In this issue: Annual Meeting 2013: Voice of Experience… Jari Sarjo: Focus On… BIM: TWN in Mexico: W4 2013 – London:
New Members and Member Changes: Annual Survey Returns Dues: Subscription Renewal Due Download this issue

Welcome to TWN News

The Workplace Network is an exclusive, global community of senior executives in public-sector real estate. Our members are leaders and decision makers from 19 public-sector real estate organizations worldwide: from public corporations, ministries and government agencies spanning 16 different countries.

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The Voice of Experience – Understanding Customer Experience –the next level in providing good service to the government

Here we aim to capture the wisdom of one of TWN’s members. Every edition we focus on what’s occupying their mind and time and how experience helps to guide their judgment. This month Jari Sarjo CEO of Senaatti Kiinteistöt / Senate Properties in Finland talks about the importance of customer experience to his business as a service provider to government clients.

  • What was your greatest success last year and how was it achieved?
    “Last year we built a layer between our strategy and the operational work in order to focus and align our aspirations. We call this level of strategy implementation the scorecard layer. It is based on the balanced scorecard methodology but instead of setting purely quantitative targets, we use it identify our focus areas and the interdependencies between them. The outcome is a visual representation of the main outcomes to be achieved and their main drivers. This visual way of communicating the main goals and value drivers turned out to be a success and in addition it speeded up our process of setting up the individual balanced score cards (BSCs) for our people considerably.”
  • What will be your main challenge in the year ahead?
    “When ‘customer experience’ is mentioned one’s first thoughts are probably of theme restaurants and amusement parks. Customer experience is, however, something much broader and more fundamental than this.

    The way our clients, i.e. the people working for the government institutions that we all serve, experience the day-to-day operations and services that we provide is as important for our success as is any visitor’s experience of Disneyland. The Finnish service-marketing professor Christian Grönroos, expressed this back in the 1990s using the terms ‘technical and functional quality’. These terms are still useful today and well express the situation for many cases. We mostly manage to provide a reasonably good technical quality in our operations, while the level of functional (or process) quality may often be a quite horrendous experience for the people involved.

    At Senate, providing outstanding customer experience, will be the central theme in our next strategy. This year we will educate ourselves in what customer experience is in our own setting and

  • What has experience taught you that you would like to pass on to others?
    “Our real estate and facilities management operations are always a distraction in the daily lives of our customers so that a simple repair project may, for them, become a real nightmare.

Understanding the customer’s view and how he or she experiences our operations is key to a successful and long-term customer relationship. Experience can seldom be successfully manipulated but it can be systematically managed. The pioneer in this field, Joe Pine, has written several books portraying firms that have successfully managed to create an outstanding customer experience in an analytical and systematic fashion. I have begun this path by creating a customer sounding-board that gives me direct feed-forward from our main clients. A very healthy experience.”

Reference: Grönroos, Christian: Service Management and Marketing. A Customer Relationship Management Approach. Wiley, 2000. ISBN 0-471-72034-8

Focus on…..BIM

Building Information Modeling is increasingly being adopted as best practice by the public sector organisations around the world. Some organisations have a long experience in using BIM, mainly in the construction of new buildings, but now more and more its value is being recognized and used as a tool to manage and maintain buildings in use.

Mr Eiji Teramoto Managing Director of the BMMC (Building Maintenance and Management Centre) in Japan has written about the use of BIM in MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Tourism and Transport) for construction projects in Japan:

In this report, I’m going to give the overview what MLIT is examining on BIM and the status-quo of BIM in the Japanese construction projects.
MLIT/GBD (Government Buildings Division) announced its start of BIM pilot projects in March 2010.

The announcement mentioned that the major expectations of using BIM are:

  1. to reduce the cost for the project
  2. to improve the users’ satisfaction

The result of the first BIM pilot project was presented by Mr. Oomachi in TWN2012.

In Autumn in 2012, MLIT/GBD contracted with BMMC and Building Smart Japan to conduct research into the current status of BIM projects in Japanese private sector and overseas projects, and to draft guidance on the modeling rules for BIM.

The research is investigating in what areas BIM is applied and to what extent BIM is effective in each applied area. The research covers the stages of construction from planning stage, design stage to O&M, FM (operation, maintenance and facilities management) stage. Although the questionnaire sheets for overseas projects have been simplified, the main content is identical with that for domestic projects. Consequently the research shows the comparison of BIM application areas and the extent of their effectiveness between Japanese
and overseas projects.
The figures below show the result.

Figure 1 BIM application by stage

Figure 2 BIM effectiveness in each stage

After the research, I can say that BIM is applied worldwide but is based on the status-quo of own country’s industry. For example, BIM application is more active in the construction stage in Japan due to the excellent construction companies which have in-house design sections and due to the private practice that in some cases are contracted by the same construction company for design and construction work.

Other observations are that BIM hasn’t succeeded in reducing design work both in Japan and overseas projects and BIM is applied in FM stage in oversea organization. Quantity take-off is already applied in overseas projects. The figures may tell more interesting facts.

Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude for the cooperation with the survey by GSA, SENATE Properties and Statsbygg and I really appreciate the significance of the TWN network in cross-border issues like BIM.

Eiji Teramoto BMMC/Japan

Link to BMMC website

TWN in Mexico: Influencing a National Policy from the Federal Realty sector – INDAABIN and the National Development Plan

On April 12th, INDAABIN from Mexico carried out a sectorial round table on the topic “Federal Realty” as part of a series of fora and talks on diverse themes organized in several round tables, of the project “National Development Plan 2013-2018”, in which the Mexican Federal Government will set out the strategies and policies for the following years.

During the presentation, INDAABIN´s president Soraya Perez Munguia, mentioned that “historically, when formulating the contents of the Plan the importance of management and strategies for Federal Real Estate, have always been ignored”. She also remarked that “it is urgent (for Mexico) to establish an integrated, transparent and sustainable Federal Real Estate Policy, which promotes development, investment, employment, competitiveness and a better use of public resources”. This is the first time this topic is treated in the Plan and will be a great opportunity to have an impact on decision making and achieving a sound coordination of all government’s departments, in order to set clear action and commitment with the resulting policies and strategies.

Mrs. Perez is confident this work will have influence on the economic, rural and urban development of Mexico, since several processes and activities in those areas are closely related to the utilization of land and public assets.

The event gathered specialists in the field of Real Estate planning and management who brought their viewpoints and contributions on aspects of management, valuation, and policies. Among the participants were Bridget Hardy as TWN’s representative, and a team from the GSA including Richard Ornburn and Carolyn Austin-Diggs, who submitted a presentation for the session.

Some of the main outcomes from this event were: the need of a clearer and effective legal framework on federal assets, which will give certainty to both State and investors in this sector; also, the need of a consolidated set of information in a continuously updated central database, and the need of reviewing the concept of workplace and its physical design criteria.

TWN Annual Meeting 2013
Ottawa 9th to 12th June

If you haven’t registered yet but would like to attend please return registration forms to the hosts as soon as possible.

Contact for the Ottawa Meeting:

Find out more about TWN Ottawa

TWN / PuRENet Annual Survey 2013 – Please Return by 10th May

The annual survey refresh has been issued and is due for return by 10th May ready for analysis, publication and presentation at the TWN Annual Meeting in June.

The focus this year is on changes and trends.

If you need a Survey update form please contact the TWN admin team on

Members can view the 2012 Survey here

New Members

Welcome Back Ireland and South Africa

It’s great to welcome back to TWN the Office of Public Works in Ireland and the National Department of Public Works in South Africa.

Ms Clare McGrath is the Chairman of OPW. The Office of Public Works was established by an Act of Parliament passed in 1831 entitled An Act for the Extension and Promotion of Public Works in Ireland.

Today the OPW is a service organisation. Its customers are Government, other Departments, Offices and Agencies and, ultimately, the public. Its core services are Flood Risk Management, Procurement and Estate Portfolio Management including heritage. The portfolio consists of office buildings, lands, heritage properties and National Monuments, Garda (Police) Stations and specialised buildings e.g Laboratories

Go to OPW website

Ms Mandisa Fatyela is the Chief Director for Strategic Management in NDPW.

Go to the NDPW website

While we’re sorry to say Goodbye to friends we’re delighted to welcome new people to the Network bringing fresh ideas and experience

Sweden: Mr Bjorn Anderson has taken over as Acting Director General of SFV / Statens Fastighetsverk / National Property Board

USA: Dr Dorothy Robyn has taken over as Commissioner of the GSA PBS / Public Buildings Service

Canada: Pierre-Marc Mongeau has taken over as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Real Property Branch of PWGSC Public Works and Government Services Canada while John McBain has a new role as Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister

W4 2013

London 2nd to 5th December

We’re delighted to be able to announce that the W4 workshop meeting this year will be held in the UK hosted by the Government Property Unit in the Cabinet Office The workshop will hold firm to the W4 vision to create and nurture a network of future leaders by supporting international knowledge exchange, continuous learning and personal development.

This workshop will be held in December 2013 and preparations are beginning. Please encourage your up and coming leaders to make the most of their network by making contact, sharing experience and actively seeking to learn from each other through their chosen learning partnerships. The learning partnership themes are Building Information Management, Sustainability and Workplace Transformation.

European Public Works & BIM

The UK Government has set up a BIM Task Group which is part of the Government’s Construction Strategy. The aim of this Task Force is to facilitate the Departmental adoption of BIM as part of the policy set out in the Construction Strategy and secondly to liaise with European public sector groups to encourage collaboration on BIM within EU public works.

This outreach “Towards A Green & More Efficient Public Estate & European Construction Sector” is likely to be of interest to members of TWN and PuRENet. Look out for more information about the EU programme in which the UK BIM Taskforce is working will be in the next Newsletter

The UK Government has adopted and adapted the Soft Landings approach to BIM – and Government Soft Landings is now adopted for all new projects

Watch a video about the UK Government Soft Landings programme from the BIM Taskforce

UK Government Soft Landing Policy

Soft Landings: Government Property Unit Presentation Slideshare July 2012

TWN News and Updates

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GSA Success in Green Buildings Award

The Federal Center South building in Seattle Northwest/Arctic Region just won First Place for a High Performance Building from the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC).

Read the full release, and explore the photo galleries here

‘Freeze the Footprint’

Like in many other TWN member countries the US administration Office of Management and Budget has introduced a policy to freeze the footprint of federal property to dispose of surplus, restrict acquisitions and make more efficient use of remaining assets.

In the UK the National Property Controls have been hugely successful in reducing the size and cost of central civil government’s property estate by controlling the acquisition of new space and setting ambitious workplace standards that increase the utilisation of offices. Look out for the latest State of the Estate Report from the Government Property Unit to be published in May.

Read more about the US ‘Freeze the Footprint policy

Subscription Renewals Now Due

The annual subscription is currently $2,500 US which includes newsletter updates, access to information and contacts with other members worldwide through the TWN website, the Annual Survey report, support for members’ delegates to the W4 learning and development network for aspiring leaders and registration for the senior TWN member to attend the annual workshop.