The Chartered Institute For Building – CIOB


The Chartered Institute of Building – CIOB is the professional body that represents construction management professionals who work within the built environment sector. It is a full member of the Construction Industry Council. CIOB’s CEO Chris Blythe had a modern vision for CIOB that wasn’t reflected in their building at Englemere, Ascot UK. Chris asked us to work with him and his team to establish a team vision and help them transition to a modern model of work.

Englemere was a much loved country home which the Chartered Institute of Building had occupied for over 20 years. It was the heart of CIOB and had a visible status. Both members and staff had a strong emotional attachment to the building and what it stood for.

The first thing Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) did with Chris and his team was run a Business Strategy workshop, in which we worked through an iterative process using our Organisational Needs Profiler to establish CIOB’s business priorities. We went on to establish a collective vision for the business and organisation. With the team, we did a high level evaluation of how well the organisation’s existing processes, technology, culture, working practices and space supported their vision.

To get to the detail, we met with CIOB’s managers responsible for each area and undertook a review of the existing accommodation, technology and processes, providing an objective report detailing what was needed to enable the vision to be realised. It was becoming increasingly clear that the building at Englemere, lovely though it was, did not provide what was needed for a modern organisation. It was expensive to run, created barriers between teams, reflected the old world of CIOB and was inflexible to support change.

In partnership with David Forbes of Forbes Consulting, our property partner, we undertook a financial modelling exercise to compare the profit and loss and cashflow impact for a variety of scenarios, from staying and making modifications to Englemere, to moving to a new modern workplace. To develop accurate projections, David worked through a number of routes to find potential buyers and establish a realistic value for Englemere. In parallel, David sought out appropriate potential properties that met our brief and then shortlisted the optimum properties with estimated running costs.

Each scenario was scored against the vision set out in the earlier workshop and our conclusion was that moving to a new workplace would release value from the asset, be cheaper to run, enable the collaborative culture CIOB desired and provide the flexibility for change and growth.

As a charity, CIOB’s leadership team needed to secure the support of the CIOB trustees. We worked with CIOB’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) to develop and present the options to the trustees, who themselves were experienced property and construction professionals. After much discussion, it was agreed that the move to a new workplace could go ahead, once a buyer had been found for Englemere.

While David worked with agents to secure the best deal from the market, our Project Manager, Norrie Walker worked with David and CIOB’s leaders to close the deal for the new space and plan the office relocation. We undertook further studies to inform the design of the new workplace working with CIOB’s IT department and our IT Partner PURPLE. We developed the workplace design, defining the layouts, colour schemes, fixtures and fittings before contracting with another party for the delivery of the fit-out.

Some 12 months after we had commenced work with CIOB, the organisation relocated to it’s new home at Arlington Square, Bracknell UK, a modern flexible workplace with a design that would support today’s needs and allow growth as CIOB evolves to agile ways of working.

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