Volume 13 (2023-24)

Each volume of Corporate Real Estate Journal consists of four 100-page issues published both in print and online.  

The articles published in Volume 13 are listed below. 

Volume 13 Number 1

  • Editorial:
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Case studies
    Cutting the cord : How and why HERE Technologies fired their service provider and took real estate in-house (and whether other end users should too)
    Benjamin Bader, HERE Technologies

    This case study challenges the traditional model of real estate outsourcing by end users, by providing an alternative approach to the delivery of real estate services by an insourced team. While acknowledging the reasons why end users have historically opted to partner with third parties, this case study outlines the evaluation process and tactical tasks needed to decide and then act on this shift. The case study details the stated up-front objectives and provides learnings from a successful model change. The intention is that other end users will be able to use it as a model for making their own evaluations of feasibility and appropriateness.
    Keywords: outsourcing; delivery model; insourcing; framework; transformation

  • Delivering inclusive workplace experiences to support corporate strategy
    Ed Payongayong and Kim Sauvageau, Shell Real Estate

    Although diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) has been a long-term priority for Shell, more recently its Executive Committee has set a goal to become one of the most diverse and inclusive companies in the world — not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it will help Shell better serve its customers, find innovative solutions to difficult challenges and ultimately make it a stronger company. In this paper, we learn the journey of how Shell Real Estate is rising to the challenge by ensuring its workplaces are leading examples of DE&I for current and future staff and visitors. Although Shell is still continuing its journey and looking for ways to further improve the workplace, this paper reflects where it has reached so far and what lessons can be drawn. The paper can serve as inspiration to others wishing to deliver on their own corporate DE&I goals.
    Keywords: DE&I; diversity; equity; inclusion; accessibility; universal design; ESG

  • Reimagining real estate and facilities management outsourcing : A bp and JLL case study
    Kate Vitasek, University of Tennessee, Cherie Duddridge, bp, Alexander Lundin, Ernst and Young, and Valerie Bonnin, Incendium Consulting

    In 2019 bp set out to renew its facilities and real estate contracts. What began as a typical request for proposal exercise turned into a complete reinvention of the bp workplace organisation. The team got a boost when Bernard Looney took the helm as bp’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in February 2020. Looney’s vision was the most far-reaching transformation in bp’s 112-year history: to transform bp from an international oil company to an integrated energy company by shifting bp’s focus from producing oil and gas resources to one that delivers energy solutions. bp’s ambition is to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner, and help the world get to net zero. bp’s workplace team accepted the challenge; the simple contract renewal they had started needed to be reimagined. This case study goes behind the scenes and shows how the parties pulled off what many in bp thought was impossible, especially in the middle of a pandemic when 100 per cent of the work had to be done virtually.
    Keywords: bp; JLL; outsourcing; Vested; Vested Outsourcing; innovation; transformation; facilities management; sustainable sourcing

  • Practice papers
    The critical role of data governance in corporate real estate
    Phil Wales and Johan Wessels, EBUSINESS STRATEGIES

    What is the role of data governance in today’s corporate real estate (CRE) organisation? This paper aims to lay out the importance of following a proven approach to developing a data strategy, advancing data maturity, developing critical data analytics and meeting the increasing pressure for accountability in CRE operations. The reader will learn about familiar challenges and the importance of aligning cross-functional data in order to guide your organisation on a road to both efficient return on investment (ROI) within your portfolio and compliance with the ever-increasing regulations being imposed on the CRE profession. This paper clearly lays out a roadmap for a journey towards successful data governance, or if you are already on that path, a validation of where you are on the maturity curve.
    Keywords: data governance; data strategy; data maturity; analytics; ESG

  • Leveraging healthy buildings as a tool to apply a people-centric approach to ESG
    Sara Karerat, Center for Active Design, Adele Houghton, Biositu, and Grace Dickinson, Center for Active Design

    Resilience, or the ability to respond effectively to the unexpected, has always played a vital role in the corporate real estate (CRE) sector. That importance has only intensified in recent years in the face of numerous crises, including COVID-19, natural disasters and financial market stagnation. Prioritising people and their well-being has emerged as an effective tactic for not only increasing resilience, but also for aligning with environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards across all three pillars. This paper begins by discussing the role ESG plays within the CRE sector, with a focus on the importance of taking a people-centric approach. It presents the co-benefits framework as an effective tool for optimising ESG efforts and identifies several key data sources that aid in reporting ESG metrics. The paper concludes with a case study of a company that leveraged data to better understand how its ESG efforts were supporting its overall financial outcomes.
    Keywords: ESG; healthy building; public health; certification

  • Strategies for using quantitative and qualitative metrics to optimise hybrid work solutions
    Kay Sargent and William Mitchell, HOK

    To address the emerging needs of the hybrid workforce, corporate real estate (CRE) organisations must adapt how they plan for, design and fit out workplaces. Every CRE group is still learning how to navigate this new environment, and there are no definitive solutions. This paper asserts, however, that a hybrid approach that is not well planned and carefully implemented will not meet the needs of employees or their organisations. A successful plan should be based on the right data about how an organisation’s employees are using space. Past methods of measuring space utilisation may not apply to the workplaces that support a hybrid work model. This paper describes how to take a phased approach to creating an effective hybrid workplace combining on-site and remote work. One of the challenges facing CRE is how to measure office utilisation and rebalancing existing spaces to accommodate evolving workstyles. This paper provides actionable advice on using the right quantitative and qualitative metrics to develop a hybrid work experience that will yield the best results. It also discusses the crucial roles of HR and IT groups in creating the optimum hybrid work solutions, as well as the importance of linking these efforts to the organisation’s business goals, unique organisational DNA and the needs of its people. Finally, the paper describes what makes Boston Consulting Group’s new Canadian headquarters in Toronto an example of a successful new post-pandemic work programme.
    Keywords: workplace; strategy; hybrid; metrics; space utilisation; space management

  • Meeting the demands of change : A clear path to a better digital enterprise architecture
    Craig Gillespie and Carla Hinson, MRI Software

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought more change in corporate real estate (CRE) than ever before. CRE teams are now working closely with human resource (HR) teams to consider not only locations and buildings but also the experiences of the employees. This change has brought forth the opportunity to reconsider the way we collect and access data as well as the limitations of entire product ecosystems currently in use. This can be a significant and daunting task, but it does not have to be. The right product ecosystem can serve a central role in the pursuit of comprehensive data to support your data governance strategy. Starting out by understanding the changes that have occurred, key technology considerations and the issues and needs facing the business will help to make the process more manageable. This paper makes the case that better strategic decisions start by committing to taking the first step towards facing change.
    Keywords: corporate real estate technology; real estate data; IWMS; real estate compliance

  • Redefining the modern urban office : The role of gardens in elevating productivity and well-being in the workplace
    Eric Shade and Eric Bishop, Kimley-Horn

    This paper discusses the role of gardens in elevating productivity and well-being in the workplace. It outlines the well-researched psychological benefits of engagement with nature, explores the concept of biophilia and its role in architectural practices, describes the potential of gardens in urban office spaces and outlines key fundamentals and goals of office green spaces. It also references case studies through local projects, such as The Gardens at Promenade in Atlanta, where these principles were implemented and key outcomes were achieved for office tenants and the community at large. The paper first introduces the large body of research describing the impact of green space on human health. It touches on the natural environment’s influence on stress levels, productivity and attention capacity. The authors reference studies published in the National Library of Medicine and The Experience of Nature and Frontiers in Psychology to lay the groundwork to later describe how green space can prove beneficial in the office space. The discussion of biophilic design leads into a discussion of three fundamentals of gardens in modern office spaces — connection, attraction and respite — and outlines design that aligns with these fundamentals. The paper provides examples of the authors’ success in designing such spaces and offers an insightful guide on achieving similar outcomes.
    Keywords: urban gardens; office repositioning; biophilia; employee well-being

  • Creating a workplace fit for your current and future workforce
    Lawrence Mohiuddine, Unispace

    Is corporate real estate (CRE) dead? Not at all. This paper shows that while how people use space, why they want an office and what is needed in the workplace has changed, the office itself remains fundamental to businesses across the globe. Indeed, as Unispace EMEA saw in its `Returning for Good’ study, 75 per cent of organisations have increased their office footprint in the last two years to keep up with the demand from employees and to create or enhance hospitality spaces, with a further 74 per cent planning to do so by 2025. This paper demonstrates why the office is here to stay, and will be the success factor behind workplace returns, increasing employee loyalty and attracting new talent.
    Keywords: office design; future of work; culture; portfolio optimisation; research