What is FF&E?
FF&E stands for furniture, fixtures and equipment and refers to the movable or fixed furniture that doesn’t have a permanent fixture to the building or utilities. FF&E solutions are an easy way to create a fully functional environment as well as enhancing the appeal of an interior.
FF&E typically includes items that were installed with the building and can be removed such as office furniture, I.T. suites, shelving, and library furniture. Refinishing and refurbishing existing furniture can also be a part of FF&E.
Many industries choose to use FF&E solutions, primarily the education sector where organised, compact furniture, fittings, and equipment are required for art and design classes, cloakrooms, and libraries. The commercial industry utilises FF&E where tea and coffee points, reception areas and kitchenettes are vital for ensuring employee well-being which in turn can increase productivity.
The healthcare sector also needs to have furniture and equipment that’s able to withstand the rigours of the environment, as well as being easy to clean in accordance with the principles of infection control.
WHAT IS FF&E PROCUREMENT?
Procurement agents will plan, design, budget, source, and deliver FF&E to suit project requirements, making it easy and saving businesses time in finding a supplier. However, these agents will often search for lower quality, cheaper items that can be easily obtained and may not choose products that the customer had envisioned.
At Benchmark, we design innovative furniture and equipment to the highest standard no matter how challenging the request may be. We manufacture our products using methods that maximise energy efficiency and minimise waste, installing products on time and with zero fuss, paying very close attention to detail and using experienced installers.
WHAT DOES FF&E MEAN IN CONSTRUCTION?
FF&E is a term often used in construction contracts however in most cases the general contractor is not required to provide any FF&E. The furniture, fixtures and equipment are also not included in blueprints or construction designs. On the occasions that FF&E is shown in construction drawings, it is only to represent the size and scale of the building’s interior.
While most builders don’t spend a lot of time discussing FF&E with their clients it is something the owner of the building must consider when estimating the total cost of construction as it can make a significant difference.
WHAT DOES FF&E MEAN IN INTERIOR DESIGN?
FF&E is a comprehensive sector that has a major role in the design process. Some companies hire a specialist designer who is fully qualified with an added speciality of ensuring the furniture, fittings and equipment of a project are sourced, budgeted and meet the requirements of the customer.
They should be present at client meetings early on in the design process and must always take into consideration the needs and requirements of the client.
WHY DO CLIENTS IN THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY NEED FF&E?
Choosing the right kind of FF&E can create a positive environment that will enhance and support a student’s learning. The furniture in classrooms tends to go through a lot of wear and tear. As a result, it needs to either be designed to be robust enough to ensure this or replaced or upgraded frequently.
Our furniture systems are ideal for space-saving solutions needed in classrooms and can be made to fit challenging shapes providing comfort, function, and a style that boosts the space. Our clever storage solutions can help to keep the classroom tidy and clutter-free, encouraging students to take pride in their classroom.
WHY DO CLIENTS IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY NEED FF&E?
FF&E in the healthcare industry can constitute between 20%-40% of the overall construction budget, meaning attention to detail is critical for a successful project. With technology and healthcare standards constantly changing and advancing, furniture and equipment need to be updated to meet them.
Our range of HTM63 healthcare furniture is manufactured specifically to withstand the rigours of a hospital environment with anti-microbial surfacing materials options available. By working directly with us, projects can be delivered much quicker, saving the client time and money.
WHY DO CLIENTS IN THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY NEED FF&E?
Designing an office space where employees feel comfortable and motivated to work is key to ensuring your business is operating at optimum efficiency. Whether clients are moving, expanding, or reorganising their projects, these processes often involve refurbishing, which is the ideal time to introduce the use of FF&E.
With our in-house manufacturing, we are more than capable of designing and building innovative and problem solving FF&E solutions for your business to help create a welcoming workspace.
WHAT ARE THE CONSIDERATION FACTORS?
When it comes to FF&E there are many factors to take into consideration to ensure you get exactly what you envisioned.
• Budget – The first and, arguably, the most important factor is your available budget. Your budget is your guide to making decisions on what FF&E products to use to furnish your interiors. While going for the cheaper options may be appealing it could actually end up costing you more if something goes wrong. When choosing Benchmark, not only are you paying for a high-quality, bespoke product designed and manufactured in-house and finished on time, but also our outstanding customer service and highly knowledgeable team. The old maxim of “If you buy cheap, you buy twice” is definitely applicable to FF&E!
• Design and aesthetics – Once the budget has been set you can begin to consider the design and aesthetic aspect of your FF&E and choose products that meet your design vision. Choosing colours that match your business can depict a sense of pride and motivation amongst employees and students. Uplifting colours such as blue, red, green and yellow can lead to a more productive workspace. Our handy visualiser tool can really help you to envisage the finished appearance.
• Space – Take into consideration the spacing of your commercial, healthcare and education establishments and whether you need to invest in any space-saving storage solutions. We can design bespoke pieces to fit seamlessly into tricky areas just like we did with Cantley Primary School.
• Speed – What is the deadline for your project? How far in advance do you need to order for your products to arrive on time? At Benchmark Products, we always strive to get a project completed to an excellent standard in a timely manner, with several of our products delivered and installed in just two days. Here at Benchmark Products, we pride ourselves on collaborating with other contractors involved in projects, to ensure the smoothest completion possible, on every project
FF&E provides a great opportunity to enhance the space and atmosphere of a building, adding extra value and benefits to its users. The primary reasons to use FF&E is to furnish new spaces, replace or upgrade current FF&E, and for a faster delivery and installation process. We specialise in creating beautiful furniture pieces for your commercial, educational and healthcare workspaces.
Let us turn your visions into reality! Contact us today for all your fitted furniture solutions and to discuss your next project.
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About the author:
This article was written by Dean Fryer, Estimator at Benchmark FF&E Solutions since 2012.
Passionate about collaborations between sub-contractors on-site and a demonstrated history in assisting building contractors and architects with producing comprehensive and definitive schedules at the pre-tender and pre-contract stage, Dean is an invaluable asset to Benchmark Products and contributes towards the end goal of perfect delivery every time.
Last reviewed for accuracy: 11.03.2019