UK cruise ship agent Panache Cruises is claiming a first by partially rebuilding its headquarters using materials used in ships.

The company said its £1m ($1.24m) refurbishment in Chorley, Lancashire, England, involved the conversion of three separate offices into one space.

The work saw extensive use of shipbuilding materials as part of the build, thought to be the first time this has been done in the commercial property sector.

Designed by architectural services firm Elizabeth George, the new head office was constructed partly with material sourced from UK firm Temprotech, a supplier to shipyards.

This included specialist materials to protect flooring, doorways, walls and furniture.

James Cole, founder and chief executive of Panache Cruises, explained: “When visiting the stunning new ship Oceania Vista before its official launch earlier this year, I spotted some materials that were being used to protect the ship’s new interiors.”

“I was so impressed with the quality that I made a note of the company name with a view to using similar products for our forthcoming office refurbishment project,” he added.

Cole explained that in addition to protecting existing floor and wall coverings, the company used an edge protector to prevent damage to doorways and new furniture.

“Interestingly, the certified flame retardancy of their protection materials, which is a necessity in the marine industry, proved invaluable in protecting various areas from sparks that were created during the steel fabrication work,” he said.

Many of the materials can be reused, Cole added.

Andrew Nicholson, sales director at Temprotech, said the materials are perfectly suited for commercial buildings, despite being designed mainly for vessels.

Panache has 55 staff but has an ultimate goal of topping 100, selling cruises for the world’s leading shipowners.