Friday, November 30, 2007

Master Builder? And Owner? And Developer?

Those of you who have read Paul Hawkin have probably already heard about this (from A Road Map for Natural Capitalism). Interface carpet has really turned their traditional service on it's head.

"Under its Evergreen Lease, Interface no longer sells carpets but rather leases a floor covering service for a monthly fee, accepting responsibility for keeping the carpet fresh and clean. Monthly inspections detect and replace worn carpet tiles. Since at most 20% of an area typically shows at least 80% of the wear, replacing only the worn parts reduces the consumption of carpeting material by about 80%. It also minimizes the disruption that customers experience - worn tiles are seldom found under furniture. Finally, for the customer, leasing carpets can provide a tax advantage by turning a capital expenditure into tax-deductible expense. The results: the customer gets cheaper and better services that cost the supplier far less to produce."

This got me thinking about buildings. What if, as architects, we stopped selling a building and started selling "healthy places to work?" What if architects financed their buildings and partnered with biologists, engineers, water and energy specialists, contractors and building maintenance organizations to create the healthiest workplaces possible?

And what would our clients look like? They are the new mobile workforce. They come to one of our many strategically located LEED Super-Platinum offices in the city to meet their team or to work in a place with a "buzz" as needed... and to use the fabulous amenities we build (pool tables, cafes, you name it). For our mobile clients, they've already leveraged technology to communicate effectively. All they care about is finding a space that suits the group's functional need or preference when they need to get together. They will go to the place that minimizes their commute, is close to a client or adjacent to public transportation.
So how do they pay for space? What if they didn't commit to leasing just one space, but their lease covers using any number of spaces that meet their general specifications. They reserve space online ahead of time. Online reservation systems have come a long way since we first tried using them with management consulting firms.

So we accommodate a highly agile workforce in a healthy environment where and when they need it. Utlization is 100% if we plan it right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very cool!

Environment Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory