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Tenants increasingly monitoring office use . . .

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Office occupiers are increasingly benchmarking the use of space, and how well it performs. Research released at the British Council for Offices annual conference last week showed that more than half of the major users surveyed benchmark property performance, and a further 30 per cen intend to do so.

The most commonly benchmarked indices are occupancy costs, depreciation and floorspace per worker. Time spent by staff on different activities was far less commonly measured. Of the 31 respondents, who occupy 300,000m2 of office space, two-thirds set formal objectives for property performance, and reviewed that performance at least once a year. Main criticisms were inflexibility of space, inadequate floorplates and poor-quality air-conditioning. There were relatively few complaints about over-specification. Unsurprisingly, a large majority (70 per cent) wanted shorter leases, of 10 years or less.

The bco conference in Dublin attracted a record 700 delegates. Next year's venue will be Glasgow, during its City of Architecture year.

. . . while developer shares profit-saving with lift firm

Lift manufacturer and installer Otis has split the savings made arising from team working on a contract with developer Stanhope and construction manager Bovis Europe. After installation costs had been agreed on a London office scheme, continuous discussion about the contract cut out unnecessary documentation and shortened schedules, resulting in what Stanhope's Peter Rogers described as a 'sizeable residual profit', which was offered back to the developer, but in the event split with Otis.

Otis says that part of these savings related to use of scaffoldless installation procedures, which cut dependence on other site workers.

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