HLW once again has collaborated with construction consultancy Faithful+Gould to
create a Construction Cost Index for commercial office space
The Index, dubbed by HLW as the "Rules of Thumb for Interior Construction
what clients can expect for their money. It takes into account the typical
characteristics of the type of space needed and the desired level of design
(basic versus high-end), as well as the estimated costs of individual components
in the space and what materials can be provided within various cost ranges. A companion chart
helps designers adjust costs by
A Better Way to Work
Last year, this
annual article on construction costs focused on downward pressures in the
construction market across the country. This year, the headline is not only
about lower costs, but about corporate America taking less space. From our
perspective, having witnessed every economic downturn since the Great
Depression, it is a common and necessary reaction for companies to reevaluate
and create more efficiencies during challenging times.
that are looking to stay competitive are taking advantage of this lull before
the next economic upswing to focus on creative solutions to their workplace
requirements. As a result of the downsizing, consolidations, and acquisitions
that have occurred over the past year, companies are looking to improve
workplace efficiency and ultimately increase productivity per square foot of
real estate. This is not about simply reducing the size of a typical workstation
or increasing population density onto a typical floor plate. It is about
creating a high performance workplace environment as a way to become more
flexible, sustainable and efficient, and ultimately create a better place to
work and fuel future growth.
Sustainability in the Workplace
Organizations are realizing that the ultimate benefits of a sustainable
workplace are not only tax incentives and energy efficiencies, but also a more
productive workforce. A sustainable approach to design and construction has
become the norm; companies expect a sustainable approach regardless of the
decision to seek formal LEED certification. Architecture and design firms are
expected to take an aggressive, proactive approach to identifying and
implementing design and material decisions that are sustainably driven. These
choices can alleviate any added financial burden to the client and add
perceived, quantifiable value to the workplace.
The current construction
environment already includes green costs that are not optional. There are
significant government mandated energy and material requirements in place.
Introducing green design measures into a project at the earliest phase and
continuing the effort with an integrated team throughout the life of the project
are far more cost effective than tacking on individual "green" additions late in
the design process.
Theodore S. Hammer, FAIA, LEED AP, is a managing
partner at HLW International in New York. Chris Baxter is a vice president, and
Oliver Hamm is a project manager at Faithful+Gould in New York.