We are excited to announce that Dade Construction Corp. has been nominated as one of the fastest growing companies in South Florida! The South Florida Business Journal has given us the honor to be considered for such a prestigious award and we are ever so glad receive this nomination and continue growing as a company.

The Fast 50 List showcases companies that reported the largest average percentage growth over two years.

In preparation for the Fast 50 celebration and the subsequent publication of the Fast 50 List on Aug. 26, here’s a look at the private, South Florida-based firms that climbed the ranks.

This early look at the Fast 50 is listed in alphabetical order and also includes each company’s city location and year founded.

To qualify, companies must have been founded by 2018 with a full year’s revenue over $500,000 for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The recent trend of major corporations moving to Miami, South Florida might have perked your interest. You could be wondering what Miami offers to the companies moving from other major cities like New York. Read on to find out why they are making this leap.

Lower tax rates

We all love lower taxes because they mean more money in the pocket. Unlike other cities, Miami has low corporate taxes and no personal state income tax. South Florida also has no intangibles or inheritance tax. Major companies and individuals are recognizing this and moving to Miami to take advantage.

Favorable real estate prices

South Florida has had one of the lower real estate prices relative to other major cities for residential and commercial properties. Companies are looking for cheaper rental spaces. Low real estate prices are driving major companies to move to South Florida to take advantage. Some real estate companies even provide discounts to individuals who relocate with their families. Office spaces are considerably cheaper in South Florida compared to other states and their major cities such as California and New York.

Increased population

South Florida’s population is increasing. This could be due to more employment opportunities created by firms relocating to this area. Miami also has some of the best hotels and tourist attractions that could be drawing more people and major companies to the area.

Ideal for startup and international businesses

Miami was listed as the top city where startup businesses can thrive. This perked the interest of major investors who probably thought it best to shift their businesses to South Florida. The mayor of Miami also offers great business incentives, which support businesses in this city.

Miami is close to Latin America and can provide opportunities to conduct international trade. Huge companies might shift from other cities to look for opportunities.

Diverse work culture and favorable weather conditions

South Florida is a better alternative for major companies previously affected by adverse weather conditions. Miami also presents a diverse work culture that might promote both employee and business growth.

Why Miami?

The lack of personal state income tax could mean more disposable income that you can use to invest in real estate or construction projects. You could purchase property and invest in interior remodeling services for your family unit.

People are investing in commercial property and interior renovations. Investors are taking advantage of the population increase to invest in construction projects for commercial and residential use.  A reliable general contractor can advise you on the most suitable choice with budget costs and estimates provided.

You can use the incentives provided to expand your business and make more profits. From these profits, you can further expand your business by establishing more branches in the city.

South Florida is becoming a business hub due to the relocation of major companies. Favorable policy, international business opportunities, and increased population could be the reason behind this major shift. If you require more information, reach out to us today.

Redefining the Office Space and Construction Post Covid-19

Coronavirus disease has changed how we view the world. What was popular is now a hazard. A working
space that allows networking and interpersonal connections is now a hazard. Employees planning to go
back to work are concerned about their safety. How the office is constructed and organized will have to
change to inspire employee confidence. Here are things that employers and building owners are doing
to prepare for the reopening of the economy after COVID-19.

1. Installations of easy-to-clean materials
People are more aware of the potential risks and hazards related to uncleansed surfaces. Firms are
considering easy-clean materials for commonly accessed tables and desks. These materials will make it
easy to clean your office space, reducing the cleaning bill. Firms that cannot procure new items are
renovating existing offices to add this new feature.

2. Welcoming back closed office spaces
The open office space was the trend just before COVID-19 happened. Today, firms are rethinking public
office spaces and introducing cubicles. A single COVID-19 case in an open-space office can cause
significant numbers of cross infections. Firms that had implemented open office spaces add temporary
cubicles that can accommodate fewer or even one employee per cubicle. You can use MDF or other
cheaper alternatives to separate employees.

3. Installations of IAQ
Indoor air quality is another primary concern for everyone. Apart from investing in IAQ inspections,
firms have to invest in automated systems that can keep the working environment healthy.
Incorporating technological advances such as UV lights can drastically reduce germ and viral load in the
air.

4. De-densify office space
Crowded workplaces have always been an eyesore, but they have been common in some industries and
sectors. Trading floors for stockbrokers, call centers, and such environments have always been crowded.
This culture is already changing, with firms investing heavily in new measures to put fewer people on
every floor.

5. Installations of automatic doors and sinks
Sinks and doors can easily transmit viruses from one person to the next. If a person who has COVID
opens a door, the next person who opens the same entry has a high likelihood of contracting it through
contagion. Installations of automated gates, doors, and sinks are a welcome step, especially for main
doors and commonly accessed sinks and washrooms. Automation is the future, and investing in it
ensures that future technologies such as smart controls are easy to implement.

6. Floor plan redesign
Some offices have a design that allows or encourages interaction between and among employees. Some
have correctly opened up their designs to enable customers to interact freely with employees in the
lobby and the office. This is about to change as companies are looking for ways to protect their
employees from potential infection. Floor plans are changing significantly, with companies already
considering overhauls to put barriers between customers and staff.

Final thoughts
If you have a business, you will need to rethink how the office floor plan will reflect the new realities.
Covid-19 is here for the long haul. Your office plan should consider some of these suggestions. You can
also hire a commercial construction contractor to ensure that your office plan is safe.

What The New NASA Launch Could Mean For Jacobs and Other Contractors

A successful mission could keep contracts flowing out of agency’s ambitious programs

On May 27, NASA will publicize as an extraordinary event a comparatively routine activity: the launching of a spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station. What is remarkable about the launch is that it renews U.S.-run human space flight and opens an ambitious new chapter in U.S. space exploration and science.

Since 2011, the U.S. and its partners have paid the Russian space agency to ferry astronauts to the space lab 240 miles above earth. They use Russian rockets and spacecraft.

Those trips barely make a blip on the U.S. media radar any more.

This mission is being described as a make-or-break event for the Trump administration’s space policy. In recent days Vice President Mike Pence has said the launch will be a key in “renewing American leadership in space.”

The bigger significance of the U.S. mission is that it could shore up support in difficult times for the U.S. space program, NASA-the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, its $19-billion-a-year budget—and big engineering and construction companies that count on the agency for a lot of work.

Five companies in the ENR Top 500 Design Firms and Top 400 Contractors lists are among NASA’s biggest contract award winners from the previous year. They perform design engineering, testing and certification tasks on rockets and spacecraft built for the agency by the private aerospace contractors. They also perform studies and analyses, and they design and build needed facilities at 10 major NASA space centers around the country.

Jacobs, the publicly-traded (NYSE-J) Dallas-based engineering giant, says it is NASA’s biggest service provider. The space agency’s list of its top contract awards to businesses for 2019 puts Jacobs Technology in third place at $916 million, making up 6.34% of the year’s total. Only aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. ranked higher.

Other construction-related companies that won NASA contracts in fiscal 2019 are KBR Inc., at $613 million; Bechtel Group Inc., $297 million; AECOM, $164 million and The Walsh Group, $31 million. Other companies may be working on contracts won in prior years.

Jacobs counts NASA work as part of its Critical Missions Solutions segment. Robert V. Pragada, the firm’s chief operating officer and president, described what it does for NASA at the company’s conference for investors earlier this month. He called it “broad support” for the “accelerated work to meet the current administration’s mandate to return to the moon in 2024” under NASA’s Artemis program. Most of the work is being done as telework or with social distancing during the pandemic, he added.

Jacobs’ projects at the Johnson Space Center in Houston involve engineering design, testing and verification for work including the Artemis moon mission, under a not-to-exceed-type contract.

The latest two-year contract extension, from May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2022, announced in early May, is worth $478 million. If NASA chooses to use the full amount of the contract, the total maximum value of the work could reach $1.9 billion.

In addition to the moon mission, the extension also involves work related to the International Space Station, NASA’s commercial cargo mission, on-orbit operations and science related to astro-materials curation and orbital debris mitigation, said Steve Arnette, a Jacobs senior vice president, in a company statement.

There were other recent NASA awards to Jacobs. In January, the agency designated the company as the sole provider of architect-engineering design and environmental engineering for various projects at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., the main NASA operating center for propulsion, external tanks and payloads. The work will be done under a five-year indefinite delivery/quantity contract.

Changing Space Flight Dynamics

Depending on how it goes, the May 27 launch could hasten the changing dynamics of U.S. space science. The mission could increase the role of SpaceX and other private companies in the outsourcing of work formerly done by NASA. SpaceX, for example, will own the rockets and space craft it produces for NASA rather than simply designing and building them.

Space privatization is an international phenomenon, with numerous companies and countries participating.

Another big change is NASA’s gradual adoption of fixed-price contracts as opposed to uncapped cost-plus contracts. Such contracts are a way to limit cost overruns and they now account for the majority of NASA awards, the agency’s annual procurement report shows.

Destination: Moon and Mars

Congress and the Trump Administration have charged NASA with landing astronauts on the moon by 2024 and then proceeding to a crewed mission to Mars.

SpaceX, with its business model involving reusable rocket booster stages, has been distinguishing itself as a lower-cost provider of rockets for moon and Mars missions, working under fixed-price contracts.

A parallel program to accomplish the same missions, run by a team led by Boeing, is also operating under a fixed-price contract. But that program, known as the Space Launch System, was granted a $250-million change order three years ago and remains far over budget and behind schedule with total costs currently at around $17 billion. NASA’s inspector general  criticized the change order in a report issued in March.

Of course, the future of NASA’s budgets and space exploration could be limited because of the economic implications of the pandemic emergency. The agency’s space programs have never enjoyed total public support and its budget is down dramatically from its high points in the 1960s, when it accounted for 4.5% of total federal spending, according to research by NASA’s former staff historian.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office also regularly criticizes NASA for budget-busting programs.

The risks of space flight, no matter how routine, also are always a concern with crewed missions—even given SpaceX’s impressive progress.

In April 2019, one of its Dragon 2 spacecraft, which had flown a test mission without a crew the previous month, exploded during a static fire test of a launch abort system on its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, according to a NASA inspector general report.

Little public information came out at the time, but the inspector general noted that SpaceX had found the cause and made needed fixes. The accident pushed the previously scheduled December launch to its present May 27 date.

– Article by Richard Korman, ENR

source: https://www.enr.com/articles/49443-what-the-new-nasa-launch-could-mean-for-jacobs-and-other-contractors

RELATED ARTICLES

  1. 10 Trends in Office Design
  2. 7 Ways Robotics is Transforming the Construction Industry
  3. THE VALUE OF PROPER BUILDING MATERIALS STORAGE
  4. PMI LEGISLATIVE FORUM DELIVERS CRUCIAL INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

PMI Legislative Forum Delivers Crucial Industry Insights

McLEAN, VA – Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) delivered important insights to its members on federal infrastructure legislation and critical housing and trade issues during yesterday’s PMI Virtual Legislative Forum.

“Our members gained access to valuable information from experts with remarkable knowledge and insights into issues affecting our industry,” said Kerry Stackpole, PMI CEO/executive director. “PMI members who could not attend will still have access to the forum’s recording and presentations, as well as to materials they can use to advocate on behalf of their companies to members of Congress.”

The two-hour forum was divided into four sessions. The first session, “Eye on Housing,” provided an economic analysis and forecast of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on home and apartment building from Robert Dietz, chief economist and senior vice president for economics and housing policy, National Association of Home Builders. He discussed the current construction and housing industry outlook and how housing will be a leading element for the nation’s overall recovery.

Ed Mortimer, vice president of transportation and infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provided an update during the second session on various transportation and water infrastructure legislation designed to retain or create jobs, repair old systems, and stimulate consumer spending. He covered some of the key elements necessary to pass this vital legislation, including bipartisan solutions and the need for organizations, such as PMI, to continue their advocacy efforts.

During her presentation on the “Future of Trade in the Wake of COVID-19” during the forum’s third session, trade lawyer Nicole Bivens Collinson reviewed the dynamics of the United States-China tariff negotiations, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) effective on July 1, and the impact the pandemic is having on supply chains. Bivens is president of the international trade, customs and export law practice at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

Collinson discussed the short windows that PMI member companies have to ask the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for extensions to some previously approved China tariff exclusions. Depending on the plumbing product or component, the deadlines to request an extension range from July 7 to July 31, 2020. The extensions would last for one year and are being offered in an apparent bow to concerns about the tariffs’ impact on companies struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. The move would apply to some products excluded from the 25 percent tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on Chinese goods.

The final session, “Outreach to Congress: Take Action and Urge Lawmakers to Support Robust Infrastructure Package,” provided tools and information to assist PMI members in their advocacy efforts for the plumbing manufacturing industry. The tools include a customizable letter that members can use to urge local lawmakers to pass important infrastructure legislation and a directory of Congressional members.

The forum was hosted by Stackpole, as well as by the co-chairs of PMI’s Advocacy/Government Affairs Committee, Troy Benavidez, vice president of public affairs for LIXIL, and Lowell Lampen, engineering director, K&B NA sanitary products, Kohler Co., and Stephanie Salmon, PMI’s government affairs consultant.

Source: https://www.contractormag.com/industry-event-news/article/21135234/pmi-legislative-forum-delivers-crucial-industry-insights

By Tim Kampert | May 17, 2020

In 2018, my colleague John Koenig wrote about how ensuring a clean jobsite makes workers safer and more efficient, and how it tells customers that you, the builder, really do care about quality.

That article focused on the importance of tidying up at the end of each day and emptying the dumpster on a regular schedule. While important, the work of keeping a jobsite clean and well-organized starts further upstream, in the way you handle and store lumber and other building materials.

Too many builders fail to understand this concept. In about half of the 125 or so communities and thousands of new homes under construction I visit in a typical year, I see material handling practices that are not only substandard, but that also cost builders money.

Why So Serious?

We all know the problem: Lumber, sheet goods, roof trusses, and even wall panels get left out in the rain, snow, and mud, leading to host of moisture-related issues, such as warping and mold. Rain and snow also cause the breakdown of adhesives, causing wood-based panel products to swell and delaminate.

The direct hard costs are obvious: damaged lumber and panels need to be culled and replaced. The cost per piece may not be high, but it adds up when you’re building a lot of homes. There are also costs from schedule delays while framers wait for replacement materials.

lumber on jobsite covered by plastic tarp for protection from weather
Cover lumber on the jobsite and keep it raised off the ground to protect it from moisture.

Indirect Costs of Not Properly Storing Materials

Other costs are more indirect but just as serious. Builders tell me that homeowners have been getting more and more fussy about seeing materials carelessly strewn around the site, or when they see water-stained, dirty lumber during their framing walk, or even worse, mold. They begin to suspect their builder is careless, which leads to more scrutiny throughout the construction process.

Some homeowners will even take to social media to complain and post photos which, to say the least, doesn’t help the builder’s marketing efforts or reputation.

Easy Solutions for Better Building Materials Storage

These problems are easy to prevent, and the solutions are ones any builder should realize after just a few moments of thought.

For instance, schedule materials deliveries as close as possible to the time those materials will be needed so they spend less time sitting out in the weather or needing to be protected. Make sure the delivery crew puts the stacks of lumber, trusses, and panels on sleepers to hold them off the ground. And keep the materials under cover—in all weather—with plastic sheeting until you need them.

muddy jobsite with materials stored correctly off the ground and covered with plastic tarps
Good practice: building materials stored off the ground on a muddy jobsite and covered.

These practices don’t cost money (except maybe for some big tarps). And while they may require that you look at your system for ordering materials and require job supervisors to pay closer attention to material storage, the builders I know who have taken these steps tell me the payoff is well worth that minimal effort.

The bottom line is that when it comes to quality, maintaining a clean, well-organized jobsite is the lowest of low-hanging fruit. If you haven’t made this a priority yet, it begs the question: why not?

Source: https://www.probuilder.com/the-value-of-proper-building-materials-storage

6 must reads for the AEC industry today: June 3, 2020

5 ways to improve cleanliness of public restrooms and office owners are in no hurry for tenants to return.

1. Perkins and Will, Healthy Building Network advise against the use of antimicrobial building products (BD+C)
“According to Perkins and Will and the nonprofit Healthy Building Network, building products with antimicrobial treatments are not proved to be a safe or effective means of controlling the spread of COVID-19.”

2. 5 ways to improve hand washing and minimize germs in public restrooms (BD+C) 
“Germaphobes rejoice! Public restrooms may soon become a much more sanitary place than they have been in the past thanks to the effects of COVID-19. ”

3. Designers, owners reinventing restaurants to cope with COVID-19 (BD+C) 
“Options include rearranged seating, mobile ordering, designated flow spaces.”

4. Architects, health experts release strategies, tools for safely reopening buildings (AIA)
“As communities across the US initiate phased reopening plans, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is releasing new resources today to support employers, public officials and design professionals with re-occupying buildings more safely.”

5. The Spectacular Rise and Fall of WeWork (Bloomberg)
“In less than one year, WeWork went from having a $47 billion valuation and being the darling of the venture capital world to needing an $8 billion infusion to avoid running out of money. This is the story of how we got here.”

6. Office Owners Are In No Hurry For Tenants To Return (Bisnow)
“Owners of office buildings that have stood mainly vacant since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March say they aren’t in a rush to see their tenants return when they are permitted to do so by government officials.”

Source: BD+C

https://www.bdcnetwork.com/6-must-reads-aec-industry-today-june-3-2020

Robotic technology provides the construction industry with numerous advantages. With the goal of automating processes and increasing productivity, robotics are being used to get work done quicker, cheaper and with more precise detail. This article outlines certain areas of construction that are being impacted by robotic technology, discussing its current impact on the industry, as well as what you can expect to see in the future.

Automated Technology

One of the uses of robotics is to allow for greater automation in various processes. In many aspects of construction, specifically manufacturing, packing and building, automating these processes is becoming the goal. With greater development in robotics and machinery, construction companies are becoming more open to utilizing technology. With robotic technology, you can expect traditional construction activities like welding, material handling, packing, dispensing, cutting and packing to be fully automated. This will not only allow for precision and accuracy throughout all construction processes, it represents a significant time and financial savings as well.

Altered Workforce

According to a report from the World Economic Forum, roughly 5 million jobs are expected to be lost by 2020. They attribute much of this job loss to artificial intelligence, machine-learning, 3D Printing and robotics, all of which will significantly impact the construction industry, accounting for an anticipated 10% of total job losses. The WEF predicts that these technologies will be slowly integrated, replacing specific tasks, not jobs entirely. However, with machines taking over certain aspects of a job, this allows companies to employ fewer staff who become responsible for a variety of activities. In a few years, with automated processes increasing, the core skill set of construction workers will look drastically different than it does today. Although it looks as though the construction industry will be hit hard by this robotic revolution, the WEF predicts that over 400,000 jobs in architecture and engineering will be needed.

Lean Construction Practices

One of the biggest and most important movements in construction is lean construction. This contemporary ideology aims to increase efficiency and productivity, often centered on the elimination of waste. Traditional construction practices produce an inordinate amount of waste, which is not only bad for the environment, but significantly affects profitability. Robotic technology however can help reduce the amount of waste created because of its ability to ensure accuracy and precision. An investment in this technology, like 3D printers for example, may be a daunting task for many businesses. In the long run however, reduced waste and standardized materials will positively impact profitability.

Higher Quality

With most robotic systems completely automated, manufacturing parts and materials will be much more consistent, with a higher quality. By removing human error and inconsistency, these machines can take advantage of speed, efficiency and repeatability to ensure better overall quality.

3D Printing

The introduction of 3D printing is continuing to grow in the construction industry. Now it is possible to print complex, layered, parts and objects that can be used in the construction of homes, buildings, bridges and roads. In Addition, robotic machines can standardize the production of pieces that can be used throughout various projects, saving both time and money.

Demolition

One of the earliest uses of robotics in construction has been demolition. Considering the number of construction projects currently in place, speeding up the demolition process can provide a large saving of time and money. Breaking down walls, crushing concrete, and gathering all debris is the first step in many construction processes, and robotics is making these processes much more efficient.

Brick Laying

Although there is a belief that robotics is used for modern processes only, this is not the case. Machines have been developed to increase efficiency in tasks like brick laying. Although residential construction has been slow to adopt technology and change, robotics in brick laying should be a serious consideration. It is a rather simple process whereby construction workers simply feed bricks into a machine, and using CAD software, it is laid out accurately and precisely.  Some of the most advanced brick laying machines can complete an entire house within a few days.

reference: http://www.constructionworld.org/6-ways-robotics-transforming-construction-industry/

2018 Florida Print Awards

Dade Construction Corp. receives Judges choice Award!

– EXECUTIVES FROM PRINT COMPANIES ALL ACROSS THE STATE OF FLORIDA COME TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE THE BEST IN PRINT MEDIA AT THE FLORIDA PRINTING AWARDS. THE NIGHT WAS FULL OF EXCITEMENT, BEAUTIFUL PRINT PIECES, AND OF COURSE, AWARDS!

Dade Construction Corp. Selected to build the executive office suite for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

       

10 Trends in Office Design

These Changes Will Affect How Companies Buy and Use Space.

Trends in office space size and configuration undoubtedly will affect office leasing and sales. What will the office of the future look like and how will it affect commercial real estate? To find out, the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute asked Steelcase, a manufacturer of office equipment, to predict into the year 2000 and beyond. The company foresees fewer, more-flexible offices and an increase in shared space, allowing more amenities to be added.

1. Collaboration Is the New Work Model

Everybody has heard a story about an R&D company that started out as four people in the garage sitting around with folding chairs and tables. There was energy, a buzz. Something was happening. As the company grew bigger, it moved into larger, more-traditional office space. Employees ended up getting private offices with windows, but something happened — they lost the energy.

Essentially, every company reaches a point in its organizational maturity where it loses the original buzz. But when an R&D team goes into a space that similarly affects what it does, it will impact the output. Why not provide a space that is more collaborative and supports the need to balance both think time and team time?

2. Say Goodbye to Big Private Offices

Imagine an alternative work environment in which each team member has a smaller workstation, but all the workstations are put into a wagon train formation. Instead of having a conference room down the hall, the conference room is in the middle of the workstations. The team members are just close enough to overhear each other and they’re buzzing with project ideas in each station and in the middle space. When privacy is needed, the smaller workstation offers a door.

3. Say Hello to Shared Private Enclves

By applying some basic, simple knowledge about how people interact, space planning can restore that feeling of the entrepreneurial garage without sacrificing privacy. For instance, instead of everyone having an 8-by-9-foot workstation, what if they were designed as 8-by-8-foot stations? The saved 1-by-8-foot strips could be put together to create a pint-sized enclave with a door with two pieces of lounge furniture, a table, a laptop connection, and a phone connection that is shared among five people.

That’s where team members go when they need time to look through notes, write notes, or do research on their laptop computers. To make private phone calls, employees move 20 feet out of their stations into this private space, shut the door, and call. That privacy doesn’t exist in the way buildings are built today. Employees moved out of offices into open plans, but they never got back the privacy that they lost.

4. Today’s Workforce Requires Touchdown Spaces

People are beginning to accept the idea that employees don’t have to be at their desks with their heads down to actually be productive. Instead, today some employees are much less tied to their office space. For instance, computer repair representatives are in their offices very little. But when they are using their spaces, it’s critical that they be functional. If a repair rep has to crawl under the desk to plug in his laptop to get on the network, he’s going to be upset.

When these workers come into the office, they need a touchdown spot. There is a desk, but it’s more open and a lot smaller, upward from 5-by-6 feet. The activities it supports are e-mail, voice mail, and basic filing — touching down.

5. Management Must Rethink Technologies

A shift in technologies has to happen, too: Laptops and cordless phones have disconnected the worker from having to be in one place all the time. Designing for the organization also must be rethought. If something is not within 10 to 15 feet of the employee looking for it, it’s not useful. Immediate files must be separated from long-term files.

As an extreme, for an alternative work environment really to work, it takes a management team to say, “This is what we will be doing and I’m going to lead by example. I’m going to move out of my office, put my files in central storage, keep my immediate files with me, and untether myself with technology.” If a company is not ready to do that, then its plan should be much more traditional. However, competitive pressures and rising real estate costs are forcing many to rethink how they provide space.

6. Activity-Based Planning is Key to Space Design

This line of thought addresses replanning buildings based on what people do. When employees come in during the day, the first thing they do is check e-mail and voice mail. After they’ve touched down, they might have a meeting. If it’s not confidential, they can have it in the open conference space. If it is confidential, they can use a private enclave.

Despite the fact that workers have smaller spaces, they have more activities to choose from. There is now space for a coffee bar, a library, a resource center, maybe a cafe, as well as all the little private rooms. A client in London actually made one whole wall of these pint-sized enclaves. Each room had a sofa, a desk, a chair, a laptop connection, and a phone connection.

7. Those in the Office Get the Biggest Space

In this country, 90 percent of real estate is allocated by title. A vice president gets X-amount, a salesperson gets Y-amount. In the future, this will shift the other way — the percentage of real estate that workers occupy actually will be based on how much time they spend in the building. An engineer working on a project who is there more than 60 percent of the day will get a bigger space than the president or salespeople who are there less time.

For example, an R&D facility was out of space. Management team members decided to give up their offices and move into smaller offices because they were physically only in the office 10 percent of the day. They gave up that space to the engineers who were working on a critical project for the team.

8. One Size Does Not  Fit All. 

Some jobs are very tied to their spaces. For instance, an airlines reservation clerk is tied to the desk, answering the phone all day and often being measured on not interacting with other individuals. But computer companies also have groups of people who answer the phone all day long, taking questions from dealers, customers, and buyers. But after a caller describes a problem, the computer operators usually say, “Can you hold?” What they end up doing is talking to their neighbors across the hall: “Hey, Joe, have you ever heard of anybody messing up this file this way?” Interaction has to be taken into account in the way the space is built out.

9. Less Drywall Is More

Take a look at a traditional client — high-rise, center core, private offices all around the outside. Secretarial staff is in front of the private offices, open to clients and other people. The layout has 51 staff, 37 of them executives; 60 percent of the space is open and 40 percent is behind doors.

A lot of offices have kept two sides of this traditional floor plan and pulled out all the offices on the other two sides, allowing light to come in. They’ve used cubicles on the interior to get more people in. And they’ve shifted the amount of space behind doors to 17 percent.

The type of space being marketed is changing. Clients are looking for more flexibility, which translates into lower construction costs and lower tenant improvement costs. Forty percent of the space in private offices requires a lot of drywall. Going to fewer than 17 percent private offices cuts drywall by a third or a half.

10. When the Walls Can Talk, What Will They Say?

Eventually the shell of a building and its infrastructure will link together. The walls will have technology that talks to the furniture, which talks to the post and beam system and the floor. The floor will be underlayed with modular electrical, which the furniture plugs into, which also powers the lights. The walls will be personal property that define private areas but can be taken down and moved.