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7th Smart Office India Summit 2019: The Big Debate: FMs v/s Architects

7th Smart Office India Summit 2019: The Big Debate: FMs v/s Architects

Deben Moza, executive director, head of Project Management Services, Knight Frank India, moderated the session

Smart office summit india 2019, Panel discussions, The Big Debate, Facility managers, Architects, Knight Frank India, Microsoft India, Wipro Technologies, Sharekhan, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Tata Communication, ABM Architects, Pentaspace Design Studio, Hiten Sethi, ReD Architects, Architect Prasad Mullerpatan

Facility managers:
• Jagvinder Pinny Mann, senior portfolio manager India, Microsoft India
• Amit Desai, head, FMG, Wipro Technologies
• Dr Abhijit Sarkar, country head – Corporate Real Estate, Administration & Infrastructure, Sharekhan
• Sameer Saxena, India Real Estate, FM, HSE & Travel Leader, Marsh & McLennan Companies
• CT Sadanandan, VP and head – Corporate Services & CSR, Tata Communications

Architects:
• Ahana Miller, architect, ABM Architects
• Gaurav Sanghavi, co-founder, Pentaspace Design Studio
• Hiten Sethi, founder and CEO, Hiten Sethi and Associates
• Apoorva Shroff, partner, reD Architects
• Architect Prasad Mullerpatan

Moza opened the discussion, asking if facility managers provide a detailed brief to architects at the beginning of projects. Prasad refused and added, “Often, the owner forms the brief for the design team. Facility managers come to the table at a later stage. This leads to transitional delays and inefficiency.” However, Mann said, “I am grateful to be associated with an organisation that architects love working with. We do partake in the brief but architects are expected to understand the business and its requirements before proposing a space that is creative and appealing yet functional and fulfilling.”
Desai raised a valid point: “FMs need to deal with a number of stakeholders with varied requirements and preferences. We also need to be wary of the end user perspective, the company standards and the government regulations. Architects, too, must develop affinity among various verticals and help deliver a likely solution.”

Sadanandan said, “On the projects I have worked on, the differences in opinions and conflicts among stakeholders are dealt with internally before the final brief is presented to the architect. This avoids perplexity and develops a cordial setting.” Miller pointed out, “As per my experience, the brief is never final; the design develops with multiple meetings. Both, architects and FMs need to work together to tailor a plan that works universally.”

Shroff stressed on the need for development of a single point-of-connection from the clients to the designers to reduce friction and errors. Saxena added, “It is understood that architects need clear guidelines to commence project work But FMs expect inputs and ideas from architects that help us articulate the same into the facility. It is not about single or multiple contacts but about how aptly the brief turns into action.”

Sethi shared, “Translating a design brief into a project is only one part of the story. The process in which it is carried out is of utmost importance. Starting from site selection to material specifications, all processes must be adaptable, sustainable and safe.”

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