Figures in a recent report from property services group DTZ have shown that the availability of office space in central London has fallen by 20% in the last year. So, as competition for commercial space in London hots up, occupiers are repeatedly finding themselves falling victim to gazumping – losing out to companies making better counter offers along the line.
Guzumping can put enormous time pressure on the organisation that has lost its premises. When they do then find an office, they have far less time for the fit out process. So what can an occupier do to help minimise the impact of this issue?
One way is to look at alternative ways to deliver the office fit out faster - a high quality, time saving office interior design solution.
Design and build (also known as D&B) is one solution. Unlike traditional delivery, which involves appointing an interior designer plus a number of advisors and consultants such as project manager, cost consultant, mechanical and electrical consultant(s), IT consultant, furniture specialist, then contractors and sub-contractors, the D&B model offers clients a turnkey solution with design, specification, consultancy, project management and construction services all under one roof.
Projects that are procured through a traditional process have a tendency towards escalating budgets as anything outside the tender specification is chargeable. Delivery times can also be uncertain and are usually longer, as variations to the tender specification will automatically trigger extensions to the programme.
Procuring a project through a D&B model is more time efficient and cost effective. Industry research shows that as much as 85% of interior fit out projects with a value of less than £5,000,000 are procured via this model.
Another benefit of D&B is that is also de-risks the process for clients at a time when financial caution is the watchword. It delivers 100% cost certainty as the client and contractor share the risk. It also creates a single point of contact and accountability – i.e. the contractor is responsible for the entire project. D&B is a scalable procurement model, from projects of 1,500 sq ft up to 70,000sqft – and sometimes beyond.
With competition for space expected to continue to rise, we expect more and more companies to turn to D&B for their office fit out or office refurbishment, particularly those unfortunate enough to have been gazumped. When they do experience this route, they will not only see that the can fit out their office interior much faster, they will also see the high quality finishes that are achievable – and select this route in the future as a result .
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