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Vlog | Conversion: Offices to Residential  

Topics Covered
In this video, we take you through a project from the archives (2018-2019) walking round a project that was once a prominent office building in the city centre of Liverpool. We were the architects behind the conversion to an apartment scheme. The intended users were young professionals looking for a place to stay in the heart of the city, mainly made up of 1 and 2 bed units.

Building refurbishment projects often require intricate planning, attention to detail, and expertise in handling the many aspects of the conversion process. When an office building transforms into residential apartments, these complexities are amplified due to the significant shift in the building’s function. This conversion encompasses not just aesthetic transformations but also extensive changes in utilities, safety measures, and spatial configurations.

The Role of an Architect in Office-to-Residential Conversions

In the heart of this transformation is the architect, a pivotal figure in ensuring the transition is as smooth as possible. An architect brings to the table a wealth of experience and knowledge in handling refurbishment projects. They are responsible for creating functional, practical designs that prioritize residents’ comfort and lifestyle requirements.

The architect’s role extends beyond the design phase, as they also oversee the conversion’s legal and safety aspects. They ensure that the refurbished building adheres to all relevant zoning laws, building codes, and fire safety regulations. By doing so, they not only guarantee a seamless transition from an office to residential apartments but also help in avoiding any legal complications down the line.

Time Management and Project Management in Building Refurbishments

Time is a crucial resource in any building refurbishment project. Converting an office building into residential apartments needs careful time management to meet deadlines without compromising the project’s quality. This process includes efficient scheduling of tasks, from initial planning and design stages through to construction and final touches. Regular progress reviews and updates also form an essential part of this process, keeping everyone on the same page regarding project timelines.

A critical element that works hand in hand with time management is effective project management. Successful project management means not only keeping track of the project timeline but also managing resources, budget, and stakeholder expectations. It involves coordinating with different professionals, like engineers, electricians, and contractors, to ensure the project is executed as planned. Good project management also mitigates potential risks and manages any unforeseen changes or challenges that may arise during the refurbishment process.

Selecting the Right Contractor for Office-to-Residential Conversions

A significant part of the refurbishment project’s success hinges on the selection of the right contractor. They are the ones who bring the architect’s vision to life and ensure the project is completed within the set budget and time frame.

Choosing the right contractor is about more than just their price quote. It’s about their expertise, particularly in office-to-residential conversions. It’s beneficial to seek a contractor with experience in similar projects, as they will understand the specific challenges and requirements that come with such a transformation.

Contractors should also have a proven track record of timely project delivery and quality work. References and testimonials from past clients can be incredibly helpful in establishing the contractor’s reliability and reputation. Finally, the contractor should possess a thorough understanding of building codes, safety regulations, and zoning laws.


The transformation of an office building into residential apartments is a complex yet rewarding endeavor. It calls for the harmonious collaboration of various professionals, including architects, project managers, and contractors. Each plays a unique role in navigating the project from the drawing board to reality. From conceptualizing a homely and functional space to efficiently managing resources and time, their collective expertise is the key to a successful building refurbishment. By prioritizing good time management, effective project management, and selecting the right contractor, we can ensure a smooth transition from office to a comfortable, inviting residential space.

Find out how to manage your own projects

  • Design in practice: https://archademia.com/lessons/architectural-design
  • The Project Guide: https://archademia.com/lessons/projectguide
  • The Perfect Floor Plan: https://archademia.com/lessons/perfect-floor-plan

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