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BOMA and GSA Teaming Up to Study Internet's Impact on Real Estate, Workplace Performance

September 27, 2000

Contacts:
Hap Connors (GSA) (202) 501-11231
hap.connors@gsa.gov

Stephanie Oppenheimer (BOMA) (202) 326-6315
soppen@boma.org


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It is commonly accepted that the Internet and technology have changed the way we do business. But how, exactly? The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, the oldest and largest trade association representing the commercial real estate industry, and the General Services Administration (GSA), the world's largest owner and lessor of real estate, aim to find out.

In a joint announcement tomorrow, GSA Administrator David J. Barram, GSA Public Buildings Service Deputy Commissioner Paul Chistolini and BOMA International President Richard D. Baier, managing director of CB Richard Ellis in Kansas City, Mo., will introduce the organizations' newest partnership: "Knowledge and Solutions Sharing in Pursuit of Enhanced Workplace Performance." The GSA/BOMA partnership announcement will take place today, September 27, 2000, at 3:00 p.m. at GSA's Washington, D.C. headquarters (1800 F St., NW) in suite 7300. A tour of GSA's 7th Floor, an "Integrated Workplace Laboratory", will immediately follow.

In addition to outlining commitments to share research and knowledge base, BOMA and GSA will embark on joint projects examining the "Internet and Real Estate" as well as best practices and techniques for converting existing Old Economy office space into productive portals by utilizing Integrated Workplace philosophies.

The study, "People, Place and Performance," is a part of GSA's research into the effects of buildings and space on how people work, and how well they work. The research attempts to apply scientific methods to questions about space design - questions that can currently only be answered by intuition.

The collaboration will ultimately result in guidelines for how to build the space that enhances productivity, protects health and improves profitability - both for the private sector and the government.

The research to identify the impact of the Internet on real estate, "Internet and Real Estate," will provide information on best practices and techniques for upgrading existing space to New Economy, electronic age needs. It will include an examination of existing public and private uses of the Internet. It will also provide guidance on the state of readiness of individual government organizations to expand and optimize their use of the Internet for real estate applications.

"In a world moving from walls to wires, from tenants to customers, and from one in which
property management professionals simply rent space to one in which they offer solutions, we recognize the need for joint research and education. Workplace performance is the only means to properly benchmark the property management effort, and strategic alliances are the only cost-effective means to do that," said Baier. "Public and private property management professionals face a common challenge of seeking timely and efficient means to implement solutions to the challenges of upgrading existing building stock to New Economy workstations. Further, property management professionals know that they must be on the cutting edge of harnessing the power of the Internet to provide broad property solutions," he added.

In BOMA International's most recent study, Critical Connections, the association found, in fact, that tenants occupying space larger than 20,000 square feet accept nothing less than T-1 lines or faster for their Internet access. The technology is here, and tenants are demanding it.

"GSA and BOMA recognize the need to pursue research and education jointly in an electronic world," said Barram. "The success of our longstanding partnership is rooted in the commitment to workplace performance as the achievement standard. Both GSA and BOMA International recognize that technology plays an increasingly vital role in attracting and retaining tenants. Today's property managers must offer their tenants workplace solutions - not just space."

Indeed, it is clear that tenants want far more than just physical space. In another BOMA study, What Tenants Want, more than 90 percent of survey respondents indicated that comfortable temperature, high quality indoor air, excellent maintenance work quality, prompt management responsiveness, and excellent acoustics and noise control were all very important to their satisfaction levels.

PBS' Chistolini noted, "We hope to discover how the design of space and buildings contribute to the health and productivity of people - so that we can create space that enhances the productivity of the people working for and providing services to the American taxpayer."

BOMA International and GSA have enjoyed a rich partnership over the years. The results of this relationship include public policy initiatives addressing indoor air quality; building codes and telecommunications; performance-based education on property management; industry benchmarking data; and, most recently, extensive research, education, testing and contingency planning for Y2K. Together GSA and BOMA International are committed to developing marketplace solutions to increase workplace performance.

Founded in 1907, BOMA International is a dynamic international federation of more than 100 local associations. The 17,500 members of BOMA International own or manage more than 8.5 billion square feet of downtown and suburban commercial properties and facilities in North America and abroad. The mission of BOMA International is to advance the performance of commercial real estate through advocacy, professional competency, standards and research. For more information, visit BOMA's Web site at www.boma.org.

GSA was established in 1949 by section 101 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services. Since its creation, the agency has housed federal workers and provided products and services to support the important work of government throughout the country. GSA does it by negotiating contracts that account for $40 billion of goods and services bought annually from the private sector. The agency employs about 14,000 people and has an annual budget of nearly $16 billion. GSA is comprised of four major services: the Public Buildings Service, the Federal Supply Service, Federal Technology Service, and the Office of Governmentwide Policy. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the agency has 11 regional offices in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Fort Worth, Denver, San Francisco, Auburn (Washington) and Washington, D.C.