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Office Reinstatement

Office reinstatement has been on a rise recently due to companies and businesses downsizing and settling in a serviced office or co-working space. In our company, we have been receiving constant inquiries for office reinstatement and furniture disposal. Some are also requesting to package a design and build contract with the reinstatement of their old premises to minimize cost. Others are turning to rental office furniture for more flexibility. To address these inquiries, I have written this blog to help tenants and businesses to deal with office reinstatement and furniture disposal issues.

Before taking over the office unit

  1. Ask for the original construction / as-built plans from the facilities or building management and make a copy for safekeeping. It will come in handy come reinstatement time.
  2. Take actual photos of the unit during the site handover and keep these copies for filing. You may also ask your appointed design and build contractor to take as many reference photos and provide you with a copy for your reference.
  3. Talk to your property agent and building management to highlight future reinstatement concerns, if possible can keep this documented.
  4. Discuss the office design and layout with your design and build contractor with reinstatement in mind.
  5. Minimize construction elements that will increase reinstatement cost. Like ceiling finishes, fire protection system, air conditioning, and lighting layout.
  6. Maintain the office properly, the tenant may be able to convince the landlord to take over the current fit-out if space is well maintained, clean and nicely designed.

During office reinstatement and disposal

  1. Look for a well-rounded reinstatement contractor.
  2. Allocate a reinstatement budget of between $10 to $15 per sqft. for the Central Business District and $6 to $10 per sqft. for the non-town area.
  3. Make sure your appointed reinstatement contractor follows the MCST plans and guidelines provided by the building management.
  4. Discuss the overall reinstatement plan with the building management, reinstatement contractor, and property agent to ensure full compliance.
  5. Reinstatement may be subjective, especially with older buildings some finishes and materials are no longer available. You have to ensure that everyone will agree on the equivalent material specification, equipment installation, and workmanship for final acceptance.
  6. The tenant will only get back the rental deposit and other associated costs once all parties have been satisfied with the reinstatement contractors work during handover.

Demand for disposal has been steadily increasing

In Singapore, there is always a steady demand for corporate design and build projects due to its strong economic growth. Tenants used to move in and out often leaving slightly used office furniture and equipment along the way. As a result of this solid waste management has also been a problem. In an island state where land is scarce waste disposal has seen a spike in cost thru the years.

Most of the tenants planning to reinstate their space ask if there is a market for used furniture in Singapore? Unfortunately, there is none. There are a few shops that operate buy and sell furniture but it has been uncommon lately due to the fact that system furniture is often subjective to the layout and requirements of the business. It is often difficult to predict what are the fast moving items that can be resold in a few months, therefore businesses like these have also been on a decline.

This dilemma not only affects furniture and other discarded building materials like glass, carpets, dry walls and ceiling boards but even equipment like slightly used air-conditioning units, server racks, worn out computers and electrical and data cables. These items are more difficult to dispose of due to the nature of recycling and Singapore’s green initiative. Check the NEA Guidebook for details.

There is some good reinstatement contractor like ARID Builders that dismantle furniture and equipment and segregate them into small parts that can be sold to junk shops and second-hand vendors for an extra profit.

The Office Designer office disposal

The common cost associated with disposal are;

  1. Dismantling and destroying this slightly used furniture and custom made cabinets. Some NEA approved garbage dump do not accept a bulky or full piece of furniture.
  2. Logistics in bringing down, loading, transporting and unloading this discarded items. Often times there may be a need to rent metal disposal bins, tongs & container compactors to make sure the items are disposed of properly.
  3. Disposal requires extensive labor and completed on a very tight schedule.

Fully fitted office units are available for lease. But before deciding on renting this space, ask the property agent about the reinstatement. Some outgoing tenants will dangle this as an option to sweeten the deal. It may seem attractive at first, but consider the implications of reinstatement after the lease period expired.

Lastly, there are government initiatives from BCA that incentivize green mark and sustainable construction materials, finishes and methodology. You can also visit these websites and  for more information on grants and incentives.

You may also consider rental office furniture to eliminate disposal cost and reduce capital outlay.

Do leave some comments or suggestions if you have anything to contribute to improving this topic.

You may also want to read this related article: Ergonomics Made Affordable through Sit-Stand Table rental

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