We started this project with the aim of getting an office pod assembled as quickly as possible to give us somewhere warm to work on our designs over the coming winter and to reduce delays to our future clients as much as possible.
We wanted to have a lot of glass area looking into the workshop, working around benching we had already installed, and to have an industrial steel and wood finish externally. Internally we wanted to showcase our favourite rustic industrial look, with a feature pallet wall and dark painted rough textured wall opposite the windows.
We made or sourced all of the internal fixtures and furniture to work well with the overall theme. Take a look at our other featured projects to see how the desk for this project came together.
We chose a full hidden timber frame as the most cost effective option for our application as we didn’t need a heavy duty load bearing floor with only office furniture and light display cabinets planned. Our steel corner window choice meant a visible frame was not require aesthetically.
We also offer a metal floor with timber walls solution which allows equipment to be embedded seamlessly in the floor and the floor can take heavier weights, whilst still keeping the timber upper (the frame for which can be hidden or exposed as desired).
We installed all the electrics in this build to the latest domestic regulations (18th edition) and best possible practice – metal consumer unit with fireproof grommet entry, additional surge protection due to the computer equipment that will be running on this supply, wire support at minimum intervals, all connections made with WAGO 221 and accessible, floor runs in earthed SWA cable etc. Although we can’t supply a full installation certificate with our buildings as we can’t certificate the supply, we can supply a certificate for the building installation as well as install image packs – this will make it much easier for the electrician connecting up the building, avoiding the need to take wall coverings apart to inspect any wire runs, and peace of mind for our clients that the building was fully tested and compliant when it left us.
To keep things warm and dry, we used 100mm fibreglass insulation all round between the timber frame, and then used 25mm foam insulation on top of the frame to reduce the thermal bridge.
With foil tape over all the joins, and the floor membrane fully sealed to the walls, the inside of the build was fully sealed from any vapour penetration. We did this to ensure no moisture from the inside could cool part way through the wall make-up and eventually cause damage to the frame, and in the knowledge that we would be installing climate control (air conditioning and dehumidifier) to ensure the water vapour from our activities inside would be dealt with.
steel framed windows
Our vision for the look of this building was a wall of glass with frames that were as thin as possible. Again, the only way to achieve the look we wanted was to fabricate the frames and door from scratch, giving a solid structural feel to the corner of the office with larger steels and thinning them down as much as possible whilst remaining structural for the roof (which is a load bearing roof we will play pool on!).
The door was made to have a very thin frame which required a sashlock with a very small setback – this one was perfect to sit in the middle of the 50mm frame, and we chose handles which worked with the theme and colour.
The flooring was chosen from our lower end and, as we have no intention of heavy traffic, this is perfectly adequate – the darker colour and thick board width matched our theme perfectly. The Swiss engineering of the boards we use ensures they fit together perfectly and stay that way – we also made sure to leave slightly more than the manufacturers minimum required distance to the walls to allow for expansion; this was easy to accommodate invisibly as we had 36mm of wall insulation and covering overlap, leaving a crisp wall to floor finish.
Climate control was an important concern for us – the reason we needed this space in the first place was to have a comfortable environment in which to sit at a computer or talk to clients, and to keep papers and sensitive equipment dry.
We have planned, physically and electrically, for a wall split air conditioning unit to be placed in the middle of the back wall. We are in the process of becoming F-Gas certified to be able to install these units ourselves in any clients space. For the time being, and the weather we have been having to date, we have used an unobtrusive black glass 1.5kW panel heater to keep temperatures even.
Most importantly, we use a desiccant dehumidifier unit – this automatically dries its reusable desiccant and needs no maintenance; we used this type because at the temperatures that would be common, this type of dehumidifier is much more efficient than more common condenser types.
FEATURE PALLET WALL
Our feature wall is made from real upcycled pallet wood, which we spent a bit of time breaking down, sorting into condition, colour, width and thickness, in order to be able to spread the different finishes around the wall in the most pleasing pattern possible.
In the end, we decided to have the wall transition from red, through light wood colour, to blue on the right hand side of the wall. We really like the finished result!
Additionally, the TV mounted on the wall required some forethought at the frame stage to ensure a firm anchor for its wall bracket, and we installed a HDMI loop in the pallet wood to remove the need for dangling wires.
The lighting chosen for this office was a live rail system, perhaps more commonly found in shop lighting than in an office; however the rail and the light units that can be fitted to it really fitted with the aesthetic we were going for. We ran a rail down the length of the office above the windows to replicate light from that source when the sun goes down, as well as another rail across the middle to illuminate the desk area from behind.
This type of rail system is very flexible and can fitted at almost any length or grid arrangement – all that is required is an idea of where the light units are required, and a selection of correct end fittings to construct the grid with the standard rails in multiple lengths.
The office has been filled with several pieces – a desk, stationary cupboard, amenity unit, display cabinet, sofa and office chairs – some procured from trusted sources, and some made from scratch to suit the design we wanted. The sofa and office chairs were sourced in and really provide good comfort for us and our clients, as well as looking really great!
Please click below if you are interested in finding out more about our bespoke desk and other furniture we built for this project.
Externally, we wanted a dark look which we achieved by using shou sugi ban – the japanese art of charring wood to provide a protective and decorative finish – on quality cedar cladding.
We sprayed the steel window frames on-site with a heavy duty satin enamel which gives it a really lovely finish.
Higher up, we fitted mesh railings around the perimeter of the roof, and external storage along one side. We fabricated a sliding ladder which allows easy access to the roof, where we have our pool table, and the storage, whilst keeping the ability to keep the ladder out of the way.
This type of ladder storage system would be a great addition to any man cave or she shed with under utilised space vertically, it looks great and takes up very little extra space when the ladder is pushed fully to one side.