Zatu Games - Commercial Office Fitout
A £2million project over the course of 10 months converting an old computer data centre to a first-floor office facility for 200 staff and a pick and pack warehouse space underneath.
Having worked with the client previously with fit outs of their previous buildings, our partnership to help with the expansion into this new, much larger, site was a natural development of the relationship built up over the previous years.
Acorn’s Managing Director was adopted onto the client’s Senior Management Team very early to help the client develop the plans for this site as a whole and had previously converted a similar building on the same site into a high bay pallet racking store and a deck-over two-tier pick and pack shelving warehouse.
Acorn Works Limited worked in partnership with the client’s facilities department to carry out a complete strip out of the old data cabinets, raised access flooring and fire protection walls, along with isolation and removal of all the old mechanical and electrical installation to leave an empty shell. This demolition and strip out took place over an 8-week period with all the stripped materials being graded and recycled to minimise landfill.
Acorn then took the role of Main Contractor installing a new roller shutter door for plant access to prepare the floor slab for new paint coatings by scarifying the slab surface to remove all contamination and then designing and installing a new 1740 square metre steel mezzanine floor and new fire escape staircases to provide the basis for the first-floor office floor plate.
Acorn and Zatu’s management team developed specifications for all elements of the project, seeking multiple quotes for each to ensure a competitive project which could be delivered using an informal tender process, and settled on a team of nominated contractors who Acorn then managed day-to-day as Main Contractor, adding our own teams to carry out the core works outside of the nominated specialist packages.
Acorn worked with the client nominated contractor, Secker and Sons of Norwich, to design and install a new ultra-efficient VRF heating and cooling system and new heat recovery ventilation for the new spaces. The electrical contractor chosen, Diamond Services, designed and installed all new incoming power distribution using a mix of refurbished existing switch gear and some new to provide a new electrical supply system for the new facility.
Zatu’s Facilities Team directly managed the Fire, passenger lift, access control and CCTV systems, along with all access scaffolding and external ground works, and Acorn integrated all of these trades into the overall project with weekly site meetings with the wider team.
All new openings were created through the building fabric and new aluminium powder coated windows installed with Acorn Works dealing with the Planning Consent required, as well as the structural calculations needed.
Now that the building was a shell with a structural floor within and all new windows at first floor, the next phase was the internal fit out. Core work for Acorn, all new drylinings were installed, along with structural bulkhead ceiling details and all the internal partition walls to create new toilet blocks, new protected fire escape stairwells and frameless glass internal offices, and finally silicone jointed frameless glazed offices.
Keeping to the weekly management meetings, the specifications were fluid and changed regularly throughout the project, and Acorn provided various costed solutions for each variation discussed. As always, the devil is in the detail with these complex projects meaning that small changes meant quite considerable re-designs and reconfiguration of the Mechanical and Electrical systems as each variation was agreed.
Phase Four and Five
The final M&E specifications were able to be second fixed at this point, along with all the plumbing systems, which required new ground works, drainage alteration and a full new foul and water feed system to be installed throughout.
New accessible toilets and two toilet blocks, one on each floor, were installed along with a new cleaner’s cupboard with pressurised hot water and a new quiet/prayer room with wash basin.
The new central breakout areas were designed to have repeated tea point facilities right in the core of the new open plan floor layout, with integrated dishwashers and boiling taps for hot drinks.
The new front entrance area of the building was designed within quite a tight physical space to include all new sliding glass entranced doors a new open plan glass staircase and a new passenger lift to the first-floor accommodation. A further accessible toilet was included.
Finally, all new flooring throughout, including LVT in the first-floor breakout and feature carpet tiles for the main foot plate of the offices. The reception area had more resilient flooring installed with a new entrance barrier matting. All the toilet facilities had new vinyl floors too and then the whole site was decorated right through with a subtle use of feature colours and contemporary woodwork in anthracite grey.
New joinery feature glulam slat walls were installed to break up the circulation areas from the office accommodation whilst still leaving an open, airy feel to the space.
The finishing touch was all new furniture throughout the first floor to provide good quality desking with at desk power and USB charging, along with some great break out and collaboration spaces and a Boardroom with electric sit/stand space for 14 or more. Acorn specified Elite Office Furniture of Goole for the great majority of these items, which the client chose following a visit to Elite’s London showroom.
An integral part of the client’s plan was to be able to sub-let parts of both the warehouse space and the office accommodation to new complimentary businesses to partner the pick and pack operational systems, so towards the end of the project two new tenants were secured and Acorn Works, along with all the nominated contractors, converted some of the remaining spaces into a call centre supporting vulnerable people to stay in their own homes and a pharmaceutical prescription on ne delivery service.
These additional spaces were integrated into the building as whole, sharing the central heating cooling and ventilation systems, which were designed with this flexibility in mind.
In the future
Zatu Games continues to expand, and the wish to fully utilise the new floor spaces is still being driven with prospective new tenants and their needs are already being discussed, along with the expansion of the site facilities to complete the delivery of a first-class collaborative office space with adjacent fulfilment storage and services, so watch this space for the next planned projects for this client, who has some ambition to add to the already superb facilities on this site.
Acorn Works Limited is very proud of the site we have been able to deliver for this client, especially on a site that was never designed to be converted into office accommodation, some of the spaces have been hard won at times. The open-minded approach by Simon Budd from Zatu Games and his management team has been really refreshing for Acorn to work with, and their unwavering faith in Acorn to deliver their vision has made the whole project an absolute joy to work on.