In this issue: Annual Meeting 2013: Voice of Experience… John McBain: Report from Brazil Rio de Janeiro Preparing for the
Games: Focus On… Smart Working Revolution in South Korea: Invitation to BIM Europe Conference Brussels October 2013:
UK State of the Estate 2012 Report published: A new ‘State Real Estate Agency’ for The Netherlands Download this issue

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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 – John McBain – Special Adviser to the Deputy Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada

John McBain

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 John McBain reflects, based on a career of more than 35 years.

What was your greatest success last year and how was it achieved?
Overall, I was most proud of our organization’s continued ability to demonstrate innovation that is translating into economic benefits for Canadians. As prudent stewards of government assets, we managed our portfolio strategically while supporting the Government of Canada’s program delivery.

In response to our federal government’s Budget 2012 commitments, we are contributing to a more affordable public service by reducing office accommodation costs with new space standards. These new standards will reduce the government’s footprint through a new approach to office fit-ups called Workplace 2.0, which also embraces design, technology and the review of back office functions to create more productive workspaces. Having proactively communicated the Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 Fit-up Standards, this initiative was rolled out with surprisingly little pushback and, in fact, met with strong interest and enthusiasm from our clients. This was largely due to the development of clear objectives, a strong mandate, solid policy direction and an effective client engagement action plan. Activities included information sessions, webinars, client forums and speaking opportunities with the real property industry. The modified space standards (a gross reduction of 2 m2 per full-time employee) support the government’s commitment to renew the federal workplace. They also provide an opportunity to promote the broader Workplace 2.0 concept – that is, to create modern and flexible workplaces that attract, retain and enable public servants to work smarter, greener and healthier to better serve Canadians.

What will be your main challenge in the year ahead?
This year, a key challenge is managing our portfolio strategically while reductions are being implemented across the federal government. We need to balance applying the new accommodation space standards while meeting our clients’ needs, and all in an environment of fiscal restraint. To do this, we are planning and managing our portfolio more strategically, and taking a broader portfolio approach to service delivery to ensure that we meet the government’s accommodation requirements.

Strengthening our relationships with clients to better understand their needs and provide seamless real property services is critical to achieving our objectives. While we provide office accommodation as a mandatory service for other federal departments, we must demonstrate a strong client orientation to succeed on all fronts.

What has experience taught you that you would like to pass on to others?
Reflecting on a career that has spanned more than 35 years, I would say that the lessons learned and decisions and actions made along the journey are most valuable. For me, “how” we have achieved success is equally as important as “what” we have accomplished. I think it is key to apply this principle to the workplace. It is not only the end result that matters.

Report from Brazil Rio de Janeiro: Getting ready for the Games – Rebuilding the Maracanã, the most modern stadium in Brazil

Maracanã Stadium

Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium, venue for this year´s Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup, re-opened last month, April 27th for an exhibition match after almost three years of renovations.

Around 8000 workers and an amount of 859 million Brazilian reais were necessary to refurbish the spiritual home of Brazilian football which has now capacity of 78,838 spectators. The opening and closing of 2016’s Olympics Games will also take place at Maracanã.

Before beginning the refurbish it was necessary to make an extensive legal search to officially register the real property for Rio de Janeiro State. This was due to the acquisition process of the land where Maracanã was built. It has started in the 19th century when the lands were acquired by a private owner. In the 1920s these lands were transferred to the Federal District Government, which was located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. These lands were finally an object of a Permutation Contract in 1949. Real properties of the Federal District Government were first incorporated by the portfolio of the State of Guanabara, when the Federal District Government moved to Brasilia, and later by the State of Rio de Janeiro in 1974. As a consequence of such a complex situation, the regularization of the property required an extensive and historical research of the area where the stadium was built.

In order to accomplish to FIFA´s demands, the State Government of Rio de Janeiro presented a modernization project of Maracanã, in which it was possible to reconcile structural interventions with the original concept. The stands’ upper tiers advance towards the pitch, which allows the public to have a privileged view. The distance between the first row of seats and the pitch will be only of 14 meters – before it used to be of almost 30 meters.

The new roof is made of fiberglass and Teflon membrane and it has 68 meters of extension – the previous one was made of concrete and it had 30 meters. Made up of a structure with pre-stressed cables, the roof was covered by a see-through, self-cleaning membrane, which allows for uniform lighting conditions and is guaranteed to last over 50 years. To guarantee a perfect visibility, free of shadows even in night games, 396 two thousand watts reflectors were installed. The stadium roof also collects rainwater to be reused in the toilets and photo voltaic panels for solar power, covering 25% of the energy needed by the stadium.

Another novelty is an advanced control center. In the new Maracanã, the so called Business Management System is composed by three rooms. The first one is in charge of monitoring images generated by 360 cameras spread throughout the stadium, which will assure the public´s safety. The second room controls all electronic and mechanical equipment of the stadium. The last one monitors the sound and video system responsible for the transmissions of the games.

Focus on….. Smart Work Revolution in South Korea

Smart Work Center
Korea is currently facing a number of challenging national issues and the following three are particularly important and pressing.

The first concern is the need to improve people’s working conditions. In the past, Korea achieved remarkable economic growth thanks to a hardworking labour force and government-led industrialization, which resulted in what is commonly known as the ‘Miracle of Han River’. This hardworking labour force is still recognized as the key driving force behind economic success. However, a working method that was appropriate during the times of industrialization is no longer appropriate in this new era of the information society, where diversity and creativity are core elements. Consequently, Korea now ranks near the lowest amongst OECD member countries in terms of labour productivity.

The second concern is the rapid decrease in the birth rate whereas increase in ageing population, which is unparalleled in comparison with anywhere else in the world. This trend will mean a decrease in the economically active population and an increase in the fiscal deficit over the long term, and it will most likely lead to a slowing down of economic growth and increasing inter-generational conflict. Korea’s all-time low birth rate is one that has never been experienced anywhere in the world. According to a study conducted by the National Statistical Office of Korea, the population growth rate, which stood at 2.21% in 1970, decreased to 0.46% in 2010. It is predicted that the population growth rate will fall to 0% by 2030.

The third concerns the proliferation of natural disasters caused by global warming. Like other countries, Korea also worries about the natural disasters related to global warming such as abnormally high temperatures, drought, and flooding. To prevent these and other effects of global warming, Korea has established ‘Low Carbon Green Growth’ as its national vision for the next 60 years and been focusing all its capacity for achieving this goal.

A diverse range of measures have been proposed to resolve these national issues above in Korea, and smart work is one of them. ‘Smart work’ is a general term used to refer to advanced work methods using ICT, which allows people to work anywhere at any time. It differs from telecommuting in that not only involves flexibility in terms of working location, but also entails an advance of working methods and culture.

Institutional issues
In preparation for Smart Work, the governments are building a strong leadership base in participating organizations, creating IT infrastructure to support telecommuting and overhauling relevant laws and regulations, so that the project may become the trigger for a larger social movement, push for a smart society.
For institutional support, the National Assembly has prepared the Smart Work Enhancement Act. The Act aimed at promoting the adoption of Smart Work and expanding it nationwide and has been submitted to the Public Administration and Security Committee at the National Assembly for consideration. The Act includes several articles; e.g. Gov. should set up master plan (3 years) & implementation plan (every year), develop Smart Work technology and relevant standards, support Smart Work Centres (SWC) expansion and activation, develop criteria of protection measures for stability of Smart Work service, etc. Also, the government collected opinions from relevant agencies and submitted their overall opinion to the National Assembly.

Technological issues
Korea plans to create successful projects using Smart Work in the public sector first, and then expand this Smart Work throughout the country. It also plans to develop Smart Work infrastructure which encompass SBC (Server Based Computing) and cloud computing for SWC, teleworking, mobile working, digital collaboration systems.
A SWC is a work facility equipped with ICT-based telework systems and situated near residential areas of workforce. It is a complex space that provides office spaces for knowledge work activities. As a working environment similar to that of an office in a downtown area, it provides facilities for business meetings including the necessary services for clients and partners. An SWC can supplement telecommuting by resolving limitations of the existing telecommuting system, such as security issues and difficulties with business meetings. To strengthen physical security, a biometric access control system, information desk with concierge and CCTV have been installed.

As the government uses a special administrative network that is separated from the regular Internet network, the government is in need of SWCs that have secured high-tech facilities and video conferencing system similar to those of government office buildings. Also, data security has been strengthened by separating the Internet network and the administrative business network using SBC, network interface solutions, and security USBs.

In 2010, the government opened 2 SW Centres, which are located at a distance of 1 hours travel from Seoul, and 8 centres around the Seoul metropolitan area were opened in 2011. The government also opened business typed SWC at Sejong government complex for relocation of governmental organisations in 2012. The Korean government has planned to relocate 36 of its organisations to Sejong City in the middle of Korean peninsula, for the balanced development of national land and more human-oriented and environment-friendly city development by 2014. In preparation for the relocation of governmental organisations, the government constructed business typed SWCs within major structures such as at the central government complex, and the national assembly in 2013.


Smart Work Centre Map
Currently, there are 13 SWCs, and 36 central gov. organizations, 28 local gov. and 71 public org. workers use SWCs.

Organisational Culture matters
As mentioned, the Korean government is planning to introduce Smart Work in the public sector first with the objective of improving the face-to-face-oriented organisational culture. It has modified codes of conduct for government officials to recognize Smart Work as an official working style and forced government authorities to include the Smart Work indicators to evaluate the degree of managerial effort to promote Smart Work. Therefore, government authorities can neither penalize, nor discriminate against, Smart Workers based on the fact that they are Smart Workers. So, Smart Workers are changing their working hours, days and place of work.

Most of all, increasing awareness and participation of junior managers is most important in promoting Smart Work. A targeted Smart Worker survey shows the biggest obstacles for working at SWCs are “reading the manager’s mind (43.5%), indifference of the top management (10.4%), and disadvantages in personnel affairs (9.1%). Also, the top management’s leadership and its will to implement Smart Work are important, and then efforts could be made to raise awareness of Smart Work and improve the organizational culture. At the same time, it is necessary to campaign for Smart Work throughout society.

The government also conducted a preliminary job analysis to identify which types of jobs are suitable for Smart Work, followed by a job suitability pilot analysis. The survey was on 5,440 SWCs Users (1,578 responses). The results show a large number of people suitable for Smart Work; e.g. at least once a week suitable (47.7%), two to three times a month (86.6%), once a month (100%). According to the government plan to develop and disseminate ‘Smart Work Self-Assessment Checklist’, the models will determine the type and the level of personal Smart Work.

Results evaluation
In the survey among Smart Work system users 92.1% showed an overall satisfaction with the working environment and services at the centre while 93% expressed satisfaction with the reduction in commute hours, concentration on work and increased leisure time. Such results indicate that the current Smart Work strategy meets the users’ demand. Also, the satisfaction rate among regular users who use the centre more than once was high.

Benefits of Smart Work are productivity improvement, academic & hobby, parenting, etc., the biggest benefit is the reduction of commuting time. 93.5% of public officials evaluated that using the centre would improve their quality of lives.

Cultural changes
For organizational culture improvement, it has provided guidelines and encouraged Smart Work supporting one day trial program for executives, and identified suitable job/work for Smart Work. In the central government office a pilot test to innovate existing office called ‘Smart Office’ has been conducted while space narrowing(20%) and seat sharing in the existing office mobilizing IT infrastructure in open and flexible space.

To raise awareness on Smart Work in the public sector, Smart Work curricula were created at the Central Officials Training Institute. Cyber learning contents were also developed accordingly. In addition, to raise awareness on Smart Work and promote related policies in the private sector, Smart Work policies have been introduced at various seminars and conferences.

Also, the government conducted pilot projects to promote Smart Work in the initial market that were developed for encouraging SMEs business, for example ‘Smart Market Service’, ‘Mobile Office for cleaning workers’, ‘Open Collaboration Solution using mobile device, IPTV, PC, etc. in 2012’

Follow up on implementation
To encourage Smart Work, the government plans to continue with reforms of government employee welfare, organisational aspects, and HR policy. It will also reflect the outcome of Smart Work performance evaluations when reviewing its agencies in order to firmly establish Smart Work throughout the public sector, and will continue in its efforts to expand Smart Working practices to the private sector by offering various incentives and by running PR campaigns.

For more information contact 정병주

TWN Annual Meeting 2013
Ottawa 9th to 12th June

TWN Annual Conference

We are looking forward to meeting next week to enjoy the vibrant programme our hosts in PWGSC have arranged for us; focussing on:

  • Sustainability

  • Leveraging the private sector

  • The Dynamic Workplace

Programme Ottawa
Travel and Accommodation

Contact for the Ottawa Meeting:

EU Public Works & BIM Conference, Brussels, October 2013

Two years in to its UK Government sponsored programme, the UK BIM Task Group is organising with other European public sector building owners an EU Public Works & BIM Conference in Brussels during the week of 21st October.

The UK team are inviting TWN and PuRENet members to join the international collaboration on the conference programme development and welcomes all expressions of interest in attending the event in October.

The EU Public Works & BIM Conference aims to inform public estate owners, procurers of works and public policy units on the BIM policies adopted by a number of European public and private owners and where benefits are being realised by public estate owners. The long-term aim of the conference is to encourage collaboration, learning and alignment on the use of BIM to improve public works and operations of public estate.

The UK BIM Task Group’s EU Development Director, Adam Matthews, is leading the programme development and working with public estate owners and procurers from the Nordic countries, Netherlands and Germany. If you would like to be involved in the conference programme or attend the event please contact Adam Matthews at

More information about the UK BIM Task Group

TWN News and Updates

A new ‘State Real Estate Agency’ for The Netherlands

The Dutch Rijksgebouwendienst (Government Buildings Agency) has made a change in its senior management in the past month.

Alex Vermeulen has stepped down mid-April as Director General, due to upcoming heart surgery. Eva Klein Schiphorst has been
appointed to replace him as Executive director. As already shared with you during our last annual conference

Eva Schiphorst

Rijksgebouwendienst will merge in 2014 with 3 other public real estate organisations in the Netherlands into a newly formed State Real Estate Company. Eva will share more details on the road to this merger during a member update on the 2013 conference in Ottawa.

Alex has asked Kaj Hedvall to take up the duties of president during the conference and is expected to return to his position this fall.

The State of the Estate 2012

The Cabinet Office Government Property Unit in the UK has published its latest annual report on UK civil estate. It reports on progress made during the year in improving the efficiency and sustainability of the Government’s Civil Estate, as required under the Climate Change Act 2008.

State of the Estate 2012

Results for 2011/12 show that during the year the total size of the estate fell by 5% to 9.2 million sqm, while running costs reduced by £36 million in real terms. The benefit of year-on-year reduction in estate size can be seen in the total value of sales receipts, raising £1 billion since the General Election in 2010. Carbon emissions also fell by 12% leaving the estate on course to meet the UK Government’s Greening Government Commitment for a 25% reduction over 2009/10 by 2015.

The Government saved nearly £200 million in annual running costs during the year by exits from buildings including leaseholds, freeholds and those funded through the private finance initiative.

Despite the 5% reduction in space, the amount occupied per full-time equivalent employee (FTE) remained static at around 13 sqm. This is a direct result of the Government’s success in reducing the size of the Civil Service. It is anticipated that a reduction in this measure, below 13 sqm/FTE, will occur as a result of continuing rationalisation programmes and new workplace standards on the use of space, and efforts to create a more flexible working culture within the UK Civil Service under the Civil Service Reform programme run from the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit called The Way We Work.

The State of the Estate 2012

BIM in the UK

In 2011, the UK Government embarked with UK industry on a Construction Strategy for public estate and construction sector modernisation with the key policy objective of: reducing cost and carbon from the construction and operation of the built environment by up to 15-20%. Building Information Modelling (BIM) forms a key part of this strategy.

BIM is a collaborative process using information-rich 3D-modelling based technology which helps to optimise the design, construction and operations of the built environment. The BIM Task Group is a UK Government supported initiative to rollout the BIM programme for all public sector works by 2016 across its centrally funded public estate.

Please send news and updates to be included in the next issue to

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 underway. 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.

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.