Market gains encourage better workplace design [2013 Giants 300 Report]
The commercial office sector is finally heating up, led by corporate headquarter and medical office building projects.
Many firms that do office design and construction stayed afloat during the recession with modest projects—fit-outs, renovations, targeted green retrofits. But the sector’s finally heating up.
Commercial Realtors recently reported an increase in annual gross income for the third year in a row (www.BDCnetwork.com/Realtors2013). Jones Lang LaSalle’s latest office forecast pegged more than a dozen metros as being in “a rising phase,” including Austin, Dallas, Boston, Denver, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and New York (http://bit.ly/JLLOffice13).
Though speculative projects still lag, corporate HQs and medical office buildings are moving ahead. “The medical office building of the future can accommodate much of what was done in a traditional hospital setting,” says Steve Straus, President of Glumac. “Some of our clients have bold ambitions, including net-zero.”
TOP OFFICE SECTOR ARCHITECTURE FIRMS2012 Office Revenue ($)1 Gensler $462,700,5002 HOK $128,726,0003 Perkins+Will $107,951,6724 NBBJ $64,002,0005 Stantec $62,500,2366 PageSoutherlandPage $43,190,0007 Heery International $39,443,9318 Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates $38,081,0009 RTKL Associates $37,474,00010 Hammel, Green and Abrahamson $37,307,000
TOP OFFICE SECTOR ENGINEERING FIRMS2012 Office Revenue ($)1 AECOM Technology Corp. $830,320,0002 Parsons Brinckerhoff $146,400,0003 Jacobs Engineering Group $95,180,0004 Burns & McDonnell $82,020,0005 Thornton Tomasetti $50,861,4676 Michael Baker Jr. $50,720,0007 WSP USA $48,500,1628 Arup $32,355,6079 Buro Happold Consulting Engineers $28,720,00010 AKF Group $26,917,000
TOP OFFICE SECTOR CONSTRUCTION FIRMS2012 Office Revenue ($)1 Turner Corporation, The $2,195,790,0002 Structure Tone $1,435,332,0003 PCL Construction Enterprises $1,409,212,7274 Clark Group $974,974,0665 Skanska USA $847,106,2426 Balfour Beatty $792,915,5767 Gilbane $690,915,0008 JE Dunn Construction $613,825,5639 James G Davis Construction $575,006,00010 HITT Contracting $535,524,009
On the West Coast, tech firms are creating eye-popping campuses, including NBBJ projects for Amazon (Seattle, 3.3 million sf); Samsung (San Jose, 1.1 million sf, with Arup); and Google (Mountain View, Calif., 1 million sf). Facebook tapped Frank Gehry to design its 420,000-sf Facebook West in Menlo Park, Calif., and Foster + Partners is designing Apple’s 2.8 million-sf, net-zero Campus 2 in Cupertino (to be built by DPR-Skanska.)
Bleeding-edge companies seek the latest in social engineering and sustainability, but they’re not alone in believing that generational and technological trends justify a reboot in office design. “The relevance of ‘the office’ is in question,” says Steve Hart, Director of Interior Design at Heery. “Why are you even in an office? We believe the office needs to help individuals feel connected to the company and support a common sense of purpose.”