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An In-Depth Look Into the Real Cost of Office Fitouts

by allanolson

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The recent fitouts for Eden-Monaro MP Mike Kelly's new electorate office in Queanbeyan were met with some raised eyebrows. Reports estimate the total cost of the fitout at more than $520,000, more than half of his parliamentary entitlement for the second half of 2012. Among the most basic questions that would probably be asked is whether or not good office fitouts really cost this much.

The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Australia says office fitouts for open-planned office spaces range between $650 and $1,750 per square meter. Partitions for executive offices and special spaces can increase the cost significantly especially in Sydney, which was recently declared one of the most expensive cities in the world (although it's a rank lower today compared to last year). Rough estimates in Brisbane range between $500 and $600 per square meter for a base fitout.

The focus for most commercial fitouts in Brisbane and other areas are primarily on mechanical and electrical installations, says UK-based consultancy EC Harris. Given the mean amount of a fitout at more or less €700 ($992) per square meter, more than half of the budget is devoted to equipment installations, wiring, and the like. Investment banks spend the most in this category.

It's possible for the cost of an office fitout to reach tens of thousands if the entire area is due for a major overhaul. In fact, for an average office size of, say, 500 square meters, a major fitout in Brisbane alone can cost half of Kelly's fitout project. Changing the look and feel of the office one room or area at a time can help keep fitout costs to a minimum.

In the end, looking for an accurate figure is nigh impossible. Given Kelly's position as the Minister of Defence Materiel, it's easy to assume that the fitout may have fixed some security issues necessary for his new office to operate efficiently. However, further details of the fitout project has yet to be released to the public. There's no telling how much a fitout, in general, really costs due to the many factors that can come into play.

Read the story at the Canberra Times online at for more details. For detailed information on office fitout cost estimates and breakdown, read the study at

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