A reader response on James Maddock’s article on office space


James Maddock identifies that “with more density and sharing of space comes more pressure on the building in the design and flexibility it must offer” (“Space: the final frontier”, 23 January 2015, page 31). As a specialist intelligent buildings partner, this is a concern we are faced with regularly, from both our clients, and our construction/ development partners.

I have two points to make in relation to Mr Maddock’s article, the first being that the earlier technology (via a specialist intelligent buildings partner) is introduced into both the project design and delivery/ supply chain, the better.

With the integrated technologies now available, we are able to provide a wide range of high-performance, resilient, aesthetically pleasing systems – which means we can design and deliver any size / scale / design of building, and add a level of flexibility and agility that customers currently demand, in order to meet the requirements of their “varied” workforces.

However, my second point is that the UK continues to procure major projects primarily on cost - the “first to the bottom” race to win a project guarantees that levels of ICT infrastructure are scaled down.

Until we have earlier partner engagement, and also a balance between technology investment / project cost, unfortunately a large number of our new buildings will remain inflexible, and any changes post handover (to support flexible work spaces) will incur a considerable cost.

Ben Lavelle, business development director, Capita IT Enterprise Services, via email