Deciding to move or refurbish your office can be exciting. But also daunting. It’s quite an endeavour, isn’t it?

We’ve seen it a lot of times. We know how hard it is to make SO many decisions, especially if you’re not a commercial architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

You envision the final space where your employees are working in a thriving, new, shiny and perfectly organised environment.

However, panic sets with the realisation that there is so much detail that goes into a move or a refurbishment.

There are so many moving parts involved, which makes finding a good commercial architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh crucial.

Apart from wondering if your employees will be happy with the changes or the new location, you probably worry about moving your inventory, not to mention your sensitive and sometimes large equipment.

You might also be wondering how to stay organised once you check into the new space, especially since everyone’s workflow will most certainly be interrupted to some extent.

Dealing with the noise that comes with the refurbishment, how much time the process will take, and adjustment periods can also be real pains.

And that’s not all.

You must also consider the competitiveness of the Glasgow and Edinburgh real estate markets.

Plus, you need to deal with design options, building codes, contractors, designers, zoning laws and more.

Do You Need a Commercial Architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh?

There is no clear-cut path to follow!

If you decide to relocate, will you buy all new furniture or just stick with the old pieces? If you choose to refurbish, how then do you keep all operations going without disruptions?

This is indeed a tough balancing act that requires an experienced set of hands.

The usual question that pops in your mind at this point is: do I need a Glasgow or Edinburgh commercial architect?

Of course, this comes with its very own catch.

You don’t need just any architect. You need someone who understands the intricacies of relocating operations or refurbishment ones.

You need an architect who has the necessary education, training, and experience to guide you through the entire process.

A good architect will be able to understand your vision, correctly define what you are looking for in your new office, and finally, help you to transform your idea into reality. All this while ensuring that you get the most out of your investment.

An architect will have a 360-degree view of the project. They see the big picture. It’s not just about designing a roof and four walls. It’s about creating exteriors, interiors, and environments that are exciting, inspiring and that satisfy your functional needs. They design dynamic workspaces.

But do you really need a commercial architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh? Or could you use that money somewhere else? Relocations and refurbishments can be costly, so it’s understandable to want to pinch pennies.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits all. There is no clear answer for every Glasgow or Edinburgh-based business.

However, there is a set of parametres and information that you can take into account when deciding whether to hire a commercial architect or not.

Let’s take a look at them. 

What Is an Architect?

An architect is a licensed professional trained in the science and art of the design and construction of structures and buildings.

They design the aesthetic look of a structure, making it economical, functional, safe, and one that meets the needs of those intending to use it.

Their role is holistic in that apart from being trusted advisors they blend diverse requirements and office needs in a creative process. They provide solutions through:

  • Creativity and artistic imagination - they represent their ideas and techniques in their designs through textures, light, form, and colours. When combined, they fulfil your aesthetic and cultural needs.

  • Technical and practical knowledge - they use this to create efficient, sustainable, and safe places that meet your economic needs.

  • Ethical, psychological and interpersonal skills - they craft spaces that meet the needs of diverse clients.

What Do Architects Focus on in a Commercial Project?

Commercial architecture in Edinburgh and Glasgow should be created to provide businesses with profit maximising opportunities and efficient places to do business. The design affects the success of a company – it’s part of their branding and images. Sometimes, it’s also the first thing potential clients see. Design also increases operational efficiency – if done right.

A good architect will create a design that focuses on your business needs.  The design will:

  • Accommodate operations efficiently while considering consumer perception and behaviour. The architect should consider your product displays, customer service, delivery and shipment, staff activity, administration, and storage.

  • Create an environment that keeps employees productive, while allowing them to meet their goals.

  • Create an environment that appeals to your target consumer’s behaviour.

  • Be cost-efficient. Space must lead to cost reduction by providing solutions that lead to energy use reduction and low maintenance needs.

  • Reflect your brand and the values in your exterior and interior design.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Commercial Architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh?

The cost of an architect in Edinburg or in Glasgow greatly depends on project size, your needs, and the individual architectures price structure. Charges can either be hourly, percentage-based or square foot-based.

Most commercial architects in Glasgow or Edinburgh charge a percentage of the project’s value. It is, however, advisable to clearly communicate your total budget before the architect begins the project.

You’re not doing yourself or anyone else a favour by trying to lower the cost and declaring a lower value of your project.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

A good architect will help you stay within your budget if you let them take charge of contractors and subcontractors.

All you now need to do is find the right architect for your project.

But how can an architect help you keep your cost under control while providing you with functional and brand-aligned office space?

To begin with, a good architect will see beyond the numbers to the project’s quality, functionality, concept, and maintenance needs.

The cost of the project, whether long-term or short-term, is determined by these four factors. There is a lot that goes beyond the price involved in each process.

The architect will give the project a holistic view in terms of decisions and consequences that arise from every option you could take. Choosing a cheap solution today may affect the future functionality of the project, leading to higher costs in the long run.

An architect can also help you build structures that meet code and have all the necessary permits to avoid wasting time and money.

A professional architect will also understand the concept of the project and balance it with the cost. The concept brings meaning to the design.

More importantly, hiring the right commercial architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh will actually help you save money. Look beyond their fee to the value they provide. They can help you negotiate better fees with the contractors, make sure that everything is done within your deadline (so you don’t experience costly downtime) and your budget. Plus, all good commercial architects know suppliers that can provide you with office furniture at a fraction of the cost you would normally incur.

Do you need a pro to design your new office space?

When Do You Need to Hire an Architect?

An architect will bring life to your business with beautiful yet functional renderings and concepts. However, before you can involve an architect in your business, you must have an idea of what kind of space your business needs.

This will lead to the creation of concepts you, your employees and clients will love. You will also make the moving process easier.

There are many reasons as to why you need your businesses to move offices or refurbish. These include:

  • For expansion, or growth

  • To increase efficiency

  • To enhance the corporate business image

  • To attract or retain staff

  • To improve the bottom-line

  • When a rent renewal or lease review is imminent

  • To be closer or further away from the competition

Moving can be extremely beneficial, but only if planned and executed correctly. Failure to plan and the whole project becomes costly and disruptive.

It makes sense to choose a good company to help you through the process. The right architecture company in Edinburgh and Glasgow will help you with planning, implementation and office fit-out. Moving without a well thought out plan can be catastrophic.

However, before contacting an architect, you need to involve your employees. This is very important.


Because it will eventually affect their productivity in the short and long term.

Discuss their expectations and feelings about the impending move or refurbishment. This way, they will feel involved. If there’s one thing you need in order to make the move smooth, it’s your employees’ buy-in.

The impact of corporate relocation goes beyond the workplace. The changes will lead to employee stress. They will not only move their office content physically, but may need to uproot their families. It’s not an easy decision even if you are offering great salaries.

Discussing their needs with them before calling the commercial architect will give you an idea of what they expect. They know what kind of office will help them get work done easily.

It will also give them adequate time to consider their relocation alternatives, make personal decisions and make it easy for them to transition to the new locations.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Future growth and how you want the new offices to shape employee work patterns and behaviour.

  • What kind of offices do you need? What kind of meeting areas do you require?

  • Do you need support areas like pantries, lounges, kitchen and common work areas?

  • What kind of office equipment do you require? How many chairs and desks? Do you already have enough, or do you need to add more?

  • What kind of neighbourhood, lease term, building type etc. do you need?

When you are finally ready, then it’s time to find an architect.

A.    Office Relocation in Glasgow or Edinburgh

Relocating to a new office in Glasgow or Edinburgh is a critical business decision. Once you’ve carefully considered your business needs and motivation, come up with a timeline for the project.

How long do you want it to take from when you find the office space to when you make a move?

There are several ways you can approach an office move, assuming you’ve found a perfect location. The first method involves several steps including:

  1. Coming up with a timeline for the project: how long will the project take, and steps involved.

  2. Evaluating your business needs to determine the space required

  3. Getting an accurate building survey and CAD drawing. Pro tip: when you hire someone for this task, ensure they have qualification

  4. Having the building surveyed for asbestos, especially if built before 2000

  5. Drawing the design for your new office - initial development

  6. Create a scope of work and determine the cost of the project

  7. Design the cost of evaluation and scope sign off

  8. Appoint a principal designer

  9. Schedule dates to handle electricity, fire, data and HVAC installation

  10. Have the construction drawings ready, and the quantity surveyor appointed

  11. Have the landlord approve the drawings

  12. Draw building warrants and get approval

  13. Get a health and safety file

  14. Get a Risk Assessment Method Statements (RAMS) to ensure a safe and healthy plan for the construction phase

  15. Survey and report on the building condition

  16. Prepare the site and protect access routes

  17. Start construction

  18. Operations and Maintenance (O & M)

You can go through this tedious process or go for the alternative, which is easier and more efficient. You could do all this yourself OR hire commercial architects in Edinburgh or Glasgow to handle everything for you. If you want to make your office move a breeze, of course.

If you choose the latter, all you have to do is find the right architecture and design company and discuss your needs with them. Then they can:

  1. Appoint an architect to provide construction drawings after listening to your needs and business requirements. They will complete a building warrant if required.

  2. Appoint a mechanical and electrical consultant

  3. Get a structural engineer if needed

  4. Appoint a surveyor to scope the project

  5. Appoint a quantity surveyor (QS) to cost control

  6. Appoint a project manager to manage the project. The project manager will also handle contractors.

This is the easier, time saving, and cost-effective process for handling your move. The construction phase will be handled jointly by the architect, interior designer, M&E consultant, and the QS.

The architect takes time to understand your company needs and requirements including those of your employees. Extensive preconstruction planning takes place, and they give the process a holistic view. They ensure no gaps or interruptions to the process will happen since they become the main contractor. They are the point of contact and remain pro-active throughout the project.

The efficiency of your office space will require an expert able to account for everything, depending on the office footprint. It should also allow for growth. An architecture company should ensure that the necessary groundwork is done to ensure a smooth transition to the new space.

Are you planning your office relocation? Check out our:

B.    Office Refurbishment in Glasgow or Edinburgh

According to research, office refurbishments are the best way to effectively improve the performance and income of older office buildings across the world.

Your reason for refurbishing could include:

  • Having space suffering from years of neglect

  • A looming lease break

  • A need to make better use of the space you have

Refurbishing has many benefits and can be used to attract and retain talent. Research shows that designing a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing workplace is key.

Considering that 1/3 of an adult’s life is spent at work, creating an environment that caters for the workers’ wellbeing is crucial.

Companies are now working hard to create workspaces their employees want to work. An office refurbishment also frees up space, saves on cost and increases employee performance.

You have two different approaches when undertaking an office refurbishment. You can opt to do it yourself - a process that involves:

  1. Creating a timeline for the project

  2. Getting accurate CAD drawing and building survey

  3. Getting an asbestos survey if the building dates to before 2000.

  4. Design the drawings

  5. Get interior design finishes and specifications

  6. Define and create the scope of work

  7. Calculate project cost

  8. Evaluate the design and cost

  9. Sign off on the scope

  10. Appoint a principal designer

  11. Schedule installation of the electrical/ fire, HVAC, and data

  12. Have the quantity surveyor (QS) define the construction drawings

  13. Get the landlord approval for the drawings

  14. Get the building warranty and drawings approved

  15. Get a health and safety file

  16. Get a Risk Assessment Method Statements (RAMS) to ensure a safe and healthy plan for the construction phase

  17. Survey and report on the building condition

  18. Prepare the site and protect access routes

  19. Start construction

  20. Operations and Maintenance (O & M)

Your other alternative is hiring an office refurbishment company in Glasgow or Edinburgh. They will be highly experienced in project management and will deliver quality and professional premises that suit your employee and company needs. You will need to:

  • Appoint an interior design company in Glasgow or Edinburgh to design the space

  • Appoint an architect to provide construction drawings (and complete building warrant if relevant)

  • Appoint a mechanical & electrical consultant

  • Appoint a structural engineer (if relevant)

  • Appoint a surveyor to scope project

  • Appoint QS to cost control

  • Appoint a project manager to manage all the above

The project manager will also deal with the contractors, including appointments. The refurbishment process will involve the architect, interior designer, M&E consultant and QS in ensuring that they deliver according to your specifications.

Being the main project contractor means that the refurbishing company ensures fit out and refurbishment services including provision of source materials and labour.

As workplace consultancy and interior design experts, Amos Beech also expertly takes care of office fit out that involve office partitions, glazing manifestations, second fix electrics, access control, data connectivity, feature lighting, window blinds, acoustic rafts, floor coverings, decoration, second fix plumbing, reception areas and IT comms rooms.

They also provide lighting, air conditioning, acoustic control, air handling, suspended ceiling, electrical installations, data cabling, plumbing services, services access, raised access floors and so much more, when contracted for refurbishments in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Need help with your office refurbishment and fit-out? Check out our:

C. Interior Design

Hiring a commercial architect in Edinburgh or Glasgow ensures that your office becomes stylish. They also help you make good use of your space and work areas leading to cost saving.

The commercial architect understands the company culture and employee needs. They will help you identify what your employees need and create spaces that are comfortable, functional, and efficient. The right surroundings will motivate your employees.

An interior architect in Edinburgh or Glasgow has to get to know your company first. They will have a sit down where you discuss your objectives, goals, and vision.

You will discuss your budget, staff needs and wants, what your competitors are doing and how to achieve your long-term goals.

They will then research to find out your space design constraints, the company, company colours, corporate images, your values, ethics, and vision.

They also find out how your competitors have designed their offices, what your employees want and what future employees will want -- market trends and the industry at large.

After the consultation, the commercial architect uses information gathered to design and create a unique interior design reflecting your company culture, goals and needs.

Need help with your interior design? Check out our:

 D. Choosing the Right Furniture

If your employees spend 8 or more hours sitting on uncomfortable chairs, then their productivity is not guaranteed. Choosing the right furniture boosts employee productivity.

A commercial architect will help you find office furniture that:

  • Is comfortable. Comfortable furniture protects your employees from stiffness, neck aches, and other ailments caused by uncomfortable furniture. The right office furniture keeps employees relaxed and productive.

  • Reflects your brand, image, and company personality.

  • Offers enough storage room to store all the paperwork and employee belongings. Good furniture will de-clutter the office.

  • Aligns with your space. Bulky furniture takes up huge office space and restricts movement. A commercial architect in Scotland will start by measuring your office space and ensure that furniture they bring maximises the layout.

Need help with your office furniture? Check out: 

E. High-Tech Offices with Internet of Things Capabilities

Simply put, having Internet of Things capabilities in the workplace means that your office equipment and gadgets are connected to the internet and to each other.

Why would you need this?

Because IoT-enabled offices empower employees to easily share, collect and control data. Smart devices and artificial intelligence are used to improve workplace efficiency leading to new and better business opportunities.

Internet of Things makes devices in the office intelligent. They make communication easy for employees, which leads to a happier, more effective, and productive workforce.

A McKinsey Global Institute report found that the opportunities the Internet of Things (IoT) has created will have a US$11 trillion global impact per year by 2025.

A commercial architect can help you transform your office space into an intelligent workspace. Some of the devices you will have access to are security cameras, lighting, sensitive planters, locks, doorbells etc.

Your employees can adjust office lighting through remote controls. They can control the office thermostats remotely, program lights to turn off and on when employees get into a room, and as soon as your meeting starts, apps like IotSpot will book the room on the spot to prevent double booking.

With IoT, your company can modify its products to support a new business model. To ensure your business stays up to date with the times, use this technology to adopt agile working. Agile working makes it easier for employees to communicate across devices remotely.

An IoT-powered office is more than remote controlled lighting and temperature control. It’s about having an efficient, quick, and safe working environment that leads to a better return on Investment.

Need a smart office that empowers assists and connects employees in an activity-based and agile work environment?

When and Why You Don't Need an Architect

Having an architect is essential especially for renovation jobs. Spaces are designed depending on the industry, company needs, and employee needs. The requirements will be specific to the company.

However, there are times when you do not need an architect. For example:

  • You manage an architecture company. Sure, an outside consultant would be nice, but you can pretty much handle things on your own.

  • If you have a designer on staff. Designers are not architects, but they can help you remodel. Still, an architect will be a safer option because they have academic training and experience.

  • Some people hire contractors to help them design. The contractors can deal with simple remodeling. However, if you have special needs, or your building has some peculiar features, then you need a professional architect.

Architects for Complex Commercial Projects in Glasgow or Edinburgh

A complex commercial project can be broken down into phases.


The architects will familiarise themselves with your business goals and needs. You tell them your desires and expectations. They carry out research, come up with a rough budget, evaluate the site, and timelines.

Schematic Designs

The architect explores and evaluates different design options in a bid to find the right concept. They use research data, site analysis, available materials, and business culture.

They translate your preferences and goals into a coherent design. A loose sketch is drawn first, CAD plans, and finally, 3D models are defined. The process involves working closely with you, the client, to ensure an innovative design that is functional -- one that creates the desired environment and that is within your budget.

Development of the Design

They refine the schematic design, and the building structure evolves. There are continued consultations between the commercial architecture company, the client, the lighting and interior designers, the landscape architects, the acoustical engineers etc., depending on the requirements.


The structural design is incorporated to create a consistent layout to help obtain a permit.

The project then commences and implemented. The commercial architecture company provides proper oversight to ensure proper design execution. Good communication ensures smooth operations during implementation. Regular site visits are encouraged, too.


When complete, the office space reflects your company vision, while still providing a healthy working environment for your employees. 

Wrapping Things Up

Hiring a commercial architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh is not a whim or la luxury reserved for huge corporations. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Think about it this way: since most architects charge a percentage of the project, a small company will incur a smaller fee.

In fact, you can save money by hiring the right architecture company to help you handle everything. Not to mention that you save a lot of your staff’s time.

Ideally, you should hire a company that can handle everything for you. Whether you move your offices or you’re looking to refurbish your current ones, an architect can’t handle everything on their own.

So try to hire a company that can tackle your project from beginning to end on their own. Wouldn’t it feel great to take everything off your plate and just enjoy your new offices?


If you’re still uncertain whether you need a commercial architect in Glasgow or Edinburgh, our skilled consultants would be happy to help you make this decision.