Sync and swim
The property industry is complex. The process of developing, leasing, operating, disposing or acquiring buildings all rely on interconnected parties – and the stakes are typically high for these relationships to be effective.
On top of its application to each stage of the building lifecycle, collaboration across the industry is crucial for knowledge sharing and working for progress on major ambitions, such as: net zero carbon, safety and social value challenges.
Reliance on outsourcing
Collaboration is crucial in property. Our research found that 78% of respondents rely on some form of outsourced expertise on property investment and buildings, while just 22% use purely in-house expertise.
Building performance plans
We found that 88% of building occupiers have a plan to improve building performance until at least 2030, while only 50% of investors and developers have such a plan in place. If this is not improved, then it is the strategic decisions of the latter two groups that will most impact the fundamental approaches to the design and construction of our future buildings.
Barriers to better building performance
When we asked our respondents the greatest challenges faced when it comes to achieving their building performance goals, there was significant concern about specialist resource and the return on investment. However, more than half cited that organisational issues are deemed as their greatest challenge.
Building performance improvements are most threatened by organisational issues. 53% of our respondents cite internal politics, siloed working and lack of clear responsibilities as major challenges to their property portfolio. Strategic alignment and measurement of commercial outcomes is key to align stakeholders (whether internal or external) to achieve the best building performance outcomes.
Lead and succeed
Collaboration is crucial for achieving the goals we outline as a result of our research and our wider work. Disconnected project teams fall short of the best project outcomes. Owners which do not understand what their occupiers want will lose their business. Developers who are not fully aligned with their investors’ ESG expectations won’t deliver against them. Poor communication between landlords and occupiers can result in lease breaks and costs on both sides. An industry which doesn’t share learnings on safety or sustainability will not be effective in improving the built environment for all.
The good news is that our industry shares a similar outlook in many areas. But there are key disparities.
Considering the challenges of sustainability, health and wellbeing, and flexibility, a long-term strategic plan is crucial. We found that occupiers (88%) are most likely to have a plan for building performance until at least 2030. However, only 50% of investors and developers have the same. Looking at the greatest challenges for organisations to achieve their building performance goals, 53% of respondents cited the struggles of siloed teams, internal politics and a lack of clear responsibilities within their organisations, which a clearer strategy could improve.
These issues point to a commercial risk facing developments and existing buildings, of avoidable under-performance against occupier goals and future industry standards. There must be stronger leadership to drive performance beyond the current regulations and market standards.
Among project teams, leadership should combine technical understanding with the project’s commercial objectives and an ambition to progress current standards. Where different priorities sit across a project team, central roles such as those provided by our project managers, project monitors, lead consultants and employers’ agents are instrumental to align teams with performance strategy and metrics.
Community engagement is another key piece of the puzzle. This is true for working with a building’s neighbours, and for cross-industry collaboration too, via independent working groups and industry panels to meet the challenges we all face.
Investors, developers, occupiers – and the specialist teams which work with them – can’t operate in a vacuum. Facilitating better connections is crucial for creating the valuable and resilient buildings we need for the future.
How we can help
We’re here to help
For more information on how we can help your organisation improve building performance for more valuable and resilient assets, please get in touch with our expert team today.