Agile in Buildings

Ollio and our uniquely assembled Agile in Buildings team of architecture, digital gamification, theatre production and user stakeholder specialists have come together to develop a methodology that enables clients to systematically build better building procurement briefs. Briefs that become the cornerstones of more effective value creation and transformative outcomes for the users of new or refurbished workplace buildings.

Workplace buildings need to be so much more than four walls and a roof.
They should be places that positively and purposefully connect business operation and culture to people and place. Buildings as workplace settings possess the immense and largely untapped potential to support business behaviours in favour of vastly improved business performance and productivity. Yet few of them do.


Industry studies show failed buildings happen because of poor client briefs where:
➢ clients spend little time in the creation of them
➢ write only from a headline strategic corporate or budgetary, rather than operational or in use perspectives
➢ are largely unappreciated or alive to the needs of business and their users as value creators.
➢ abdicate the responsibility for the generation of them to middle managers, who fail to include wider strategic planning or business purpose in them.

From here, architects and designers are left to conjure a warped version for how the completed building will be used. Design assumptions are based on initial briefings which turn out to be wide of the mark and often counter-productive.
Only with the immersive top-down and bottom-up collaborative inputs of all users of the building can design brief development begin to capture how a new or upgraded building can be a true advocate for business effectiveness and efficiency that:
➢ taps into the deepest recesses of users knowledge as customers
➢ has users thoughts and experiences embedded within design team thinking
➢ validates design in favour of a more successful business downstream
➢ incorporates developments in BIM, 3D Printing, Augmented Reality (AR).

Virtual Reality (VR) and the accompanying revolution in Mixed Reality (MR) technologies, all readily available now to modern-day construction customers.
Ollio won a competitive Innovate UK award of £60,000 to undertake a series of rapid project trials within three live case studies with three of our clients now embarking on new workplace/community building projects.

Our three chosen proof-of-concept case projects were:
➢ Cemetery Road Baptist Church,- a 10-year masterplan for a community-led campus in Sheffield
➢ Kollider Technology Incubation Hub – a new technology start-ups incubation hub at Castle House, Sheffield
➢ Hippo Digital’s new offices – a remodelled office fit-out for a leading digital business in Leeds.

Each of the three client teams and their user cohorts was taken through our new Agile in Buildings process. A process that invited them into the heart of the architectural team’s creative activity to help them identify where the value in their new building is and what successful operation post-handover would look like for them. The results were staggeringly successful in developing the brief to set up outstanding built outcomes.

Key achievements

  • Ollio and its unique Agile in Buildings team of DLA-Design, Playwerks, Copper Candle and Hippo Digital have come together from the very different arenas of architecture, gaming, theatre production and user experience design to develop a methodology that is quite simply waiting to revolutionise how we do RIBA stages 0 to 2 brief development and concept design in the construction sector.
  • Following the 10 years of research that went into it, finally, we have a tool that allows designers get together with clients to say let’s design a building together that will make a difference to the business that we build for, and then go and do it with certainty and systematic repeatability.
  • With COVID 19 and Climate Change at the top of the agenda for buildings that become part of global solutions, Agile in Buildings points the way to how both can be solved by clients and funders with a clearer understanding of where the true value and cost balance for tenants and owner-occupiers lies over the full lifecycle of the asset.