After opening with a declarative “commercial [real estate] is not dead,” Mark highlighted changes in office design that were occurring prior to the pandemic, noting the recent shift to flexible work culture has redefined what makes an office building ‘class-A’: “…the former class-A office buildings of fifteen years ago are going to have some work to do to comply with new local laws and be sensitive to their carbon footprint in order to attract new tenants.” Lendlease’s New York office serves as a blueprint for buildings looking to reduce their carbon footprint, receiving LEED Platinum certification from the USGBC.
The regeneration of existing buildings was a hot topic at this year’s event, with Melissa Burch, Executive General Manager of Development, offering her expertise on the ‘Opportunities Across NYC’s Biggest Regeneration Projects’. Melissa highlighted what Lendlease is doing for both healthcare and academic institutions across New York in order to “help them grow, renew, and regenerate their campuses”. Claremont Hall served as a prime example, a Lendlease development project that serves to build off the rich history of the Union Theological Seminary rather than demolish and replace it: “We are taking some of the existing campus and knitting it into the new building…over time these campuses need to be repaired and invested in to truly preserve their future.”
Following two difficult years for New York’s healthcare industry, now is an important time to reflect and assess where healthcare facilities can be improved, from design to construction. Brian Marman, Senior Project Manager in Healthcare Construction, discussed ‘Balancing Clinical Renovations with Infrastructure System Improvements.’ Brian unearthed some logistical factors a construction team faces operating in a live hospital, reiterating the importance of safety for workers and the patients they serve: “Safety of the building, and safety of the patients, is always the number one priority. Always.”
Lendlease was also proudly represented by our Head of DEI Venetta Amory, who offered the critical perspective of diversity and inclusion for the ‘Women in Construction’ panel. Venetta explained how and where microaggressions can occur in the workplace, before offering insight into the inherent biases humans can hold – some of which once prevented women from working in the construction industry entirely: “We have to learn to stand up and speak up, even if it doesn’t affect us directly, but because it affects the workplace… microaggressions prohibit inclusion.” In creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, Lendlease is able to create an environment where everyone can perform at their best.
To create the best places, you need the best people; the representation of Lendlease at this year’s expo is a testament to the wealth of knowledge our people possess. Congratulations to all panelists involved!
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