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Office Refurbishment Specification

Office Refurbishment Specification Guide

Establishing an office refurbishment specification is a mix of common sense, industry awareness and forethought. Time spent on a specification prior to engagement with contractors will be a valuable exercise, eliminating cost, speeding up the process and ensuring the outcome better fits the objectives.

An office refurbishment specification should have common principles no matter what the scope of the project. This guide sets out the topics and alternatives that apply to most office refurb projects undertaken by/for tenants (CAT B Refurb).



A specification can be written with technical details for products, workmanship and general standardised building practices, as seen in an NBS document. However these types of specification usually contain so much detail that contractors typically ignore the clauses or they’re too restrictive.

The graphic above is divided into groups so that a structure can be applied. The initial group is a high level overview of dates, design responsibilities, standards and the contract form (ie D&B, traditional, contractors design risk, etc). Group 2 adds a more detailed level of description for materials, program of works and the legal obligations for building regulations, H&S, planning pemission, etc.

Section three addresses purchasing roles including contractor and collateral guarantees, and examines performance based specifications as well as the extent of a project managers role and general site conditions. Group 4 covers documentation to capture all the agreed or stated requirements, including acoustic performance criteria that are often included in CAT B office refurbishments.

Groups 5 and 6 detail aspects of a refurb where defined specifications are regularly applied, and also review elements for the completion of a project.

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Office Refurbishment Costs

Our refurbishment spec guide also covers the typical split of expenditure between the cost areas (M&E, Finishes, Project costs, Furniture, etc) as a quick overview of a budget breakdown. Click Here to visit our Refurbishment Costs page with a free Refurb Costs spreadsheet available.