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​​Lessee assets: Scenario 1

​Scenario 1 shows how an agency is able to adapt and reuse its existing lessee assets.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) fitted out its new head office accommodation in 2000 with 1800mm x 1800mm ‘L’ shaped corner desks.

This was the Department’s standard desk at the time. When the initial lease term on the office space was renewed for a further nine years, the DIA began looking at how it could restack its head office to make better use of the space available and ultimately accommodate more staff. After considering a number of different restacking options it became clear that the key constraint to better utilisation of the site was the size and shape of the desks. The DIA concluded that if it was going to fit the number of staff it wanted into the site then a different desk size and shape would be required.

Analysis showed that a rectangular 1800mm x 800mm desk would enable the Department to make better use of its head office space. GPG’s ‘Workplace Standards and Guidelines for office space’ specifies that where possible agencies should use a combination of 1600mm x 800mm (bench or individual) rectangular and 120 degree desks; with the 1800mm x 800mm desk specified as a maximum desk dimension.

However, the cost to replace the existing desks with new desks was going to be significant. In addition, the desks acquired in 2000, while fully depreciated, were still in relatively good physical condition and had plenty of life remaining.

It was at this point that the DIA’s Team Leader for Facilities Management noticed that the leg sets on the existing ‘L’ shaped desks were almost the same, but for one extra leg, as those on the newer rectangular desks. This opened up the possibility of refurbishing the existing ‘L’ shaped desks into 1800mm x 800mm rectangular desks, rather than buying new.

The initial cost to refurbish each desk was $450 compared to the new purchase price of $1,100 each; this cost included a new desk top, the removal of the not required ‘extra’ leg and the addition of a monitor arm, which increased the useable desk area. Over time, however, as the Department has increased the number of desks being refurbished, this price has dropped further.

To date the DIA has refurbished about 750 desks (both at head office and other sites), with plans to refurbish a further 450 desks, or about 1,200 desks in total. At its head office site 80 new work points have been added, directly attributable to the smaller footprint of the new rectangular desks.