Space Planning: That Was Then, This is Now

Several years ago at one of our private client network gatherings Ed Nolan, then a senior real estate executive with Hewlett Packard, commented on how different (and difficult) space planning had become since he started his career many years ago.

His point was simple, but profound: when everyone had an assigned workplace, and was there everyday, space planning was a really simple exercise in arithmetic: the number of people in the building times the square feet per person plus conference rooms and other common space.

Now, it’s almost  a crap shoot (my words, not Ed’s!). You never know from one day (or hour) to the next how many people will be in the building. Clearly, there is a science to estimating utilization and needs, but it’s more about Big Data, statistical analysis, and learning by doing.

Anyway, I recently reconnected via Skype with Ed (he’s now Head of Global Enterprise Development for LiquidSpace) , and I asked him to reflect on the evolution of space planning and its impact on CRE and FM practitioners. Here’s a brief excerpt from his comments:

You can also view this video on YouTube at:  http://youtu.be/vBiQ-youzl4

What’s your experience? Let me know what you think it takes to do effective space planning today.