A Test Fit Plan is a basic architectural plan of a space to determine what can fit in a given space. A test fit is not a full architectural design. The goal is to test if the space will accommodate a given set of requirements for the proposed occupant.
In New York City, it is very common for people to commission a test fit plan from an architect when looking to acquire a new commercial space. A test fit is a proof of concept plan. It is meant to prove if the space will accommodate all of the users needs. The test fit is a generally rough design with minimal detail.
The test fit plan is not necessarily meant to be the final plan. It is a rough approximation meant to test the space. Space planning is a process and may require multiple iterations. The test fit would be less in depth than a full space plan.
What Is Needed for a Test Fit
Asses The Existing Conditions
As an architect, I always visit the space when doing a test fit. If for some reason the space is not available, it would be possible to do the plan with just existing conditions drawings. Assuming the drawings provided are accurate. It is much better for the architect and potential occupant to do a walk through together. Also, having an architect see the space is very beneficial, as seeing can affect how you would layout the space. Furthermore, I never trust plans provided to me. I always want to take measurements for myself.
Write A Program
A program means a list of all the requirements for a space. The prospective occupant provides us (the architects) with a program for their space. Here is a list of some things you might include in a program for an office space:
Office Space Program Requirements:
- Number of offices and general size
- Conference room (for how many people)
- Number of cubicles or work pods
- Size or Occupant count for open work spaces
- Lunch room
- Reception area
- Waiting room (how many seats)
- Server Room
- Business Specific Special Requirements
These were just a few possible things an architect may need to know in order to do a test fit. Every business is different and has unique needs.
Office Test Fit Tape Out
Not all people are good at understanding plans or visualizing from architectural drawings. I often suggest a tape out to my clients if the office space is open. If there is a wide open white box space, we can tape out the layout on the floor. This is very helpful for our clients to understand how the space might work and feel.
Architectural Test Fit Plans
In this article, we discussed some general ideas with regards to Commercial Space Test Fit Plans. Every business will have unique needs. This post is meant to provide a general overview of the subject. We do not assume that the full depth of the topic and all nuance can be captured in a brief blog post.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Test Fit Plans.
I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect, you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.