Easing the Transition Through Decommissioning

Erika Meyer
Faithful+Gould's workplace solutions team is known for helping our clients plan effective work spaces while delivering projects ranging from a single-floor office fit-out through an entirely new corporate campus.

Once your project is fully planned and scheduled, your focus can be placed squarely on your new facility, right? Not so fast. Somebody is responsible for decommissioning, restitution and disposal of the old space or returning it to its original condition, and that somebody is most likely the owner or former tenant. We focus on the vacated property so that our clients can concentrate on their new facilities and preparing their employees for the transition.

Projects often employ a complex strategy to empty buildings quickly, with a strategic plan that allows employees to maintain a viable workspace with no loss of productivity. Working with internal and external partners, Faithful+Gould creates work streams focused on different aspects of the move, which are then coordinated tightly to ensure success.

Faithful+Gould creates work streams focused on different aspects of the move, which are then coordinated tightly to ensure success.

We have the constructive expertise to return spaces to their original condition, from removal of construction work on the facility or systems the tenant has executed to the simple act of taking down signage. Weekly progress meetings – which may include the client's director of facilities or real estate – and detailed reports keep all team members aware of every step. With our onsite support, employees at the client company are able to focus on their daily tasks instead of being distracted by the move.

With our onsite support, employees at the client company are able to focus on their daily tasks instead of being distracted by the move.

Although clients have trusted us with their decommissioning work for many years, our work with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) provides a recent example. In 2012, we assisted GSK, a longstanding Faithful+Gould client, in decommissioning two buildings in Philadelphia's Franklin Plaza in preparation for its move to new facilities at the Navy Yard. GSK was vacating two adjacent buildings, each with separate landlords and completely different sets of requirements.

While relocating to new quarters is an exciting time for a corporation, it can also be a stressful one.

The new GSK space was designed to support the firm's SMART Working program, which features open floor plates and shared workstations for all team members, without any dedicated offices or cubicle partitioning. Because the new space was smaller, our client needed to disperse excess furniture and equipment among its other Pennsylvania sites. The company also required permits from the City of Philadelphia to close streets in order to vacate contents and to remove the skywalk between the two buildings. From strategic planning to simultaneous execution of multiple interdependent work streams, we monitored every step of the process to ensure a smooth transition.
 
The landlords of the former GSK locations were satisfied with the condition of the space after it was turned over, and the GSK project team was relieved of the burden of returning its former space to move-in condition and the avoidance of potential penalties. Our decommissioning work also did some good in the community. For example:

  • Our team enabled GSK to recycle 81% of the trash generated by the move, including scrap metal and 45 tons of paper goods.
  • Surplus construction materials were donated to Habitat for Humanity.
  • Office supplies were donated to local non-profits and the School District of Philadelphia.
  • Artwork went to local charities.

While relocating to new quarters is an exciting time for a corporation, it can also be a stressful one. Faithful+Gould's workplace solutions team allows our clients to focus on moving to their new spaces and look ahead to the future, while minimizing business disruption.

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