Choosing the right amount of space for the Design of your Optometric Office can be both exhilarating and frustrating.

Optometric-Space2I can’t count how many times I’ve been told what the useable square feet of an office I am given to design is, only to find out it’s much smaller than the size I was told it was suppose to be.

If for example you are told the space you are renting/buying or building is 1,500 sq. ft. and I deduct the square footage in the thickness of any columns and the walls surrounding the space, the difference between what is useable space, could be significant.

Whether you are purchasing retail space for a Optometric Office or renting a retail commercial space, I would like to share some “LOOKING FOR NEW SPACE TIPS” to consider.

  1. Start by deciding on how big the new office is going to be.
  2. Determine the Space needed to Design your new Optometric Office.  Is the square footage to the builders advantage or your advantage.
  3. Create a wish list of what you want to achieve in the Design of your new office. In creating your list, examine the short comings of the office you are currently in.
  4. A couple of key questions to ask yourself in determining how much space is enough for the Design of your new Optometric office:
    What did you do in the current office that you wouldn’t repeat in the new office?
    What do you want to do in the new office that you didn’t or couldn’t do in the your current office?

In other articles, I’ve dealt with finding the perfect location for your new Optometric office and what to try and accomplish in the Design of the office. This article deals with building a new office and avoiding the mistake of under building or overbuilding.

Finding the right size of space is the next step. What you are looking for in the Design of your new Optometric office is ‘Useable Space’.*

It is very important to understand what that means. Your landlord, builder or your developer looks at ‘Useable Space’ as what encompasses your office. For the landlord this usually means from the center of the outside rear wall to the window or glazing on the front wall.

The developer considers it from the outside walls to the outside walls or in the case of a strip plaza, outside rear wall to outside front wall and from the center of the demising wall to the centre of the other demising wall.

What is Usable Space?

A recent client asked me to Design an office of just over a thousand square feet. His wish list included two examination rooms. The space given to me for the Design was 1004 sq. ft., which my client was told, was the useable square footage. The actual interior face of the four walls was 919 square feet, in which I had to complete what was on his wish list.

I managed to give my client a beautiful Design and accomplished everything on the ‘List’ except the second examination room, it was pretty much eaten up by the ‘dead space’ in the thickness of the walls.

This is not an isolated situation, it happens a lot.

Create a Wish List

The solution is to create your ‘wish list’ and then to do a ‘take off’ of the square feet required for each and every item on the list. Including a width factor of 4 feet for all hallways throughout the office, keeping in mind the absolute minimum a width a hallway can be is 43 inches, based on ‘Barrier Free’ Design.

Determining ‘Space’ Requirement Examples

Measuring Your Optometric SpaceAs an example, if the space for the Design of your new Optometric office is 60 feet by 20 feet, allow 40 feet of the length as a factor to determine space for hallways. This is a good example of doing a take off of each element on your wish list to determine how much space you need.

Another calculation to consider, that is often over looked, is wall thickness. If we use the 40 feet by 4 feet for the halls and you have a dozen rooms in various sizes, you may have to calculate 50 sq. ft. for loss to wall thickness as well as 160 sq. ft. for hall space. In other words, the space you could have used for two exam lanes, is eaten up by halls and walls.

STAY TUNED for continuing articles to help you in find the perfect sized space for your new office and avoiding some of the pitfalls.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about designing your Optometric Office and purchasing space.