Women in Construction Series: Featuring Roxanne Espiritu

As a senior site QS, I love that my job doesn’t limit my learning to paperwork and the office. It lets me experience site operation and quantity surveying firsthand.

Roxanne Espiritu was looking for her next job as an aspiring professional when she discovered SDW had an opening for a Senior Quantity Surveyor. “I was still in the province working for a private construction company as a project engineer. I was looking forward to returning to Manila after having some time to breathe when the epidemic hit. One of the firms I’ve seen people apply for is SDW. I browsed its website and what impressed me is that the executives are composed of both locals and foreign nationals.”

Roxanne has worked for six years since graduating from Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. She has worked at four different construction companies. She is one of SDW’s notable women in construction who, despite the difficult job in a male-dominated work environment, has excelled and proven herself.

Let’s get to know Roxanne as we asked her some questions about her work and construction.

women in construction

What does your job entail?

As a Senior Quantity Surveyor on site, one of the most critical aspects of my job is to check that the scope of work being implemented by the operating team is right and following our contract. These include the location, quantity, and cost of each activity. And because our company engages other subcontractors to complete some of our jobs, I also need to analyze their performance and certify their billings. Finally, we must prepare our monthly billing claim, containing all necessary documentation.


What is the best part of your job?

As an engineer with experience in site operation and office work, I would say that one of the best parts of my job as senior site QS is that it does not limit my learning to paperwork only and on the four corners of the office. It allows me to explore and experience firsthand the correlation between site operation and quantity surveying work. It also challenges my knowledge and ability to work effectively with the two different construction departments, the operation site team, and the commercial team. They are very different in many ways but also very connected. This kind of work setup improves my negotiating skills and allows me to immerse myself in varying levels of understanding.


women in construction

Do you like working with SDW?

In my more than three months with the organization, I would say that one of the benefits is having an environment that encourages you to speak English. It enables me to gain confidence and improve my communication abilities.


What has been the most memorable moment working with SDW?

My daily experience in the company is, I believe, memorable. Every day is different, adding to my recollections of the company. My regular conversations with coworkers or managers, whether at work or during breaks. Those days appear to repeat themselves or when nothing happens. Those days, I don’t say much since I have a lot on my plate. It is also how they make you feel significant as a team member and how they make you feel during those demanding schedules and submittals. Those are the things that will remain.


What personal qualities help you be pleasing in your job?

Listening with analysis is one of my skills that gives me an advantage over others. Next, I am not scared to make decisions and hold myself accountable. Humility, as well as an understanding that learning is a never-ending process, has greatly assisted me.

Who inspires you?

My family, like others, is what keeps me going. My ambition is to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle and enable other family members to realize their dreams.


I didn’t picture myself working in industries other than construction. I believe it is my professional calling and that I was born to do it. My manner of thinking, desire to construct things, and create solutions are all aspects of who I am.


What are the advantages of being a woman in construction? What are the disadvantages?

One of the advantages of being a woman in the industry is that they will assume you are organized and good at documentation because it is typically reserved for women. However, I must say that sometimes it is also a downside because they will limit your role to that and will give the more physically demanding activities to men. For this reason, there is no equal opportunity for both genders.


What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction?

As a woman in the industry, aside from the fact that it is mentally and physically exhausting, it is a great challenge to prove that we are equally capable as male engineers. Not only in terms of strength but also in effectiveness on site or in office work, intellectual or physical, in management or operation.


How do you handle the pressure?

When there is the pressure at work, I try my best to stay calm and intellectual. For me, this is how it works. I need to stay focused. Keep attention to the details, then work it out.


What advice do you give a young woman entering the industry?

I would encourage those young ladies who want to pursue a career in the construction industry to do so because it is an adventure. It is very challenging and fun but exhausting at the same time. So I think for you to be able to enjoy one thing, you must love it. I mean not only in construction but in general. So yeah, if you think you are passionate about this industry, go for it.


How do you think construction can attract more female candidates?

I think the construction industry itself is very attractive. It is so inviting for those people that are interested in joining. I mean, it is mentally, physically, and socially challenging. There is no need to convince the girls to be part of it. We need to expose and educate the younger generation about it so that they will appreciate and see how beautiful it is.


I am proud that my professional career is in the construction industry, mainly because being a female engineer is something to be proud of, and I am doing what I love.


What do you think is the most important change happening in the construction industry?

As construction advances, we could see more and more women in the industry becoming normal. The industry is embracing female potential and contribution. Both men and women are now working together with the same responsibilities and accountabilities.


In this day and age, women are more empowered. Women holding positions in a male-dominated industry gets more common. Get to know more about SDW’s women in construction here.



How to Choose a Fit Out Contractor

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, office interior design plays a critical role in creating a productive work environment. Sustainable design improves employee health while increasing productivity and lowering operating costs. We recommend researching before beginning your search for a dependable commercial fit-out contractor.

Finding the best contractor for your interior fit-out requires some legwork. The last thing you want to do is choose a company randomly and then be surprised by problems that may arise later. You are not just selecting a contractor; you are selecting a partner who will implement your ideas and collaborate with you and other team members (e.g., interior designer/architect) to bring your vision to life.


Choosing the Right Fit-Out Contractor

When selecting a contractor to oversee your fit-out project, these simple steps can mean the difference between complete confidence and sleepless nights. Here are some pointers to help narrow your search for the ideal interior fit-out company.


fit-out contractor in the Philippines

What You Should Do


1. Prepare a Detailed Brief

Before the project begins, hire experts to create detailed guidelines. It should include information about your company, employees, needs, and facilities. Discuss the fit-out with your team. The brief should consist of a schedule and budget.


2. Obtain the Required Permissions

Ensure that your fit-out contractor is knowledgeable about any regulatory approvals that may be required and that your proposed works are by health and safety and building codes. If you don’t own your office space, make sure your fit-out contractor gets permission from the landlord.


3. Do Your Homework

Research is vital. Determine which commercial fit-out contractors are the best in your area.

Make use of the resources listed below:

  • Internet research: business and industry websites, news articles
  • Customer referrals
  • Industry associations

Concentrate your search on companies with a reputation for honesty, professionalism, and industry knowledge.


4. “Think Green & Sustainable.”

Consider contractors with a long-term vision who can design and deliver energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective designs. Research has shown that “green offices” increase profitability due to higher employee productivity and lower operational costs.

The criteria to consider are sustainable sites, water efficiency, optimized energy performance, minimized energy use, use of materials with recycled content, waste management, and indoor environmental quality.


5. Create a Shortlist

After you’ve completed your research, you’re ready to narrow down the companies that offer interior fit-out services in your area. How do you choose among them?

Prepare a list of 2-3 companies with whom you’d like to work and who can execute your vision and offer improvements. You may need to add to or remove from the shortlist.


6. Do Background Checks

Check the Portfolio: Assess the company’s portfolio to determine the breadth and relevance of its experience.

Obtain Client Feedback: Contact previous clients (at least three) and ask them to rate the contractor on critical deliverables such as quality, responsiveness, value for money, service level, and delivery on a scale of 1 to 10. If the overall score from the three clients is unsatisfactory, you know that contractor must be removed from your list.

Check Financial Stability: Make sure that any company you are considering has the financial resources to complete the project and can negotiate the best prices for materials and services on your behalf.

Pay On-site Visits: Go to their most recent completed project because a contractor is only as good as their most recent.

Pay Office Visit: Pay a visit to their place of business. A visit to a company’s premises can teach you much about it. Are they well-organized? Do the employees appear to be happy and engaged? Is the office in good shape?



office fit-out

7. Request Proposals for Design and Fit Out

Distribute the design brief to your shortlisted companies and request that they submit a proposal by a specific deadline.

Evaluate them on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the Design Brief
  • Work requirements or considerations
  • Cost breakdown
  • Options and their associated costs
  • Timetable for delivery with milestones
  • Assumptions exclusions
  • Contract terms and conditions include insurance, liabilities, payment terms, and conflict resolution terms, among other things.
  • Follow-up or after-delivery service, if applicable.


8. Interview Candidates

Interview your candidates and pay close attention not only to their responses but also to how they respond.

Conduct phone and in-person interviews to thoroughly assess the people you will be working with.

  • Do they have the knowledge, experience, and collaborative attitude?
  • What is the mechanism in place for weekly written and verbal reporting?


9. Criteria for Selection

Create a scoring chart and assign a score to each company on your shortlist based on key deliverables such as design proposals, client recommendations, budget, timeframe, and experience.

After doing all your research, don’t forget to trust your instincts.

Working with any company entails far more than just nuts and bolts. Cooperation and collaboration must be ingrained in a company’s practices and people. All else being equal, choose people you like and trust because they will make communication and project management less stressful.


What to Avoid


1. Do Not Set an Unrealistic Budget

Hire the best contractor you can afford at all times. Reputable, experienced fit-out contractors can provide you with a clear budget that includes cost breakdowns and a list of options.

Always consider cost efficiency; never take the cheapest offer.

  • Hiring a low-cost contractor can be a costly mistake because low-cost contractors are not the best at generating accurate bids.
  • A bid that appears low at the outset may not have considered additional cost variations that may occur during the project. It will result from either a deliberate attempt to “lowball” the bid or inexperience. Knowing that change orders are a given in any project will help you save money in the long run.
  • Change orders require a contract amendment, which has time and cost implications. Few interior fit-out projects are completed without change orders, but they can be costly.
  • Hiring an inexperienced, low-cost commercial fit-out contractor may result in more change orders than hiring someone with experience.


2. Do Not Set an Impossible Timeframe

What has been said about budgets also applies to work schedules. Money is equal to time. Any contractor who gives you a significantly lower estimate for project completion is either inexperienced or deceiving you. Make sure that all steps are completed in a reasonable amount of time and that no corners are cut.


3. Don’t Just Take Their Word For It

Honest fit-out contractors will want to get everything in writing because it protects both them and the client. Ensure that everything discussed and agreed upon is documented. Many inexperienced contractors are willing to agree to almost anything verbally to win a contract. However, during execution, you will be surprised at how bad a contractor’s memory can become.

  • You must be able to provide evidence and written acknowledgment of all communications and agreements.
  • Once you’ve chosen a contractor, ensure you understand the contract terms. Before signing a contract, consult with your legal advisor and any other professional advisors.


4. Do Not Overlook Regulatory, Building, and Health and Safety Regulations

Regulatory approvals are required for all projects, and specific works require building control approval. Make sure that your chosen contractor is aware of all relevant laws and regulations and can ensure compliance with local standards before work begins.

Using a reputable commercial fit-out company will ensure that these issues are adequately addressed.

Local governments are responsible for building safety by implementing unified building codes that address construction safety and fire protection issues.


5. Look Beyond the Bottom Line

When choosing a contractor to assist you with your fit-out, look for a company with values, vision, and commitment, not just the elements involved in the execution, such as timeframe and budget.

Choose a company that is aware of the latest design and technology trends and a leader rather than a follower in its field. Your office interior design expresses your company’s values and brand; choose a partner who can help you articulate that most dynamically and appealingly possible.


Choosing the Best Commercial Fit-Out Contractor Candidate

Selecting a commercial fit-out contractor for your new office or existing facility is a major undertaking. This is the final step in preparing your offices for human occupancy. Since your employees will be spending most of their day in these facilities, it is critical that your office environment is safe and healthy and promotes productivity while minimizing environmental impact. Given that your office fit-out may be the first thing, clients and partners notice when they visit, it must reflect your company’s values and brand.

During your selection process, keep the “Do’s and Don’ts” in mind. Do not rely solely on an internet search. An excellent website is an excellent place to start, but it should only be the beginning of your research. Finally, the best candidates will be those who can demonstrate, with tangible evidence, the following:

  • Knowledge and Experience
  • Reputation
  • Sustainable Design and Fittings
  • Quality
  • On-Time Delivery
  • Support (Before, During & After the Project)
  • Commitment and Reliability


SDW Realty Delivers High-Quality and Sustainable Fit-Outs

SDW Realty is the ideal partner to help you complete your fit-out successfully. A leading design and build firm in the Philippines, SDW is a premier fit-out contractor. For the past ten years, SDW has provided exceptional service to its clients, which range from government agencies to multinational corporations and small businesses. It has completed over 300 projects with a client satisfaction rating of 92%.

SDW Realty takes sustainability seriously and incorporates it into every step of the design and execution process. SDW follows the international ISO 9001: 2015 quality management system for all projects. Putting its clients’ needs first and assisting them to:

  • Achieve their environmental goals by improving building energy, water, and resource efficiency.
  • Make inspiring workplaces in order to improve employees’ health and happiness; and
  • Deliver operational savings, increase the value of the building, and reduce utility costs.

Click here to see our outstanding interior fit-out projects.

Contact us for your fit-out construction requirements.



Fit-Out Construction

Many terms in construction may be unfamiliar to outsiders or those new to the industry. Fit-out construction is one such term. It usually refers to activities that prepare a commercial tenant’s interior space for occupation. A tenant’s contractor usually does the fit-out construction rather than the landlord’s construction company.

Typically, contractor working for a commercial space landlord will create an interior space as “white box” or “shell.” It usually happens whether it’s for a new build or preparing a previous tenant space for new tenants to look at and sign a lease on. However, the areas inside a building are commonly left bare in commercial establishments and real estate for the occupants to modify according to their needs and requirements. In essence, fit-out construction involves transforming a space into a usable setup based on the preferences and goals of a company.

Difference Between a Fit-Out Construction and a Renovation

Fit-outs typically include installing architectural features such as various partitions, window placements, door fittings, plumbing, and ventilation. While renovation typically focuses on the design aspect and revamping the space for aesthetics. Fit-outs, on the other hand, emphasize changes and customization of the area for functionality. That’s why a fit-out construction typically takes longer than a simple renovation.

Different Types of Fit-Out Construction:

Fit-outs, like other improvement projects, are classified into two types based on their inclusions.

category A fit-outs

Category A – Functional

Category A fit-out installs mechanical and electrical systems in a building. While the shell and core highlight the exterior, Category A covers the interior. It’s usually in a rented commercial space. Since a Category A space is a blank canvas, it’s easy to sell. But no matter how functional their interiors are, Category A fit-outs require secondary design features to meet their goals.

Here are other things included in a Category A fit-out:

  • Grid ceilings
  • Electrical outlets
  • Fire protection systems
  • Lightings
  • Toilets
  • Lift Shafts
  • Reception areas
  • Lobbies
  • Raised access floorings
  • HVAC systems (Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems)

transforming a space

Category B – Aesthetic

Category B fit-out complements Category A by installing everything not completed during the Cat A fit-out. It means that in addition to the elements required to make an office or commercial space functional, it also involves implementing the aesthetics and anything else that will enhance the interior space and facilitate daily work operations. Cat B fit-out allows you to emphasize aesthetic design and customize the interior space to better reflect the company’s brand and identity.

Here are some of the installations included in the Category B fit-out:

  • Workstations
  • Kitchen areas
  • Design and company branding
  • Furnishings
  • Décor
  • Meeting rooms / Conference rooms

Turnkey Fit-Out Construction

A turnkey fit-out construction is also known as a design and build fit-out. It happens when the developer or tenant of the workspace ensures that the current build is ready to be occupied. Consequently, the contractor provides a complete and integrated line of service to deliver a space from bare to fully completed. A turnkey fit-out project involves the contractors from design conceptualization to construction and handing the space to the client ready for use.

Some clients prefer a turnkey fit-out to coordinate with a single point person, making the process more concise, efficient, and smooth. It is especially appealing to clients unfamiliar with the construction process.

SDW specializes in turnkey fit-out construction solutions and services. They offer high-quality, turnkey solutions that include comprehensive space planning, project management, and M&E services. They can meet the construction needs of multiple industrial sectors in the Philippines, from new development to interior fit-out.

Need help with your fit-out project? Contact SDW today to discuss your options.

SDW is a leading fit-out construction company in the Philippines specializing in high-quality office, hospitality, and commercial projects.

Please read our blog entitled the office fit-out checklist to guide you in planning your fit-out project.

Reach out at info@sdwrealty.com or call +632 8642 8088.



Women in Construction Series: Featuring Yhe Perucho

“Women in construction can always move up, do better, and learn new skills in a field that has traditionally been dominated by men.”


Construction may be one of the first industries that come to mind when you think of a male-dominated business. Women account for only 10.9% of all construction workers. The number of females working on construction sites is much lower – barely one for every 100 workers. Given that women account for 47% of all working adults, the construction industry benefits from only around 1.25% of female employees.




Several reasons contribute to this massive gender disparity, including unconscious gender bias, a lack of proper training, and negative opinions of women working in construction. Despite these obstacles, women continue to carve out their professional paths.

One of SDW’s remarkable women in construction is Ayetha Perucho, or “Yhe,” as her friends call her. Her job as a stock administrator and lead at the SDW Workshop is critical. She is in charge of keeping track of and managing the inventory of consumables and fixed assets.

As a stock administrator, she keeps track of how all the consumables and fixed assets move from the central stores to all the project sites. Aside from that, she is also in charge of keeping the inventory lists up-to-date and ensuring that management has accurate numbers for all stocks at the end of each month.

According to Yhe, the best part of her job is the continuous learning and challenges that come every day from interacting with different people. She loves working in SDW because she enjoys going to project sites, dealing with inventories, checking them, and interacting with architects, interior designers, warehouse workers, and carpenters. Training, coaching, and mentoring are also new and challenging roles for her. Focusing on the job, setting goals, and doing tasks effectively and efficiently make her good at her work. She considers that being a woman in the male-dominated construction industry is a challenging and empowering role.


What are the advantages of women working in construction? What are the disadvantages?


“I believe that the advantage of women in construction is that they can take on any role. We are good at multi-tasking and excel in office positions, management, and client relations. However, there are also disadvantages. One is the feeling of isolation because construction is a male-dominated industry. Second, women have limited strength when it comes to heavy lifting. But that is what the men are for!”

As a stock administrator, she is responsible for tracking stock movements from the warehouse or from one location to another. As much as she wants to assist in loading cargo for a faster turnover, she can’t because of the heavy loads. So she delegates the heavy lifting to the men and focuses on supervising them.

And like everybody else, she also experiences pressure in her line of work. “Pressure is an unavoidable part of any job. The way I handle it is that first, you need to analyze the situation. Prioritize what to do first and what can wait. I also delegate some tasks to my colleagues when they are free.”


Why did you choose construction?


Construction is way too far from my degree, which is mass communication. But when I got the opportunity to work in the construction industry, I learned a lot, and it was a great experience. I recommend it to girls or ladies looking for a challenging and exciting career.

Yhe graduated from the Lyceum of the Philippines University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, majoring in Advertising. This degree is a long way from her current line of work. But she has worked for SDW for five years and is very good at what she does. It shows that you can always excel if you are willing to learn. Being a woman in construction can be advantageous.

She joined SDW as an inventory and warehouse assistant for the Pioneer headquarters. “We started with a tiny storage unit, but the company later invested in a larger warehouse in Mandaluyong, relocating the warehouse department.” Later, the warehouse and joinery departments merged in Cupang, Muntinlupa, where I was the stock administrator.


What has been your most memorable moment working with SDW?


“The most memorable experience I had while working at SDW was realizing who I am and what I am capable of. Even though I am a woman, I can do more and take on more challenges than is expected or has previously been done. I believe there is always room for women in construction to advance, perform better, and develop skills in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.”


What advice would you give a young woman entering the industry?


“The most important advice is to develop self-confidence.” Young women should be able to take on and face all the challenges. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and face obstacles head-on.”


Who inspires you?


Alicia Keys’ song “Girl on Fire” inspired me. It says, “She’s living in a world that’s on fire, filled with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away.” 

I believe we can do anything if we set our minds to it. But the one that inspires me the most is my family. They support me in everything I do to achieve my ambitions and goals.


What makes you proud of working in the construction industry?


“I feel proud whenever I see the creative and innovative outcomes of the projects and products of SDW. It makes me feel honored that I somehow contributed to that achievement.”


Yhe believes that the most significant change happening in the construction industry is the continuous change and improvement in efficient technology. People are always looking for processes and techniques to improve quality, reduce costs, simplify work processes, and improve customer satisfaction and profits for the company. And as one of the women working in the construction industry, she is proud to be part of it.


The Office Fit-Out Checklist

To be more effective and successful, sometimes our environment has to change. Our immediate environment can trigger many different reactions in us – it can make us happier, it can make us work faster, etc. Indeed, we may be unaware that workplace changes have optimization benefits. It could be just the catalyst every organization needs to effect changes in one’s outlook.
But an office fit-out project can be an arduous job. Whether a renovation or fitting a new one, the job can be overwhelming (and expensive!), especially if you don’t plan and execute systematically. If you’re seriously considering an office revamp, you may refer to the office fit-out checklist below to guide you through handling the whole office project management process.


1. Start with a Brief

Before you proceed with anything else, start understanding your office fit-out project’s rationale. Why was it conceived in the first place? Start by finding why you are doing it in the first place. Is it because your lease is expiring soon? Is it an expansion, a merger, or an acquisition? It could be anything. It could be that you’re moving because you want to be closer to your clients or you want to redesign working practices. If the reason for the project brief is apparent, you can be more decisive and effective in pursuing a direction with your project.

2. Select the Team

In building a space or handling fit-out projects, efficiency is vital. You have to be able to do numerous tasks simultaneously. That means having to delegate tasks to different people in your organization. Begin by setting up a team that will focus solely on the fit-out project.

a. Project coordinator – Managing the project yourself will take much of your time away from your other business functions. It will add another responsibility to you, and you might miss out on essential details that keep the business running. That is why having a ‘fit-out champion’ will be ideal and helpful. The project coordinator or ‘fit-out champion’ can report details, timelines, suppliers, to-dos, and progress reports. These are just the details that need your decision so that the project can move forward.

b. In-house team – You might also want to consider building a team composed of representatives from different departments – HR, Finance, IT and Communications, Marketing, Legal, etc. It is essential to value the contributions that come from each department and function—considering the requirements of each department account during the design process. Take into consideration any operations and design issues from your previous office so that you can apply improvements to your office fit-out project.

c. Contractor – While your team is already composed of department experts, a building expert is also a requirement. Fit-out contractors have a curated and accredited list of suppliers and subcontractors who can help put your visions to life seamlessly. Contractors can also help you stick and work around your budget.

d. Facilities management – You may also need the help of facility management and building managers. Primarily if your office location is in a high-rise building where your project can obstruct tenants, working hours, and work productivity of other businesses. Facilities management help secure documents, permits, and appropriate building work schedule, as well as help, accredited suppliers such as suppliers of coffee, printing machines, etc.

3. Set an Objective

Now that you know which direction you’re headed from the brief and have a team to work with, you can start writing out your main objectives. After completing the project, this will serve as the primary objective of your success metrics. Goals will be as simplistic as having accommodation for 100 employees (and that means having enough tables and chairs), having five executive rooms for company executives, including four meeting rooms, two pantry areas, a receiving area or lobby, and the like. Such objectives will help office fit-out designers and contractors create the most suitable office space design.

4. Conduct an Audit

Conducting an audit means tracking and keeping tabs on the company or organization’s existing assets and processes. This process can bring your attention to the things that are working and that no longer work for your company.

a. Space Occupancy Study – You can start by conducting a Space Occupancy Study, or SOS. SOS allows you to collect raw physical data and analyze workplace utilization levels. It will help you to improve your design objectives further.

b. Staff survey – Staff input is vital, so you don’t miss any relevant detail. Often, we have colleagues whose perspectives are crucial to business, health, and safety yet aren’t too vocal or persistent in getting them across to the management. At this point, we want to encourage them to talk about their one-of-a-kind experiences and have the opportunity to delight them by actually listening to their concerns and finding solutions.

c. Storage audit – Every company should conduct an on-site assessment to keep track of equipment and assets to determine the storage space allocation in the design. It is also an opportunity to keep track of the physical assets utilized on your office fit-out (thereby saving money!) and the items that need replacing immediately.

5. Prepare a Budget

Always stick to a budget. While office fit-out is essential for employee welfare, you don’t want to cut other budget allocations for skyrocketing construction expenses. You also don’t want to alter your project or compromise construction integrity by setting the budget too low. You have to be precise and careful about your budgeting approach. Make sure you factor in the occupancy rates, repairs and maintenance, equipment, migration fees, and soft costs such as travel expenses.

You must ensure every expense is accounted for in your budget, including floor coverings, carpet, partitions, furniture, and parking fees. You may also set up a contingency allowance in your budget should any unforeseen factor affect your project continuity.

6. Design

Design is like the main ingredient in your office fit-out. The audit results will be the foundation of the design plan. Of course, the design isn’t just how the office will look. It is why employees and stakeholders can be more productive in the workplace. While designers can do with designing, you should be keen on the following:

a. Block plans – Block plans showing how you could allocate your space to get the best from your resources. Lay down the result of your space occupation study and tell which office spaces you want to highlight or emphasize. You might suggest a more spacious pantry area or extra open spaces accommodate more of your employees.

b. Mood boards – If you have an idea in mind or a brand-specific design guideline, you might as well brief your designer at the early stage of creativity. You may show mood boards that show the themes and colors you want to see in the office. You can also discuss the feel and personality you want to create and your preferred fabrics and finishes.

c. Sustainability – Sustainability has become a trend in construction. Sustainability has become of strategic importance when it comes to the long-term saving of a company. For example, using more natural light can help you save on long-term energy expenses. You may ask your designer how well you can apply sustainability technology in your office fit-out.

While you can give design suggestions, it’s best to be receptive to new ideas from your interior designer. They are experts in this field and can help you create a workplace that you and your employees will love.

7. Health and Safety

Last but not least, make sure your design and project put health and safety at their core. A beautiful and budget-friendly office space might be the goal, but the health and safety of the employees, contractors, and visitors is a priority. Ensure you have secured permits and documentation, follow building and construction protocols, and operate legally.

If you still need extra guidance, you may contact SDW Realty to help you through the process. SDW is a fit-out construction company in Manila with experience in design, build, and development services for all project sizes. For cost estimation and more information about our services, you may send us your requirements at info@sdwrealty.com. To learn more about our services, click here.


Creating the Right Workspace for AC Energy Holdings

It’s no secret that the right workspace can make all the difference for a company. A well-designed office or workplace can inspire employees, boost productivity, and create a positive company culture. But what if your current space isn’t quite right? Or what if you’re in the market for a new workspace but don’t know where to start?

SDW was commissioned to create a workspace for AC Energy Holdings, Inc., a firm dedicated to developing a portfolio of power generation resources using both renewable and conventional technology. AC Energy Holdings, based in Makati City, Philippines, is looking for a place with a simple aesthetic and enough personality to allow its brand to blend in.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key factors we considered in designing the new workspace for AC Energy.


AC Energy office


The Benefits of a Good Workspace

A well-designed workspace can do wonders for a company. It not only provides a place for employees to work, but it can also help boost morale and increase productivity.

When employees are comfortable in their surroundings, they’re more likely to be productive. A good workspace has to be designed with the needs of the company in mind.

Think about it: when you’re surrounded by things that inspire you, it’s easier to be creative and come up with new ideas. That’s why it’s so important for a company to have a workspace that feels like “home.” It should reflect the brand and culture of the company, and help employees feel connected to their work.


meeting room
One of the numerous meeting rooms with polished concrete walls and wooden ceiling trellises. Wind turbine blades decorated the space.


How to Design the Perfect Workspace

There are a few key things we kept in mind in designing this office space. First, we made sure it is functional. The employees need to be able to work comfortably and have everything they need at their fingertips.

Second, we take into account how the employees should feel.  They should feel inspired and motivated, not cramped and uncomfortable. So we made sure there are plenty of space for them to move around and collaborate.

Finally, we added some personality. Making the space feel like home by adding some personal touches that reflect AC Energy’s brand. A little bit of creativity can go a long way in making employees feel valued and appreciated.


main boardroom with renewable bamboo panel
High STC ratings in meeting spaces were stated in the design brief. The main boardroom featured Smith & Fong’s Plyboo, a renewable bamboo panel with a sound-absorbing substance.


The Five Elements of a Good Workspace

When it comes to workspaces, there are five important elements to keep in mind: function, comfort, privacy, esthetics, and culture.

If you’re not sure what your company’s workspace should look like, start by thinking about these five elements. Ask yourself: what is the primary function of this space? What kind of comfort do we want our employees to feel? How much privacy do we need? What kind of aesthetics will make our company feel like it belongs in this space? And finally, what type of culture do we want to encourage in our employees?

By keeping these five elements in mind, we created a workspace for AC Energy Holdings that is not only functional and comfortable but also stylish and reflective of the company’s culture.


Simplifying furniture design to create spatial stability.


The Importance of Ergonomics in the Workplace

When it comes to the workplace, ergonomics is key. To focus on their work employees must be comfortable. And the space should reflect the company’s brand, so employees feel like they’re part of a team. SDW was tasked to create a simple workspace with enough personality to meet the client’s identity.

Together, AC Energy and the SDW collaborated to design an elegant and functional facility. By incorporating vivid hues and cutting-edge furnishings, we developed a space that was both inspiring and energizing. We also made sure to use ergonomic principles in the design so employees would be able to stay comfortable all day long.



employee lounge office space
The employee lounge is separated from other sections by wooden cupboards and trellises. Most elements are left exposed, including polished concrete floors, cement board partitions, and exposed ceilings. This rustic concept contrasts beautifully with glass and black American walnut casework and joinery, creating a modern industrial office atmosphere.


How to Choose the Right Workspace

When it comes to choosing the right workspace, there are a few things to consider.

First, you need to think about your target audience. Who is your company targeting? What type of office environment will appeal to them? Once you have an idea of what your target market wants, you can start thinking about the design and layout of your space.

Second, you need to think about your company’s culture and brand. What type of atmosphere do you want to create? How important is it for your employees to feel like their brand is reflected in the space they work in?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start looking for spaces that fit your needs. SDW is here to help make the process easier for you.


garden lounge workspace area
The garden and lounge on the terrace overlooking Ayala Makati help cool the interiors in the warm tropical climate.


office space floor plan


A well-designed and executed office space can make a profound impact on your company’s success. From boosting productivity and creativity to improving employee satisfaction and morale, a great workspace can help your team work smarter and happier.

SDW is proud to have been a part of AC Energy Holdings, Inc.’s new office fit-out. Our team worked closely with the client to create a workspace that was stylish, functional, and reflective of the company’s values. If you’re in the market for a new office or are looking to renovate your current space, please contact us for more information. We would be happy to help!