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“It is not enough to have amazing spaces—you have to also ensure you are providing value for the money committed to real estate.” Erik Selvig, Global Head of Facilities

CAREER SNAPSHOT Graduated from California Maritime Academy and started his career as a marine engineer working on ocean-going vessels Moved into the building trades, working as a building engineer in a hospital and then managing teams working in high-rise environments Managed facilities and operations for tech companies and start-ups with a focus on culture building, sustainability, and operational efficiency

that in mind, I must ensure that the space can grow and adapt to employees’ needs—so I’m always open to convert any underused space into a more efficient use.” Dropbox also had efficiency in mind when the team chose a building that offered cutting-edge sustainability technology. The new headquarters is actually two separate buildings that were designed to function as one during the build-out. Both buildings were built to LEED standards and incorporate features such as collecting rainwater for toilet flushing, green roofs, super-efficient HVAC systems, and LED lighting. “Although sustainable building was not a driving factor in our build-out this time around, we were lucky to have such great base buildings as a foundation,” Selvig says. “Smart developers are adding these features in from the start, making it easier for tenants to build sustainably without huge investments.” His past experiences continue to inform his career in multiple ways.


OCT | NOV | DEC 2016

“I look at victories I’ve had and mistakes I’ve made, and find ways to use that to inform future projects,” he says. “Probably the most important lesson I have learned from working with design and construction teams is that you need a lot of voices to ensure you create a space that works for everyone.” In order to make sure the design fits the employees, the local Dropbox office manager is heavily involved in planning the building facilities and design for any office construction project. “The office manager has a lot of input into this project, so the space works for the people that will be working in it,” Selvig says. “Although there are certain themes that run through our corporate design philosophy, the team on the ground is in the best position to reflect their local culture and design an office that suits their needs.” Selvig’s management style puts a lot of trust into his employees and contractors, and he says he’s lucky to work for a company that has an extensive recruiting and interview process. He believes it’s helpful to ensure that all employees are self-motivated and good at what they do. “At Dropbox, we hire the best and the brightest, so I can give them direction and then leave them to execute,” he says. “Giving people self-determination and control goes a long way. It’s been a very successful strategy for me.”

A note from Principal Builders It’s not enough to build something beautiful. We know the real measure of success is a company’s ability to operate, maintain, and easily utilize the spaces we’ve built for them for years to come. From day one, our ideas and solutions are designed with the end user top of mind. Flagship Facility Services delivers bundled janitorial, maintenance, staffing, and subcontractor management services for Dropbox’s new corporate headquarters in San Francisco, managing its services with a flexible, high-touch approach and leveraging strategic partnerships to deliver preferred pricing for the amenities that help the company retain its most effective employees.

American Builders Quarterly #63  
American Builders Quarterly #63