By Kevin Schmidt, VP of Technology Services at SiteREADY
With the introduction of smart buildings, the IoT, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and other new technologies, the role of the architect in a workplace build-out has become more intricate than ever. Even the most functionality-focused architects struggle to think technologically, because they are trained to think primarily in terms of walls, windows and space rather than connectivity.
At SiteREADY, we work alongside architecture firms to enable them to adapt to the age of the technology-enabled workplace in several ways:
SiteREADY’s workplace technology consultants are able to review architectural drawings and identify potential obstructions, inefficiencies and challenges relating to technology before they become real-life roadblocks. Architects work mainly on paper, where conflicts in mechanical and electrical features are difficult to visualize. SiteREADY brings a 3-D approach that considers the seemingly small details that drive workplace productivity – phones, audiovisual (AV), security, WiFi and the like. These are the elements where conflicts can arise during construction if the architect and contractor are not on the same page.
Keeping Build-Outs on Time
It’s very rare for a workplace build-out to be delayed because of a structural issue. More often, it’s the technology that derails a project from its timeline.
If you realize you need a 50-foot conduit to support technology connectivity in the ceiling after a build-out has begun, that results in a change order, which can set the Contractor back by weeks or even months by the time the adjustment is approved and accounted for. Unfortunately, it’s usually the architect who has to explain the delay to the end client. With SiteREADY identifying these types of issues in the earliest phases of the build-out, there is no wasted motion or time.
Keeping Build-Outs on Budget
Setbacks are as costly as they are time-consuming. When there are fewer modifications during construction, clients are not hit with budget-busting expenses. Moreover, architects save money and manpower as well. Everyone wins, and the workplace is one of the few built within budget. If you download our recent white paper on workplace technology, you will find the alarming statistic from KPMG that only 31 percent of corporate real estate projects within the last three years came within 10 percent of budget.
Managing Technology Vendors
Technology vendors are adding new complexities throughout a build-out; and multiplying the amount of correspondence involved. By the time a project hits peak requirements, getting accurate and timely information is nearly impossible. This can especially be frustrating for architects, who are typically uninterested in tech speak and would rather focus on their areas of expertise. SiteREADY actually takes all of that extraneous correspondence off of the architect, serving as a SPOC (single point of contact) for all technology-related communications.
Establishing a Repeatable Process
Build-outs themselves might be one-offs, but our relationships are not. When architects realize how much more efficient a workplace build-out can be with SiteREADY, the level of trust quickly grows, and we become an integral part of their planning process for every project they work on. Learn more about our process for efficient workplace technology implementation here.