Building for Better Business

Take a drive around Barbados and you will usually notice or complain about the amount of construction taking place on the roads, in your neighbourhood or even next to your favourite restaurant. Most of this construction is in the form of improved road works, condominiums and other residential developments. But a recent trend in construction […]

By Nikolas Lashley

August 1, 2009

Take a drive around Barbados and you will usually notice or complain about the amount of construction taking place on the roads, in your neighbourhood or even next to your favourite restaurant. Most of this construction is in the form of improved road works, condominiums and other residential developments. But a recent trend in construction that has been quietly growing is in the field of commercial space for offshore businesses. While a number of commercial properties already exist, the newer and more advanced buildings are being sought to handle this ever growing and changing market.

Since foreign investors and investment are welcomed and encouraged in Barbados, there are a wide variety of corporate structures available and the legislative environment is fairly liberal. Banks, both onshore and offshore, as well as insurance, reinsurance and other companies are making sure that their core infrastructure is housed in this newer type of building that can withstand the most powerful hurricanes, other natural disasters and power outages while providing the cutting edge technology necessary to operate an international business. With reinforced concrete structures, hurricane resistant windows and doors, emergency power and water backup systems all built to international building standards, the buildings being built today are a far cry from the ones of old.  Highly efficient air conditioning systems that monitor and control a building’s temperature and humidity are also controlling carbon dioxide by monitoring the levels of the gas in the building and adjusting fresh air dampeners automatically to suit. The Genesis Air PHI cell is a system that, when installed into commercial air conditioning ducts, is designed to prevent or eliminate sick building syndrome by improving indoor air quality. Energy efficiency and water reclamation are also becoming the norm in local construction standards such that buildings are now leaving a smaller carbon footprint while saving their clients money.

Caribbean Consultants Ltd. (CCL) is a Barbadian firm that contracts clients with specific needs in terms of building layout, location and construction. CCL also provides a credit facility to the tenant to outfit the building to the client’s specification and requirements. Wildey Business Park, Airport Commercial Centre and Greenhill are all examples of these new and adaptable building facilities. Another example of Barbados’ push into facilitating the growing offshore sector is the Barbados Industrial Development Corporation (BIDC).   They provide various types of assistance to companies and organizations that wish to take advantage of what Barbados has to offer to international businesses.

The Government’s encouragement of the informatics sector means there is better than average availability of computer services and professionals. Telecommunications are very modern for the region and are updated regularly to fit consumer demand.

World leaders in this regard are IBM’s Site & Facilities services which has planned, constructed, maintained, moved and renovated networking environments all over the world, including in Barbados. With this level of data management available on island and an abundance of qualified technical staff on hand, a company’s needs are met allowing IBM to respond to changing demands and protecting investments.  Some of these Services offered to newer and existing commercial buildings include: Connectivity Design and Implementation; Power Systems analysis and protection services; Network Implementation, analysis and management; Site Planning services; Relocation Services and Project Management.

These progressive facilities coupled with a very stable and organized business environment and a diverse set of professional services readily available have all contributed to the constant growth seen in the international business sector.  Continued investment in such infrastructure will ensure that Barbados is ready to meet the needs of international business people that continue to visit its shores.

Nikolas Lashley

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