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Reading tenancy drawings in new shopping centres

Yes it can be overwhelming (and a little boring) looking at floor plans. So why not let us help you navigate the top 3 things to look out for in tenancy plans to help the interior design of your store.

Often new buildings, like shopping centres or the like are a great choice for your business. But this may mean a brand new building which you can’t enter yet to view or see what is on offer. So we have put together these easy tips on how to read drawings so that you know what your getting from the get go!

  1. Ramps or differences in floor levels.

These are hard ones to pick up on, but can be seen by looking at the FFL or RFL levels marked on drawings. If they vary along the floor plan - then check the sections of the site given to you. This will show whether the ceiling heights change, i,e bulkheads are in the space or if it’s the floor that is changing in level. Some drawings may also show this by marking STEP on the drawings.

Why does it matter?

If there are steps or slanting floors in your tenancy, this can make for some extra costs that you may not have been anticipating, as you must have level floors in all types of public accessed buildings. It will also most likely mean that you will need to build a ramp, or have a wheel chair lift, as all sites must have level access.

Our newest project Nguyen Brothers in Maroochydore ran into some of these problems, so we had various small ramps with the space to solve the problem. It works aesthetically but did add some unexpected costs to the construction phase.


Columns are usually easy to find on a plan, but sometimes if they aren’t filled solid can be missed. Columns are good to see from the beginning so that you can make sure they don’t hinder your desired layout options.

Why does it matter?

Sometimes columns can be placed in unusual places, and when missed can ruin your dream layout plan - making your killer work-flow fall to bits.

3. Core holes - plumbing/drainage points

Sometimes plans note where plumbing can and can’t be placed - this is usual due to main structural beams that run through a concrete slab. It helps to know this, so that you can decide whether your desired plan will work with these limitations. Often tenancy plans will shade grey or have dotted lines that indicate any no penetration notes.

Why does it matter?

This will help you decide where your kitchen can or can’t go & may mean you don’t take a site because it doesn’t allow for your optimal layout.

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