What Does a Space Planner Do?

A space planner is a professional who evaluates a company’s space requirements and determines the best configurations for improved workflow within that space. A company may hire a space planner to evaluate an existing building or space, or the company may hire the planner to find a new space that better suits the company’s needs. Space planners typically need industry experience as well as education that will prepare them for the job. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in business, design, engineering, or a related field is required.

It is advantageous if the space planner has prior experience or training with CAD programs. These programs allow the planner to figure out how to make the most of their space and experiment with different layouts until they find the one that works best. Other computer software may be required, so space planners will need to have adequate computer training to be considered for such positions. Moderate to advanced math skills, as well as exceptional communication skills, will be required; the planner will be in charge of discovering business needs and desires and translating those needs and desires into usable data.

The ability to read blueprints and schematics is one of the skills that a space planner must master. The planner can use these plans to determine space availability in a building or structure without having to be present on-site. Other useful information, such as the location of fire exits, ventilation systems, heating and cooling elements, stairways, elevators, windows, and doors, can be gleaned from such blueprints. All of these factors will influence how the space planner makes decisions about the most efficient ways to utilize the available space.

Before a single piece of furniture is moved or a wall is demolished, the space planner must create an easy-to-understand report for employers or investors. This entails gathering information about a specific space, business requirements, and permitting or construction issues. The report will include the total cost of renovations or relocation, as well as mock-ups of various designs that might work for the space. This information can be presented to a company as a proposal that can be changed once the company has had time to process the new space layout. To ensure that all needs are met, the planner must collaborate closely with the business.