units
- Ventilation in the toilets, kitchen and IT room
- CCTV and intruder alarm
- Fire alarm system
Steve Martin, Managing Director of Xmo Strata Ltd said, “We employed JBH Refurbishments to build new offices within our warehouse following a competitive tender process and awarded them the work because of the creativity they offered to deliver the project within budget.
“With us relocating our staff from a high-end converted oasthouse with stunning rural views to a new office built in an old warehouse ‘in their eyes’, the build quality and environment we wanted to create was very important.
“We were clear about our budget from the start and were delighted with the design, implementation and management of the project, which ticked every box that our staff gave us and the move went very smoothly; the staff were delighted with what we achieved together when we invited them to a pre-move viewing.
“The staff at JBH at site level and the office support were very professional and we would definitely use them again.”
London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent Warehouse Conversion
Warehouse conversions are a popular choice for growing businesses. They offer ample space and can be designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the individual business. When it comes to London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent Warehouse Conversion JBH Refurbishments have the experience and expertise to see your project through.
Our timely, thorough and professional approach to building and warehouse conversions for commercial use has facilitated the expansion and letting plans of our clients, who continue to return time and time again, as they require multiple sites.
For businesses considering a London, Surrey and Sussex and Kent Warehouse Conversion for office use, or a multipurpose facility, please contact our team for helpful advice and a free site visit. Call 0333 207 0339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.