Both processes will likely be part of your real estate project, so let’s explore the difference between a test fit and a space plan.

Test Fit

Difference between a Test Fit and a Space Plan

Put simply, a test fit is a floor plan used to confirm that the stated needs and requirements can be accommodated within a specific space. If your program dictates that you need 25 work stations, 3 conference rooms, a large reception area and a kitchen, a test fit will tell you if the space that you are looking at will be able to accommodate these needs.

Typically, the landlord pays for a test fit. As a tenant, it is best to understand the criteria for your office program as well as possible in order to get an accurate test fit. Growth projections should always be factored in when doing a test fit. Can the space accommodate your company’s plans for growth?


Space Plan

Difference between a Test Fit and a Space Plan

Space planning takes a much more in-depth look at your space. Here, the design professional will block out interior special areas, define circulation patterns and develop plans and layouts for furniture and equipment placement. Where a test fit will literally test to see if your needs can be met within a space, a space plan will elaborate on your space and what it will look and feel like. The tenant’s design parameters and project goals are built into space planning. Space planning accommodates for work flows, image and atmosphere, efficiency, interior details and materials and even FF&E. The space plan is where you will really begin to understand how your space will present to your employees.  The difference between a test fit and a space plan is really the level of thorough detail.

Natalie Malawey-Ednie is a driving force of Watchdog’s project management team. With Natalie’s oversight, the firm’s project management staff has implemented projects for institutions such as Princeton University, Grand View Health, Imvax, Spark Therapeutics, Montgomery County Community College and The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House amongst a myriad of others.


RA, LEED AP, MBA, Six Sigma Green Belt