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Project Management Pioneers – Space Plan vs. Test Fit

Space Plan vs. Test Fit

“The secret is they’re not that different.”

Hi, my name is Natalie Malawey-Ednie. I’m the Director of Project Management and Professional Development here at Watchdog.

I’m also a registered architect, and I’ve been in the industry for about twenty years.

In today’s episode, I’m going to talk a little bit about the difference between a test fit versus a space plan.

The secret is they’re not that different.

A test fit is basically a face of a space plan. It’s done early on in the project. It’s often done during site selection when you’re testing your architectural program. Your architectural program consists of all the components that will be included in the plan, whether its offices, workstations, conference rooms or something else, and you’re testing it to see how it fits in the particular space that’s being evaluated.

A space plan, on the other hand, is just the layout of your interior space. That means that both a test fit and an architectural plan can be a type of space plan. When you’re doing design development, there are also space plans within that. It is literally the layout of your interior space – furniture, rooms, etc.

Who is responsible for the test fit?

Your architect or designer will lay out your test fit. You may want to engage them full-time or on a limited basis during site selection… You can do a test fit to conduct an early testing of the program even if your site is selected already.

Who pays for it?

That depends, right?

Perhaps you have a negotiation with your landlord. In some cases, your landlord will pay for a test fit because that helps them allow you to make a decision on finalizing that space selection.

It could be that you’re also paying for it as the client or as the owner of a building. Again, it depends on how the lease was negotiated.

What is your architectural program?

As mentioned earlier to successfully complete a test fit you have to know what your architectural program is. Architectural programs are all the spaces, all the rooms, and everything else that is going to go into the plan. Basically, everything that you need as an organization to operate.

So if it’s an office space, you need to consider the number of offices, the number of workstations, whether you have a pantry or if there is a kitchen, and so forth. Perhaps it’s a school, and in that case, it might be the number of classrooms or collaborative workspace or labs, but you have to know all of those spaces.Otherwise, you can’t properly test your plan.

In summary, a test fit is a space plan for when you are testing your architectural program. A space plan is simply just the plan of your interior layout with all the furniture and rooms outlined in it.

That’s it for this episode. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you next time!

Katie Craven
Katie Craven is Marketing, Communication and Brand Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.
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