Following a successful pilot at 30 Broadwick Street, Great Portland Estates has rolled out its Soft Landings Brief on all new developments. This collaborative approach is smoothing the transition of buildings through the construction phase, commissioning, fit-out and into occupation.
IMPROVING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN TEAMS
ADDRESSING ISSUES BEFORE THEY ARISE
DELIVERING BETTER BUILDINGS FOR OCCUPIERS
ENHANCING THE EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE
Great Portland Estates 'GPE' is a property investment and development company focused entirely on central London. In 2015, its post-occupancy evaluations on recently completed developments revealed opportunities to improve the move-in experience for occupiers by smoothing the transition between construction and operation.
GPE wanted to implement a process to help:
Soft Landings is a BSRIA-led building delivery process that runs from inception to completion and beyond, to ensure all decisions are based on improving the building’s operational performance.
GPE decided to test the potential of Soft Landings at 30 Broadwick Street, a 92,300 sq ft office and retail development in Soho. Completed in November 2016, the scheme provides office accommodation on the first to sixth floors, and retail and restaurant space at ground and lower ground level.
Informed by the 30 Broadwick Street pilot, GPE has developed a Soft Landings Brief to be used portfolio wide. This is now being applied from early in the design process and was adopted at 1 Dean Street, 160 Old Street and Rathbone Square. The process is currently underway for Hanover Square, Oxford House and Cityside House.
Through the Soft Landings process:
At 30 Broadwick Street:
Soft Landings contributed to the success of the scheme:
Improved communication and relationships between teams lead to a building that performs better:
This all assists in motivating the team and improving the occupier experience.
How to get Soft Landings off the ground?
Buy-in from all parties is key. The 30 Broadwick Street team was open to the process. The architect and M&E consultant could see the benefit of Soft Landings in their work on Design for Performance. The principal contractor was keen to use this approach for research and development purposes. GPE and the building management team recognised its potential to improve the move-in experience for occupiers. There was full support at every level. Now that the benefits of Soft Landings have been proven on one GPE building, it is easier to get buy-in on other projects. A member of the GPE team or a member of the consultant team acts as Soft Landings Coordinator, overseeing the process and managing the outcomes of regular meetings between design, project and operational teams, as well as ensuring that Services Consultants and Building Services Managers provide essential information from the commissioning process to building management teams in the run-up to practical completion.
How can early input from the operational team deliver a better building?
At 30 Broadwick Street, early input from the operational team resulted in a range of changes to improve how the building is managed. For instance, CCTV cameras, monitors and pass readers were all moved to help people pass through the building more easily once in use. This is something that is relatively straightforward to change during design and construction but more challenging and costly to move once the building is finished. Other changes included BMS panel locations, window cleaning strategy, servicing strategy, key suiting and the layout of the reception desk. GPE has also taken lessons learnt onto other projects. Through Soft Landings, operational issues at 30 Broadwick Street were identified early enough to put a plan in place. For other projects, the Occupier Services team is engaging earlier in the design process, following a defined plan to ensure that operational issues are considered and addressed at the appropriate point during early design stage.
Head of Sustainability
Great Portland Estates
T: 020 7647 3000
Benoit Noyez, Assistant Manager, The Ivy Soho Brasserie
“The quality of 30 Broadwick Street and exemplary handover of our restaurant space enabled us to complete our fit-out and be open to customers on schedule to a tight timeframe.”