Parking garages gearing up to morph into offices, housing, retail as autonomous cars loom large

Parking garages gearing up to morph into offices, housing, retail as autonomous cars loom large

"At a 13-story office tower under construction in Hollywood that will soon serve as the headquarters of Netflix, two floors of parking are designed for a different future: As the need for parking dwindles, that parking space can be easily converted into new office space."


It's a parking lot. No, it's an office. No, it's affordable housing. No, it's all three. At least it should be if the garage owner expects to make money in the not-too-distant future of autonomous vehicles. The article explains that some cities are eliminating their parking ratio requirement. One high-rise in Oslo was built for no parking at all, except the two-wheel human-powered ones. 

Older structures will be much harder to repurpose that newer ones. Underground lots may be similarly challenged. But if your new building includes parking, think about what you might turn that space into when cars will no longer have to sit anywhere.


McKinsey offers a wake-up call for connected building hardware and software players. Evolve or die.

While connectivity represents a substantial opportunity for both incumbent infrastructure companies and new tech-focused entrants, they need to act quickly. Many players are already attempting to establish themselves as leaders in the connected building space, so competitors that delay may never regain their lost ground.


Aside from giving the reader a good understanding of where connected buildings are headed, this McKinsey paper challenges software, hardware, building owners/occupants, and service providers to think about what role they will play in the evolving value chain. 


Among other things it predicts:

  • As building technologies increasingly focus on human outcomes over efficiency and cost savings, making the business case and measuring results will become more difficult.
  • The security/privacy challenge will multiply as hardware and software solutions increasingly talk to one another.
  • The value proposition will vary greatly across owners/occupants. This will force vendors to offer a menu of choices and step-wise implementation options.
  • The C-suite will increasingly become the sales target as only they will be in a position to appreciate the value of holistic solutions.
  • Successful building hardware and software providers will buy, build, or partner with other value chain players to offer end-to-end solutions.


The paper ends with recommendations for what industry players should be doing, right now, to ensure their survival in the coming years.

HOK Releases Insurance Industry Workplace Report

HOK Releases Insurance Industry Workplace Report

"The New Insurance Workplace" 2018 offers an investigation of the forces reshaping the insurance industry and how workplace design can position companies for success.


This report offers a treasure trove of insights into how insurance industry workplaces are evolving.


Among other things, this 28-page report covers:

- factors that are driving change

- space standards and benchmarking data

- sustainability, mobility, technology, and amenity trends

- case studies



JLL’s Annual Occupancy Benchmarking Guide

JLL survey reveals latest work styles require new planning methods


JLL's Annual Occupancy Benchmarking Guide came out in December. The whole report is a must-read, but here is some data to wet your appetite:



- 69% Report occupancy benchmarking and metrics

- 51% report density (rsf/seat)



- 52% report density of 150-225 rsf/person (highest in N.A.)

- 72% report 150-225 rsf/seat (100% in Latin America)

- RSF/person is highest for Utilities industry and lowest for Communications (263 sf and 158 sf respectively)

- 41% have office-to-workstation ratios at 10+% (down from 57% in 2017)



- 66% track space utilization (72% for EMEA)

- 43% use a combination of technology and observation

- 30% track utilization on an on-going basis

- 38% utilize their office space less than 60% of the time

- Highest utilization among non-profits, lowest in utilities



- 30% of global respondents (and 64% of APAC) have more than 20% of employee population designated as mobile (not needing an assigned desk)

- Mobility highest in N.A. and lowest in LA/SA

- Of those with mobility programs

  - 80% Utilize neighborhoods

  - 80% Use IWMS or CAFM to track mobility

  - 61% Have mobility space standards

  - 36% Have work-at-home programs (down from 45% in 2017)


The report additionally offers industry and geographic breakdowns, and data about space standards, workstation size, visitor workspace, case studies, and more.


Survey show strong link between office design and job satisfaction in Europe 

Survey show strong link between office design and job satisfaction in Europe 

Kinnarps Next Office® consultancy surveyed over 5,300 employees from over 60 of their clients across Europe to discover what agile looks like when it moves from paper to practice.


When asked how important the office design and environment was to their job satisfaction, the 5,600 employees surveyed in this Kinnarps study answered 5 on a 6 scale. Though the survey results did not include any statistical significance data and was comprised of only Kinnarps customers, the findings are still worth noting. Respondents across six industries (individual reports are available) also answered questions about, among other things:


How they spent their day:

   - 34% writing

   - 29% of the time in meetings

   - 16% planning

   - 12% on the phone

   - 10% other


Where they preferred to work:

  - Three highest answers were personal workstation, concentration workstation, and small meeting room

   - In agile environments, preference for the personal workstation went from 58% to 18%


Preference for meeting room size:

   - Those wanting small meeting rooms outnumbered those wanting large ones by 3:1

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