Scott Spector

Design & Spec

The Next Wave in Office Security

The recent events in Paris have made office security a topic of discussion both in the United States and abroad. Some workplaces, such as banks and federal buildings, had a high level of security even before the events of 9/11. But when two Islamist gunmen forced their way into the office of a French satirical weekly, killing 12 people and wounding 11, earlier this month, it underscored how workplace security should be a concern for all commercial tenants and landlords. Read More

Design & Spec

Are You Down With IPD?

Sometimes I get so excited about an idea that I want to share it with anyone who will listen. That’s how I feel about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which I noted in a previous column as one of the five trends to watch for 2015. Given the buzz surrounding the topic generated by attorneys, insurance agents, and building owners we work with, it seems IPD is worth closer inspection.

So what is IPD? Basically it’s a highly efficient project delivery system that many in the construction industry are beginning to adopt to help them streamline complex projects. The idea behind it is to have one central reporting system to integrate input from various parties so that they can collaborate more effectively. They share in both the glory and in the liability. It’s the ultimate team approach. Read More

Design & Spec

Five Design Trends to Watch in 2015

In the architecture and design business, change is the name of the game. No matter how innovative an idea is, in order to create offices our clients will love as much today as they will a decade from now, we need to think about how things will change moving forward. Here are five trends to watch in 2015. Read More

Design & Spec

2015: Off to a Great Start Already

“It’s pretty impressive.”—Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics research, Bank of America Corp., on recent U.S. Department of Labor figures

We agree, Ethan! Late 2014’s news of widespread hiring surges—the biggest hike in nearly three years (and a jump in wages along with it!)—was music to the ears of many. An impressive 321,000 jobs were added in November, following an increase of 243,000 the month before. Unemployment rates decreased in the leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail and manufacturing sectors, year-over-year. The American Institute of Architects reported an increase in employment. Interest rates remain low and there’s capital available for those who qualify for loans. Market indicators highlighted a solid 2014 and pointed to an economy that is poised to perform well in 2015. Read More

Design & Spec

More Than a Place to Hang Your Hat

Our firm has toured many, many offices over the years. One of the first things we assess when we walk through the door is the overall environment. Does it foster employee satisfaction and productivity? Is there ample natural light? Are the acoustics good? Is the design modern and welcoming? These are some of our top concerns.

However, that’s only the foundation. A happy, positive workplace is more than just a beautiful, light-filled space, though that is a great start; there needs to be a culture in place that nurtures it. Statistics are out there to support our focus. In fact, a recent Jobvite survey of 1,855 recruiters and HR professionals noted that the top thing recruiters do to attract employees—a whopping 73 percent—is highlight the company culture, followed by touting better benefits (51 percent). Read More

Design & Spec

Farewell to the File Cabinet

Over the past few weeks, at every single programming meeting I’ve attended, the same topic has come up: file storage. No, the companies weren’t looking to add that into the plan; they were looking for ways to embrace technology and reduce, or even eliminate, the need for physical space for documents.

Music to my ears! Read More

Design & Spec

Getting to Yes

There comes a point in every commercial real estate career where those in the adviser position—I’m talking to you fellow architects, construction managers, attorneys and brokers—need to be the voice of dissent. While we’d all love to say “yes,” to find that “Kumbaya” and compromise whenever possible, it’s important to know when to speak up Read More

Design & Spec

Growing Together

“Employers’ rising confidence in the economy and their determination to woo skilled workers with hip office environments fueled increased rents and competition for prime Manhattan space during the third quarter, brokers said.”—The Wall Street Journal

Last week, as third-quarter reports were released, it became clear that the robust commercial real estate market we’ve been experiencing Read More

Design & Spec

Celebrating Archtober

The weather is getting cooler, leaves are starting to change color and September is about to come to a close, all of which adds up to one thing: the start of Archtober (www.archtober.org). If you know what that is, then you’re probably as excited as I am. For those of you not already in the Read More

Design & Spec

This Is (Not) Only a Test

The test fit process has always been an important guiding factor for architects, engineers, brokers and landlords … and for good reason. A preliminary budget is drawn up and potential layouts are documented during this phase, giving all of the parties involved a clearer picture of whether or not a tenant and space are an Read More

Design & Spec

With Art in Mind

You could say I grew up in an “art family.” My father has been an avid collector for at least 40 years now and I spent many a day walking around galleries as a child. So, it’s probably not surprising that I appreciate art and its place in design, whether residential or commercial.

Many of Read More

Design & Spec

Managing Change

He who rejects change is the architect of decay,” Harold Wilson

Change is a natural part of today’s work world. Expansion, a new location or a shift in the office environment can be a positive experience for a company, provided the management helps its employees understand what’s about to occur.
Most people are hard Read More