Western Real Estate Business

SEP 2018

Western Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Western United States.

Issue link: https://westernrealestatebusiness.epubxp.com/i/1027244

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Page 74 of 82

72 • September 2018 • Western Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com CONTROLLING COSTS IN BAY AREA BUILDINGS FROM THE INSIDE OUT Development is skyrocketing around the Bay Area, but construction costs are threatening to bring the industry down to Earth. By Dan Politov A skilled labor shortage has made staff- ing Bay Area sites expensive and as material costs con- tinue to grow due to federal trade poli- cies. This has made sticking to a budget more difficult than ever, even without delays and surprise expenditures. Yet, cost control answers may be clos- er than you think. Contractors and end users search- ing for cost savings should look in- side — to their interiors — for ways to keep costs under control. Skend- er 's recent eBook "101 Ways to Build Smarter," draws from our Bay Area corporate interior experiences with some of the world's top technol- ogy and financial companies to offer strategies for controlling rising con- struction costs with time, budget and materials efficiencies. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from the e-book. These savings are waiting to be found on most corpo- rate interior projects. Plan for Change Changes are inevitable when work- ing at the speed of today's business world, but they can be controlled in advance. A change management program is essential to the success of an interior construction project and workspace transition, recognizing that savings can be achieved when you "expect the unexpected." Innovative presentation software technology company Prezi brought Skender in to quickly reinvent its converted warehouse space in San Francisco's SoMa (South of Market) district. This task had to be complet- ed without disturbing working em- ployees and under a tight timeframe. Due to an expiring lease, we had very little time to offset the complex per- mitting processes to get mechanical systems and building structures up to code. It was inevitable that some decisions would be made "on the fly," or changed during the fast-moving process. As such, we decided on a multi-phase approach that included extensive target value design and pre-construction services, resulting in high productivity during our rapid build-out. Don't Believe the Hype — Turnkey is Rarely the Cheapest Landlords may recommend a turn- key build-out with a pre-selected contractor during lease negotiations to make the process easier for incom- ing tenants. However, companies can control the process and choose a con- tractor that will prioritize the tenant's workplace strategy and office needs without sacrificing cost. The need for Capital One's digi- tal labs team to have nimble space where confidential, urgent or critical work could happen was paramount to their project. The "war room" space constructed by Skender boasts a full- height sliding partition wall and track- hung draperies, creating a completely customizable space where employees can bunker down without distraction. Choose Your Upgrades Wisely, Cut Costs on Lower Priority Items Identify and properly assess ex- pensive or complex features to be in- cluded in the build-out, such as lab space, complex security systems, and high-end finishes and features. Some of these items will be absolute neces- sities; others can be swapped for less luxurious options. Local firm Bay Labs needed a new scanning room where it could con- tinue developing breakthrough tech- nologies in cardiovascular imaging. Our build-out also included HVAC upgrades, installation of a new access control system, installation of a new storefront system, audiovisual (AV) wall displays, and power and light- ing upgrades throughout the space. Skender paid special attention to the laboratory and AV aspects of the space that directly supported scien- tific advances and innovation, while finding cost savings elsewhere to complete the project within budget. Take IT into Account From the Outset In a region as tech-forward as the Bay Area, not planning around your technological needs could be a bud- get and end-user bust. Take a pro- active approach from Day One and coordinate with IT to avoid costly surprises later. Outline what technol- ogy is needed, including audiovisual equipment, teleconferencing needs, gigabit-speed internet and any spe- cial hardware. Decide whether tech elements are part of the construction or IT budgets, as well as what design accommodations are necessary to hide wiring or mount speakers and screens. It's Possible to Design a Great Place to Work at a Great Value Commercial interiors may happen inside the "box" of the base build- ing, but each space and each end-user is unique. Likewise, finding the cost savings opportunities must include consideration for employees, execu- tives, the landlord, as well as others impacted by a renovation or move. Dan Polito, Director of Operations, Northern California, Skender in San Francisco Innovative presentation software technology company Prezi reinvented its converted warehouse space in San Francisco's SoMa (South of Market) district. Prezi's renovation had to be completed without disturbing working employees and under a tight timeframe. Skender ultimately decided on a multi-phase approach to Prezi's space that included extensive target value design and pre-construction services, resulting in high productivity during the firm's rapid build-out. Polito

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