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Square Foot Calculator: A Tool for Real Estate and Office Planners

February 25, 2020
  • Workplace

Does your office make you feel claustrophobic? Your eyes might not be deceiving you. The average employee now has 194 square feet to work in -- down 8 percent from a decade ago, according to commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

At the same time, the price of office space is surging. From 2014 to 2019, the average asking rent of U.S. office space grew nearly 20 percent -- to more than $26 per square foot.

Even as offices are shrinking, employees are asking for more private space at work, according to Gensler’s 2019 U.S. Workplace Survey. Nearly eight in 10 employees prefer an office layout that falls somewhere between a completely open workplace and one where everyone has a private office.

Organizations have to make every square foot count -- no matter their budget. That’s why we developed the Square Foot Calculator.

Establish Preliminary Budgets and Space Planning Ideas

Our calculator allows users to instantly review a preliminary furniture pricing estimate per square foot using KI furniture modules. The tool meets the needs of everyone from real estate brokers and space planners to facilities managers.

The Square Foot Calculator is flexible enough to estimate cost for everything from a single office to an entire corporate headquarters equipped with private offices, workstations, lounge and meeting areas, and café spaces.

Say the CEO of a law firm inquires with her real estate broker about a new space for the growing business. She has a set budget, number of employees and general idea of the different spaces the company needs in the office. The broker can use KI’s Square Foot Calculator to determine the space requirements and estimate the cost of furnishing the space with select KI furniture modules. By using the calculator for preliminary estimation and initial ideation, the broker can meet the client’s requirements while adhering to budget.

Or, imagine a tech startup considering office space in a high-rise building. The firm’s leadership wants to have a variety of workspaces all within 1,200 square feet. The building’s facilities manager can use KI’s Square Foot Calculator to determine several cost estimates at different price points -- and help seal the deal with the prospective tenant.

How to Use the Square Foot Calculator

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the square footage for your space in the “Space Allocations” field.
  3. Review and select the available KI solutions to bring your space to life.
    1. Use the (+) and (-) signs to increase and decrease quantities of a particular solution.
    2. Switch between tabs for Low ($), Medium ($$), and High ($$$) to view KI furniture modules at different price points.
  4. With each selection, the calculator will dynamically update the estimated cost per square foot and minimum space needed for the specification identified. 
    1. The “Estimated Square Foot Cost” section will offer low, medium and high pricing options.
    2. The “Space Allocations” section will break down the layout by open workspace, private workspace and community space.
    3. The calculator will also alert you if the furniture solutions selected require more square footage than your space offers
  5. Export your design choices to a PDF file or share via email.

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Using our Square Foot Calculator, real estate, facilities and space planning professionals can start conversations with their teams and clients about ideal space requirements and cost. They can also reach out to one of our sales representatives for a formal quote with the PDF as a jumping-off point.

Employees increasingly expect more of their workplaces. KI’s Square Foot Calculator can empower users to start preliminary budget and planning conversations -- and enable their clients to get the most out of their space in the process.

by Jonathan Webb  Director of Workplace & Healthcare Markets

Jonathan Webb leads KI’s strategic business units for workplace/private sector and healthcare. Jonathan studies workplace and healthcare trends, uncovers product gaps, and develops solutions with the KI team. Jonathan takes part in advanced workplace and corporate training strategies and documents his findings through white papers, articles, and other publications. His recent publications, Understanding Active Design: The Rise of Human Sustainability and Collegiate Design: The New Driver for Workplace Design, have put Jonathan in the media spotlight. Partnering with thought leaders like AECOM, his publications cover diverse subjects including sit/stand benefits, designing training environments, and defining work styles. Jonathan holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh School of Business and is a LEED-accredited professional.


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