Building Standards For Any Tenant Improvements

A building owner wants to be sure that improvements made by or for a tenant be of equal quality to the building itself. That’s because tenant improvements, upon completion, become a permanent part of the building. The goal is to establish building standards that will permit a suite of office space to be fully developed to a tenant’s specifications with no extras involved, while also ensuring that the improvements are of satisfactory quality, commensurate with the improvements in other tenants’ space and with the building itself. 

A copy of the building standards should be included with the lease and will identify the specific materials that are to be used for such components as doors, partitions, and fixtures. And the standards will also specify the type of carpeting, floor covering, or wall finishes that the landlord will provide or allow.  

Throughout the entire office building, for example, the ceilings, doors, hardware, light fixtures, area floor coverings should be standard and not subject to tenant choice. 

Window coverings are almost always standard so that a uniform appearance is achieved both from the exterior of the building as well as in the interior office areas. Draperies or window blinds (horizontal and vertical) are the predominant choice, and tenants are cautioned not to change them.  

What Variations Are Allowed   

Wall finishes are very important to most office tenants. Many such tenants may desire reception area and key executive offices be covered with a wall fabric, wallpaper or paneling rather than paint. The building standards should allow this variation, provided that the wall is reconverted to a paintable surface at the end of that tenant’s lease term.

Within each tenant’s space, however, moveable or fixed partitions or carpeting of a particular color may be allowed to personalize the office and to accommodate the tenant’s preference.

Electrical and Communications Requirements

The electrical and telecommunications standards are a major concern of today’s office building managers. These standards quickly become obsolete by technological advances. So, for example, the number of electrical and telephone outlets per square foot of occupied space must increase to meet the new needs of tenants in the “information age”. A modern office building now must provide capability for computers and internet, fax machines, copy machines, video teleconferencing, electronic mail, interoffice and traditional telephone service, energy management and security.