Getting our buildings right needs to be worth more than getting them wrong

The importance of getting building procurement right cannot be overstated. How we manage our procurement processes greatly influences the long-term operational efficiency of buildings, and we must aim for exceptional performance in this area.

Getting our buildings right needs to be worth more than getting them wrong. 

How the pharma model compares

Given the disparity in financial resources, the construction of pharmaceutical plants may be off the radar of the commercial construction industry. But let’s not dismiss it completely. It’s still a real-world business – it’s just optimised for value, not price. Speed and quality take precedence: build it fast and build it right!

So, what can we learn from the pharma industry? First and foremost, the process is key. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and there’s no room for cutting corners. There is a strict expectation of how things are done and what is delivered. Then comes validation – a thorough check to ensure accuracy in implementation. Finally, commissioning takes place where systems are fully operational, and performance data is used to assess whether building systems meet requirements.

But what makes all of this work? The high level of collaboration between architects, contractors, and service providers sets pharma construction apart. This collaboration starts early in the process and emphasises good communication and decision-making.

Compared to commercial property construction, which (let’s be honest) has often resulted in poor-quality products, the pharma model proves its worth. We have much to learn from it – valuable expertise we should embrace. Real innovation arises from rebellion against outdated practices. 

Why it makes long-term sense to get it right

Investing in high-quality buildings supported by strong procurement processes makes long-term financial sense for the commercial property sector. Buildings that are designed to work well and be maintained, will cost less to operate and result in more comfortable and happier occupants.

When choosing office spaces, occupiers increasingly prioritise sustainability, energy efficiency, and occupant comfort. By investing in buildings that meet these criteria from the outset, investors can secure higher rental yields and reduce turnover rates.

Long story short: high-quality, sustainable buildings that meet today’s higher-than-ever standards and prioritise occupant comfort will attract occupiers, boost rental yields, and reduce turnover rates. 

Counting the full cost

The cost of a building goes beyond its initial construction expenses. It includes ongoing operational costs, maintenance, repairs, and potential upgrades. By accounting for the full cost of a building’s life cycle during the procurement process, investors can make informed decisions that maximise their long-term returns.

Furthermore, considering the environmental impact of buildings is crucial in today’s climate-conscious world. Sustainable and energy-efficient buildings reduce operating costs and contribute to a more sustainable future. Investors can align their portfolios with evolving market trends and regulatory requirements by factoring in these aspects during procurement.

Why make net-zero an impossible target when you might as well make it an easy one?It is essential to recognise that getting our buildings right from the start is invaluable. By adopting a proactive approach to procurement practices and addressing potential issues early on, we can optimise the operational performance of our properties and ensure long-term financial success.