How can a team that’s spread out across thousands of kilometers collectively tackle an ambitious project in Canada’s capital?
Trend Micro, a global IT security firm, has consultants spread out across Canada and the U.S. As the firm embarked on a major expansion and renewal of its Kanata offices, it was rarely possible to have the entire project team gather in a single room to review the plans and progress in person. This was one of the challenges when Trend Micro began working on renovating the first and second floor of their building.
“When there’s a significant issue, you would ideally want everyone involved to be on site to review and resolve things immediately. If not, delays to the work are likely and delays can be expensive,” says Richard Goldstein, Director of Construction at KRP Properties, Trend Micro’s landlord, construction project manager and property manager in Kanata.
KRP and PCL, the constructor, implemented weekly virtual meetings with the team and biweekly on-site visits where they could brainstorm and troubleshoot before issues arise.
“We want to keep everyone aligned and have creative dialogue,” Goldstein adds.
KRP Properties took over management of Trend Micro’s space two years ago when it acquired 40 Hines Rd. At the time, the growing tech firm was looking to expand.
For many tenants, this would have involved coordination with and between their landlord, property manager and construction teams. KRP Properties however, offers a single point of contact for tenant improvement works and expansions, with in-house construction and project management services and strategic alliances with the City of Ottawa’s building and planning departments and the region’s consultant and contractor communities. This streamlines and accelerates the process on behalf of their tenants significantly, and has resulted in numerous successful projects over the past two decades.
“We want the best for our clients, and that is our mandate,” says Goldstein. “We offer these services not only to maintain the properties, but also to improve them. What’s important is that the properties match the tenants’ requirements both functionally and esthetically.”
Trend Micro’s current project includes 29,925 square feet incorporating the ground and second floors and several new spaces including a new lobby and multiple labs. Their third and fifth floor renovations were completed last year.
Three key steps in office renovations
For a project to be successful, Goldstein says tenants need to work with professionals and contractors they trust and that understand the tenants needs.
“You need to have a comfort factor with your design team.” says Goldstein. “If you all understand what the aesthetic and functional programming requirements are, then you are likely to be on the same page.”
Step two is managing the procurement process. Goldstein says when going through procurement for projects such as Trend Micro’s expansion, the key is transparency. Any information should be well organized and easy to understand by all stakeholders in the process.
“The construction industry, like any specialty, has certain conventions and nomenclature that can be thought of as a language from another country,” says Goldstein. “You need to be cognizant of your audience when communicating in both graphic and verbal modes so that communication is clear and concise.”
For companies with multiple projects, having a facility manager is crucial. Trend Micro’s facility manager works closely with KRP Properties, which helps in team building, keeps communication open and minimizes potential delays associated with the approval process.
“Trend Micro and their facility manager really understands the process because they’ve been through this before.” says Goldstein. “They’ve allowed us to put together a team that works well together and is invested in the resources and procedures to make the project successful.”