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Greater office quality aspirations for Australia’s property industry

OFFICE • June 4, 2019

The Property Council’s new ’A Guide to Office Building Quality’ third edition has been released. This milestone is something for our industry to embrace as the latest voluntary Guide provides our basis for common language on office quality.

This third edition retains the familiar matrix originally conceived for the first edition in 2006, however it has been updated and reformatted into a single integrated document. A significant effort has been made to maintain a concise and consistent national approach to the important market issue of the perception of office quality. Not that this has ever been a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but it has become increasingly complex as the many industry stakeholders have attested to during the drafting and review of this new Guide.

The often quoted “we shape our buildings and afterwards, our buildings shape us” (Winston Churchill, 1944), still hold true as the built environment has a physicality and permanence.

Just as the Guide’s second edition in 2012 confirmed that quality was synonymous with sustainability, then this new third edition adds flexibility and innovation the key determinants of modern office quality. 

Offices, both new and existing, of all quality grades (Premium, A, B and C) need to a greater or lesser extent be resilient and remain relevant in the dynamic world of workplace strategies if they are to contribute to the productivity and well-being of their occupants. Office quality is important to organisations, teams and individuals and needs to also accommodate the diversity of technology, regulatory and social issues. While compliance with statutory requirements is assumed, the Guide endeavours to interpret the market’s perception of quality across a range of parameters and criteria. Now it also has a thought provoking identified Emerging Quality Issues section added for context.

The principle that “the ultimate measure of office Quality is the rent or financial value an occupant is willing to pay or attribute in return for the amenity and services delivered by the building” remains. Further in its quality grading “it is anticipated that a building will overwhelmingly meet the stated criteria of that grade”. The Guide maintains that the market stock should continue to reflect current user requirements and consider future flexibility and challenges.

The Guide is a useful tool in the design, delivery and management of our built environment. It will be presented at IFMA’s World Workplace conference in October in the USA.

The third edition of the Property Council of Australia ‘A Guide to Office Building Quality’ comes into effect on 1 July 2019. Order your copy today.

Written by Stephen Ballesty, Director, In-Touch Advisory

 

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