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Transparency: the key to better buildings

Transparency: the key to better buildings

In Poland, a major contractor has been working with a local building technology specialist to implement new solutions to the age-old problem of transparency of information. Even operating costs can be accurately predicted now.

Loredo RES has been supporting Skanska in the process of preparing the Spark B building for the operation phase, with a focus on the technical maintenance of the building. Loredo’s approach includes new business models to increase transparency in order to provide better and quicker access to the necessary information - including effective predictions of operating costs.

Transparency is one of the hottest topics in real estate markets. Easy access to information about buildings enhances business efficiency. At the same time, transparency can lead to increased competitiveness when it comes to selling or leasing.

Better control of operating costs
Cooperation between Loredo RES and Skanska came together around the development of the process and a business model that would ensure the proper management of the service charge costs at the Spark B building, which brings 16,000 sqm of office space onto the Warsaw market. This is the second of the three buildings in the Spark complex (pictured above).

An essential motivator of this cooperation was to know the operating costs of the building early – even by the point of handover. The specified budget was not to change by more than +/-5%. The goal was that Skanska would be able to avoid the common market phenomenon of revising operating costs in the first six or even 12 months after handover. Thus, when selling the property the developer would be assured of cost transparency and stability for the new owner.

“One of the decisions we have taken to properly prepare the operational budgets was to change the business model. We proposed cooperation on the open-book basis, which is not too popular in the real estate market today,” says Łukasz Siwiński, a board member at Loredo RES.

The introduction of such a model enabled the full presentation of the costs and their settlement in accordance with the facts. And with this approach, Skanska will be able to carry out more accurate analysis of its investments in the future.

More efficient building handover
The studies and recommendations provided by Loredo RES streamlined the process of building handover in various technical fields, with the benefits relating mainly to the general contractor team. Thanks to the proposed methods of document and information transition, and the form of conducting and documenting training on the building, the project team can optimise the time spent on these activities.

“From the building operation perspective, fast and efficient implementation of building services allows saving up to two weeks of work for one person of the technical department, compared to today's market practices” says Siwiński.  “Technical teams are expected to provide the service within the prescribed period. The solutions we have made make this much easier. For the Spark B building, about a month before its handover, we had 95% of the information necessary for the building operation. Largely, this information relates to the actual state of the building, such as used materials and installed equipment, information on guarantees, as well as adapting the BIM model for building operation so that we can use the 3D model during everyday work. This ensures that the first day after taking over the building for service, we will have all the necessary data.”

Artur Wysocki, property and facilities management manager at Skanska, adds: “The examples mentioned above are only part of all the benefits of the relevant information management strategy. Digitising the processes of information collection and management [ie BIM} is a cornerstone to start with. In our case, an important element is cooperation with Skanska S.A., which has a wide knowledge about BIM processes and realises many projects in this form. I am convinced that through the process standardisation, investments will be carried out more efficiently and processes will be more transparent for both investors and future tenants.”

Long-term cooperation
Skanska and Loredo also collaborated in 2018 for BIM modelling in Spark C.

“I am glad that we could work together with Loredo RES on the Spark C project,” says Wysocki. “Working on the implementation of the new idea and business model has confirmed our assumptions and has shown that it was worth spending time on this project. Experience gained while working on Spark C helped us, the investor, to clarify how to prepare ourselves for the property handover and its further operation.”

Maciej Wiśniewski, CEO of Loredo RES, explains: “We treated our previous cooperation at the Spark C building as a pilot project. When deciding to cooperate on the Spark B building, we have significantly lifted the bar. The scope of our cooperation included the investor’s support in the management of information about the building and the equipment, key from the property handover perspective. This information is, for example, design and as-built documentation, updated BIM model, formal, legal, environmental as well as operational documentation.”

Wiśniewski says that thanks to this process Loredo has increased the quality of the property handover and shortened its duration. “We managed to take over the Spark B building in only three hours. In addition, we have identified a number of indicators to measure the objectives in three main areas: time optimisation, costs and risk management. One of them was also defining the maximum time of building handover between the general contractor and the developer. Some of the indicators referred to the process of warranty defects management (time, quality, follow-up), others concerned time optimisation, e.g. time spend on tendering processes for building services or risk management in the potential situation of sudden personnel or service company change. The examples cited are only part of the 47 indicators. In addition to the process activities, the key element in the whole process was also the appropriate use of cloud-based solutions that enable more efficient communication and work with the most up-to-date information.”

In Poland, and real estate markets beyond, technology holds the solutions to better building project performance.

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