Are Australia's office buildings still impacted by floorplate size?

OFFICE • January 31, 2019

Traditionally high-quality office space is often associated with the floorplate size and overall scale of a building. The property industry have historically supported this view, however does floorplate and building size matter in today’s office market?

Organisations are increasingly using the flexible/progressive workplace strategies to attract talent, boost productivity and retain staff. This cultural shift in the workplace has seen an increased importance placed on factors other than size, including:

  • End-of-trip facilities – bike racks, lockers and change rooms
  • Environmentally sustainable office environment – energy and water efficiency
  • Digital connectivity
  • Other services – gym, dry cleaning and childcare
  • Dynamic flexible fit outs – emphasis on agile and collaborative workspaces

With large redevelopment opportunities becoming scarce in Australia’s major cities, smaller floorplates offering an equally premium experience through tenant services are becoming a viable option.

An example of this is Charter Hall’s 333 George Street in Sydney – a 14,700sqm Grimshaw designed building with typical floorplates of just over 1,000sqm. The building features five smaller tiered balcony floors and a full concierge. Looking into the future, the upcoming Circular Quay Tower will have the latest generation features overlooking Sydney harbour with floorplates having a maximum of just “30 metres from end to end” (so likely less than 900sqm per floor).

Andrew Cortese, Grimshaw Managing Partner, believes there is a shift in market perceptions.

“There is a growing appetite for smaller footprints that minimise environmental and visual scale impacts. With a renewed focus on workplace culture, relying on proven analysis of working communities and interactions, small footprint commercial towers are becoming not just viable but increasingly desirable,” Mr Cortese said.


Written by Adrian Taylor - Office CEO, Charter Hall