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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Sara J. Wilkinson and Julie R. Jupp

Building information modelling (BIM) offers rich opportunities for property professionals to use information throughout the property life cycle. However, the benefits of…

Abstract

Purpose

Building information modelling (BIM) offers rich opportunities for property professionals to use information throughout the property life cycle. However, the benefits of BIM for property professionals are largely untapped. BIM was developed by the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector to assist in managing design and construction data. As these technologies mature and evolve, so does the opportunity for other professional groups to use data within, or linked to, BIM models. This paper aims to explore the potential for corporate real estate managers (CREM) and investment surveyors to use data contained in BIM models and building management systems, which could help these professionals with strategic planning, portfolio rationalisation and acquisitions.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a scoping study to explore the potential to expand the scope of BIM to other professional activities. As such, the research adopted a Delphi approach with a series of workshops with experienced stakeholders in Australia and England. Qualitative research is inductive and hypothesis-generating. That is, as the researcher assimilates knowledge and information contained in the literature, ideas and questions are formed, which are put to research participants, and, from this process, conclusions are drawn.

Findings

It is technologically feasible for some property professionals, such as CREM, to use some data contained within BIM, and linked building management systems. The types of data used by property professionals were identified and ranked in importance. Needs are varied, both in the range of data and the points in the property life cycle when they are required. The benefits identified include potentially accessing and using more reliable and accurate data in professional tasks; however, challenges exist around the fidelity of the data and assurances that it is current.

Research limitations/implications

The key limitations of the research were that the views expressed are those of a select group of experienced practitioners and may not represent the consensus view of the professions and industry as a whole. The limitations and criticisms of focus group data collection are that individuals holding strong views may dominate the sessions.

Practical implications

The findings show that expanding access to BIM could enable some property professionals, including CREM, to utilise relevant data that could improve the quality and accuracy of their professional services. A simple initial system could be trialled to ascertain the value of the data. Over time, the availability of data could be extended to allow more professionals access. Furthermore, there is potential to link BIM to other digitised property data in the future.

Originality/value

To date, no one has considered the practicality or potential utility of expanding the access to data contained in 3D BIM models to property professionals, nor has anyone considered which data would be useful to them. The value of using BIM data is that, as more property stock is delivered and maintained via BIM-enabled processes, it will be possible for a wider range of professionals such as CREM and investment surveyors to offer more accurate advice and services to clients.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Sara J. Wilkinson

Abstract

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Richard G. Reed and Sara J. Wilkinson

Purpose — This study seeks to investigate the degree to which energy efficiency is incorporated into office building refurbishment and capital expenditure with the…

Abstract

Purpose — This study seeks to investigate the degree to which energy efficiency is incorporated into office building refurbishment and capital expenditure with the emphasis placed on a cost‐benefit analysis from the owner’s perspective. Design/methodology/approach – In order to develop a research framework, a thorough literature review was conducted of three disciplines being construction technology, building refurbishment and property management. The study identifies differences between varying levels of capital expenditure to ensure an existing building is more energy efficient, with the emphasis placed on the cost of implementation and the potential for tenants to acknowledge the increased energy efficiency via higher rents. Findings – Office buildings have been identified as a contributor to global warming during the construction phase, however during the building lifecycle there is a greater contribution to CO2 omissions. Whilst various building designs and construction techniques have evolved to improve energy efficiency, the focus has largely been placed on new buildings where it is easier to incorporate change and innovative approaches. However, the proportion of new buildings constructed each year is relatively small in comparison to existing building stock, which requires regular capital expenditure to maintain and attract new tenants within a competitive marketplace. Practical implications – The increasing importance of energy efficiency affects the office market in a variety of different ways. Originality/value – This paper identifies important links between the environment and the built environment, and the implications for office building owners.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Sara J. Wilkinson

The purpose of this study was to investigated the importance of environmental attributes for office building adaptation and whether the importance of environmental…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigated the importance of environmental attributes for office building adaptation and whether the importance of environmental attributes for adaptation has changed over time from 1998-2008 to 2009-2011. With 1-2 per cent added to the total stock of buildings each year and the need to take action to mitigate the impacts of predicted climate change (IPCC, 2013), it is necessary to focus efforts on adaptation of existing buildings.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopted a quantitative approach, using a database of office building attributes and applying principal component analysis to ascertain the respective importance of various building attributes in adaptation. Using two databases; the first dating from 1998 to 2008 and comprising 5,290 adaptation events and the second covering the period 2009 to 2011 and comprising 1,272 adaptation events, a comparison of results was undertaken.

Findings

The findings indicate the importance of some environmental attributes in building adaptation has changed and that legislation and changes market perceptions towards to promote built environment sustainability may be having a positive impact. The research demonstrates that different property attributes vary in importance over time and used existing buildings in an international city to confirm application to urban settlements elsewhere where existing buildings can be adapted to reduce the effect of climate change.

Research limitations/implications

The databases are limited to Melbourne, Australia and to these specific points in time. It is possible that other cities are seeing changes in adaptation practices to accommodate increased awareness and the growing importance attributed to environmental issues; however, additional studies would be required to ascertain whether the level of importance was stronger or weaker than that found in Melbourne.

Practical implications

The impacts of the mandatory The National Australian Built Environment Rating System energy rating tool and the Green Star voluntary tool provide actionable data for property stakeholders and the academic community. Policy-makers can see that building owners are integrating environmental attributes into their stock and that the market is shifting towards increased sustainability. This study uses real world data to feed the scholarship process, with real economic and commercial impacts. New buildings account for about 1-2 per cent of the total building stock annually and existing buildings must be adapted, and thus the questions of the success of voluntary or mandatory measures are essential to future environmental decision-making.

Originality/value

This research reports on data covering all office building adaptation conducted from 1998 to 2011 in the Melbourne CBD. As such, it is a comprehensive analysis of all works undertaken and how the significance of different physical, social, economic and environmental attributes is changing over time.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Su Li Ang and Sara J. Wilkinson

Sustainable property development has increased in market share over the past two to three years globally and locally. This research aims to analyze the drivers and…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable property development has increased in market share over the past two to three years globally and locally. This research aims to analyze the drivers and barriers to sustainable property development in Melbourne using the triple bottom line (TBL) theoretical framework. The TBL posits that sustainability has social, economic and environmental aspects to fulfil.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was sent out to 190 developers in Melbourne who promoted sustainable property development to ascertain their views about the drivers and barriers.

Findings

This research indicates that in the 2007 Melbourne market the drivers were social rather than economic. The data reveal that social reasons are considered more than economic arguments for incorporating sustainability into developments. The business case, or the economic drivers for sustainability alone do not convince developers.

Research limitations/implications

The questionnaire survey informed us about developers' views but not why they have these views. The sample was limited to Melbourne.

Practical implications

More developments are required for developers to become convinced of the benefits. The relatively low price of energy undermines the business case for sustainability in property here and needs to be fully costed.

Originality/value

This paper illustrates that whilst the theoretical framework cites three key areas for sustainability, the reality is that developers are currently driven by social and environmental factors primarily and the business case is not accepted by the majority of developers.

Details

Property Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2007

Sara J. Wilkinson and Pat Morton

This paper seeks to establish and demonstrate the relevance of feminist research methods within built environment research. While no one definition of feminist research…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to establish and demonstrate the relevance of feminist research methods within built environment research. While no one definition of feminist research exists, many feminist researchers identify characteristics which distinguish it from traditional social science research; it is research that studies women, or that focuses on gender.

Design/methodology/approach

There is a growing body of research into women and the built environment adopting feminist paradigms. This paper explains the dynamic, evolving philosophical basis of feminist research methods drawing comparisons to traditional positivist methodologies and demonstrates that feminist research has characteristics that can be imported into other research paradigms.

Findings

The paper shows that there is much to be learned from an understanding of feminist research for all researchers in the built environment and that by adopting different approaches to research, researchers may find new and original ways of examining complex issues.

Research limitations/implications

The implications are that all researchers in the built environment should consider the benefits of adopting a feminist approach in their research especially where the researcher is seeking to gain a deeper understanding of peoples' experiences.

Originality/value

This paper seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of adopting feminist research methods in a discipline dominated by traditional approaches to research.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2013

Sara J. Wilkinson

The built environment is responsible for around half of total greenhouse gas emissions and the majority of emissions are produced during building lifecycles. As such the…

Abstract

Purpose

The built environment is responsible for around half of total greenhouse gas emissions and the majority of emissions are produced during building lifecycles. As such the property sector has considerable potential to reduce lifecycle emissions and can contribute in mitigating global warming. However our existing conceptual understanding of sustainability is variable to the point of being disjointed and ambiguous and this could imply our efforts to realise reductions may not reach their potential. This paper seeks to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a qualitative paradigm, this study used published information on property company websites regarding sustainability in a content analysis to address the questions: What is the conceptual understanding of sustainability within the ten leading Australian property firms? and What is the implication of this level of conceptual understanding with regards to delivering sustainability?

Findings

There are distinct differences between the conceptual understanding of sustainability within the firms, indicating a different worldview exists across these firms. It is probable that this information is published without a conscious decision to represent a technocentric or ecocentric worldview, and as such it reflects the lack of breadth and depth of understanding in the current discourse regarding sustainable development in some property firms. Some elements of the sustainability discourse are omitted from their conceptual understanding. Academics have a responsibility and an opportunity to widen the discourse so that current and future generations are able to make informed decisions in respect of the degree of sustainability it is necessary to adopt.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of a content analysis approach is that there is no opportunity to explore the underlying reasons for what is found. Thus the researcher is unable to ascertain whether omissions regarding the discourse of sustainability issues are conscious or sub‐conscious.

Originality/value

There is now a growing body of work around property and sustainability. Most of this work is focused on ways in which to implement sustainability or how sustainability is being integrated in the built environment. Little work is centred on the fundamentals of sustainability and understanding of the principles and how this impacts on the degree of sustainability practiced by those firms. The underlying hypothesis is that a weak conceptual understanding will only ever deliver weak sustainability at best. Weak sustainability is insufficient to avert the project climate change outcomes forecast by the United Nations.

Details

Property Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Hilde T. Remøy and Sara J. Wilkinson

The City of Melbourne seeks to retrofit 1,200 CBD properties by 2020 as part of the strategy to become carbon neutral, whilst Amsterdam aims to cut CO2 emissions 40 per…

Abstract

Purpose

The City of Melbourne seeks to retrofit 1,200 CBD properties by 2020 as part of the strategy to become carbon neutral, whilst Amsterdam aims to cut CO2 emissions 40 per cent by 2025. Oversupply in the Amsterdam office market makes conversion to residential use viable. In examining converted buildings in Amsterdam and the Melbourne CBD typical attributes of converted stock can be identified to target retrofit measures. This paper seeks to focus on these initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

In Amsterdam five case studies were undertaken to reveal and define building attributes that explain the viability of these conversions. On the other hand, the Melbourne study was based on a database assembled containing all Melbourne CBD office building adaptations carried out between 1998 and 2008. The research analysed the conversion of office buildings and the scope for sustainable retrofit evaluating a limited number of attributes known to be important in adaptation.

Findings

The outcomes of this research showed similarities and differences in scope, which are relevant to all urban areas where adaptation of office buildings can mitigate the impacts of climate change and enhance a city for another generation of citizens and users.

Practical implications

The outcomes highlight the property attributes that explain conversion viability and that are most strongly associated with conversions. In addition the research identifies some sustainability measures that are possible with this type of stock.

Originality/value

The paper compares and contrasts qualitative data from a small sample of buildings in Amsterdam with quantitative data from a census of all change of use adaptations in Melbourne from 1998 to 2008. The contrasting approaches make it possible both to explain the driving forces of adaptations and to deliver statistical evidence of what is described in the case studies. Despite the differing approaches it is possible to compare and contrast the attributes of properties from both cities.

Details

Property Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Sara Wilkinson, Jessica Lamond, David G Proverbs, Lucy Sharman, Allison Heller and Jo Manion

The key aspects that built environment professionals need to consider when evaluating roofs for the purpose of green roof retrofit and also when assessing green roofs for…

Abstract

Purpose

The key aspects that built environment professionals need to consider when evaluating roofs for the purpose of green roof retrofit and also when assessing green roofs for technical due diligence purposes are outlined. Although green or sod roofs have been built over many centuries, contemporary roofs adopt new approaches and technologies. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods design based on a systematic review of relevant literature from parallel disciplines was used to identify and quantify the social, economic and environmental benefits of retrofitted green roofs in commercial districts. The technical issues of concern were drawn from a desk-top survey of literature and from stakeholder focus groups undertaken in Sydney in 2012.

Findings

There are perceptions amongst built environmental practitioners that may act as artificial barriers to uptake. There is little direct experience within built environment professionals and practitioners, along with a fear of the unknown and a risk averse attitude towards perceived innovation which predicates against green roof retrofit. Furthermore projects with green roofs at inception and early design stage are often “value engineered” out of the design as time progresses. There is a need for best practice guidance notes for practitioners to follow when appraising roofs for retrofit and also for technical due diligence purposes.

Research limitations/implications

The focus groups are limited to Sydney-based practitioners. Although many of these practitioners have international experience, few had experience of green roofs. A limited number of roof typologies were considered in this research and some regions and countries may adopt different construction practices.

Practical implications

In central business districts the installation of green roof technology is seen as one of the main contributors to water sensitive urban design (WSUD). It is likely that more green roofs will be constructed over time and practitioners need knowledge of the technology as well as the ability to provide best advice to clients.

Originality/value

The benefits of green roofs as part of WSUD are increasingly being recognised in terms of reduced flood risk, reduced cost of drainage, improved water quality and lower energy use, as well as other less tangible aspects such as aesthetics and amenity. This research highlights the lack of understanding of the short- and long-term benefits, a poor appreciation and awareness of these benefits; a lack of technical knowledge and issues to be considered with regard to green roofs on behalf of practitioners. The study has highlighted the need for specific training and up-skilling in these areas to provide surveyors with the technical expertise needed. There is also a need to consider how the emerging retrofit and adaptation themes are best designed into the curriculum at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Clearly, if the potential benefits of green roofs are to be realised in the future, building professionals need to be fully conversant with the technology and be able to provide reliable and accurate advice.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

James Pinder, If Price, Sara J. Wilkinson and Sean Demack

Acquiring office buildings that provide the required level of utility, and maintaining the buildings in that state, should be a priority for any organisation. Failure to…

Abstract

Acquiring office buildings that provide the required level of utility, and maintaining the buildings in that state, should be a priority for any organisation. Failure to do so may give rise to increased churn, reduced productivity, higher employee turnover, increased staff absenteeism and rising health care costs related to heightened stress. There is, however, no single measure of office building utility. Discusses the development of a valid and reliable scale for measuring the utility of public sector office buildings. Data collection involved the use of focus groups and an online survey of 1,800 building occupants. The findings suggest that the utility of public sector office buildings can be measured using a 22‐item scale comprising four dimensions. The potential applications of the scale and its use in current research are examined.

Details

Property Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

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