The Client Brief
UNICEF, a charitable trust, helps provide nutrition, education, emergency relief, sanitation & hygiene and vaccines to children in danger across 190 countries. UNICEF engaged with us to seek advice and support with the relocation of their UK headquarters in London. The brief was to work closely with the property agent to secure new premises to provide flexibility for future head count growth through agile working in a location that would be appealing to existing staff and encourage new talent.
We were appointed to provide building surveying services throughout the premises acquisition and on-going project management, employer’s agent and cost management support for the occupational fitout.
Working closely with the property agent, we undertook technical due diligence on a short list of property options, which led to lead to UNICEF selecting Westfield Avenue, Stratford as their new London HQ location. The building, part of the Lend Lease development, was under construction when we worked with the legal team and property agent to negotiate the agreement for lease on circa 26,000sqft of space across 2 floors. We monitored the close out of the landlord build through to Cat A condition and, in parallel, engaged a design team to assist in the preparation of an Employer’s Requirements document for competitive tender of the Cat B fitout. Particular attention had to be given to the design of the space in relation to the mechanical base build chilled beam system, which although energy efficient, was expensive to modify. Considerable thought was given to the incorporation of a variety of agile work settings to provide both group and solo work environments, with quiet areas for focused work and open areas for idea sharing and collaborative working. Given the cost of premises in London, efficient use of the space was critical to UNICEF and therefore, the breakout space was designed in a multi-functional way to be adapted for town hall all-staff briefings, casual meeting space and staff functions.
Critical to the relocation was managing the fibre installation, which posed a high risk given that BT Openreach were unable to confirm dates for running new services to the building. We were aware this had caused serious issues to another tenant in the building. We appointed a specialist IT and AV consultant to work alongside the client and project team to provide the support required to advise and manage the connectivity issues with BT, which mitigated any delay to the client relocation date.
UNICEF relocated on time and on budget into their new home in Stratford in August 2018. The success of the project was demonstrated by the fact that employees immediately integrated into the agile work setting on day one and it was a pleasure to hear the positive feedback on the improvement between the old and new work environment.