Office Design Trending Forecast For 2018


Office Design Trending Forecast For 2018

As the estimator at Aura Office Environments, I don’t typically have much time to write articles, but I thought I would write a quick note with the hopes of giving those of you in the market for innovative office design-build services an educational takeaway for upcoming projects in 2018 and 2019.

As many of you know, the construction market in Vancouver is red hot these days, and shows few signs of slowing down. As a result, dedicated and reputable design-builders like Aura are being booked further and further in advance.


This busy marketplace can have a few less than desirable impacts on firms, companies, and individuals trying to build/renovate an office in Vancouver:


  • You’ll likely encounter an extended permitting process, as the applicable building departments in the Vancouver area are overloaded with permit applications.
  • You may find evidence of BC’s Trade shortages: the province has been witness to a large shortage of skilled tradespeople the last few years

Unfortunately, this means that some companies haven’t allocated enough time for initial development of their new office project, and therefore back themselves into a corner where they end up paying extra rental fees and higher construction costs due to insufficient future planning.

Aura Office | Office Design Trending Forecast For 2018

The single biggest take-away that I’d like to spread to CEOs, CFOs, office managers, real estate agents/brokers, and anyone else involved in their company’s decision-making process: Book early!

Confident and sure-footed companies like yours have absolutely nothing to lose by engaging a design-build entity like Aura early-on in the brainstorming process. If you have plans to undertake an office build or a renovation in 2018 or 2019, come talk to us now to ensure that we can.

Many businesses have a difficult time making the jump from actively thinking about a new office design-build project, to actively pursuing the means of making it a reality. We’re advocates of the process of having a workplace strategy, but action can make all the difference in making your dreams a viable reality. So, what are the benefits of engaging someone like us early in the process?


  •   More time to design the space. This gives your company a more comprehensive design package and a better idea of what can happen in a specified timeframe.
  •   A look at preliminary TI budgets before you sign your new lease.
  •   More discussions with City building departments early-on, allowing for fewer complications in the permit process later on.
  •   You can actively pre-schedule your tradespeople for your project, so you can collaborate and work with your first choices.


As the old saying goes, what goes up, must come down. With any upside, there are inevitably, some downsides to neglecting to engage a design-builder early on. These downsides can include:


  • Permit processes taking much longer than anticipated. Lack of applicable time can also result in rushed and error-filled proposals, permits, and paperwork – in time causing havoc on a construction timeline.
  • Tradespeople can end up working weekends and overtime hours to complete the project on-time, causing cost overages, and taking shortcuts to complete mediocre work. More time always means better quality work and craftsmanship, and fewer opportunities for mishaps. (Aura has seen an average of a 15-20% increase in cost in such events where tradespeople are rushed).
  • Extra lease payments on your old office space. If employee retention and collaborative productivity are main issues with your current space, and your new space isn’t completed in time, your company can experience a lull in organizational efficiency, loss of top-talent, and a dip in revenue caused by inflated and undesired lease arrangements.

The current Vancouver and Lower Mainland construction market is a double-edged sword; it can be an intimidating prospect to engage when considering undertaking a new office build or renovation – and it can be a great motivator for companies that know the value of an improved, well-planned, and beautifully crafted space.

In any case, forecasting trends for 2018’s design-build landscape is predictably simple when we all agree that beginning with direct communication is a step in the right direction. A new office environment from Aura can help many aspects of your business, and starting to chat early is always the best way to realize the potential impact of putting a shovel in the ground.


Wade Boram

Estimator – Aura Office Environments Inc.

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