Case Study: User Value

Morton Fraser LLP: Quartermile Two, Office Fit-Out

Morton Fraser began planning in late 2006 for the expiry of the leases on their offices in Queen Street in November 2009. Seeing this both as an opportunity to support a strategy for future growth and as a chance to move the firm forward in embracing current and future developments in working practices, they asked us to assist them in establishing their requirements and evaluating suitable buildings that would be available in time to permit a move within the required timeframe.

Seeking to balance Morton Fraser's aims in a cost-effective solution, the selection process established Quartermile Two as a clear winner: although the quoted rent per square foot was higher than other shortlisted buildings, a comparative test planning exercise demonstrated that the efficiencies achievable in this Foster & Partners building allowed the firm's requirements to be met in a smaller suite, and for the bottom-line rental cost to be lower. Morton Fraser's 36,000 sq ft suite occupies the top four floors (Third to Sixth) of the building.

In order to meet Morton Fraser's programme requirements, the fit-out was procured as a variation to the Design & Build contract under which the base building was being constructed; this strategy resulted in significant time and cost savings, and allowed the incorporation of modifications to the base building to increase its flexibility.

We were appointed initially by Morton Fraser to design a fit-out that satisfied the requirements we had helped them to define; after negotiation of the contract, we were appointed by Sir Robert McAlpine to deliver the work on site, working alongside Foster & Partners who were architects for the base building elements of the contract.

What Linda Urquhart, Chief Executive of Morton Fraser describes as an 'inspirational working environment', with a far greater quantity and variety of client and staff facilities, has been achieved in approximately 15% less space than the firm occupied in Queen Street. A separate suite of approximately 4,500 sq ft is available for future expansion, and for sub-letting in the short term.

The fit-out was completed within the programme originally allowed for construction of the base building, at a cost significantly below the approved budget; Morton Fraser opened for business at Quartermile on 9 November 2009, two days before the expiry of their lease at Queen Street.

contract value:£1.8m
completion date:October 2009
quantity surveyor:CBA
services consultant:Hulley & Kirkwood
design & build contractor:Sir Robert McAlpine Limited