Measure Twice, Cut Once: The importance of Mock up rooms in Hospitality and Multi-family Projects

Mock-up rooms are a template for your project team,

as it is easier to make trial-and-error adjustments on a

single room than on many. Every detail is meticulously

planned at critical points in the construction process

before replicating the style and amenities throughout

your property.

We recommend the two-phased approach when

constructing a mock-up room—rough mock-up and

finished mock-up. Reviewing design during both the

rough and finished stages of a mock-up help mitigate

risk and saves time, verses waiting until the very end

and working backwards if there is a problem.

Rough Mock-ups

Rough mock-ups expose the structural framework

during construction. Your project team decides where

to place electrical outlets and at what elevation. They

decide where to place plumbing, ceiling lights, and

built-in furniture.

Visualizing where the furniture will go is done

through 3-dimensional modeling. Stick frame models

can be built of chairs, night stands, desks, and other

large pieces of furniture to determine if the height

off of the finished floor or placement of the furniture

creates any conflicts.

Your project team also decides if particular walls

require extra ‘backing’ to support televisions,

mirrors, artwork, or built-in furniture, such as

headboards and shelves. Backing is an especially

important element needed when installing balance

and support systems for disabled guests.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulates

many of these requirements. Grab bars must be

installed in your accessible rooms within reach of

the toilet, tub, and shower. Rough mock-up room

decisions lay the foundation for functional and

successful guest rooms.

Finished Mock-ups

Finished mock-ups focus on layout and style, and

the stage in which the project team implements your

property’s brand standards. Common standards

include specific color palettes, flooring, wall

coverings, furniture, appliances, window treatments,

linens, and art.

Brand representatives often attend finished mock-

up room reviews to ensure conformity. They also

make sure negotiated variances do not affect other

brand elements or tarnish guest experiences. Brand

representatives are experienced critics—it may be

daunting to work through their list of specifics, but

they are a reliable resource for your investment.

Approved finished mock-up rooms gives the

construction team the go-ahead to replicate the

design work throughout the other guest rooms.

The finished mock-up room is fully functional with

the exception of utilities. Implementing two-phase

mock-up rooms often increases productivity by

reducing construction ‘stand still.’

Original project documents also need to be updated

after each mock-up room phase is completed. It

ensures your design decisions are consistent room-

to-room and that the new plans do not interfere with

other elements.

The entire project team alongside the brand

representative is encouraged to do a walk-through

of the finished mock-up room. Changes may arise

post mock-up, but typically 95% are addressed

during review.

The importance of timing

These days, many construction materials are ‘made

to order’ due to the economic recession in 2008.

Inventory is limited and suppliers do not want to

foot-the-bill to store excess materials.

Ordering mock-up materials well in advance is key.

Because of the delay, it may seem easier to place

your entire project order at once, but only order

only what you plan to use in your mock-up rooms.

You will end up paying twice for shipping, but the

cost is worth the insurance. It mitigates the risk of

having to reorder everything if major changes are

made during your mock-up reviews.

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