Global property measurement standard for offices is published 0

Global office measure standard is launchedThe first International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) for offices has been published. The International Property Measurement Standards: Office Buildings was produced by the IPMS Coalition of 56 organisations to help address the long-standing problem of inconsistency in the way offices are measured around the world, which has led to deviations of up to 24 per cent across different world markets. Launched at a World Bank meeting in May 2013, the standard required 18 months of work by a group of measurement experts, including two global public consultations and 85 drafts and will mean that, for the first time, professionals and their clients will benefit from a common method for measurement, wherever they are. RICS Global President, Louise Brooke-Smith, has defined IPMS as a “profession-led response to globalisation and the vital importance of consistent and transparent standards in a modern world”.

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We should welcome the Government’s evidence based approach to wellbeing 0

Microscope_Nosepiece (1)The UK Government is very big on evidence based design these days and it is applying this approach in a number of new areas of policy, including wellbeing. Invariably the outcomes of its research and analysis are first refracted through a political prism on their way to becoming legislation, but the approach is very welcome and we should greet it without cynicism. At the end of October of this year The Cabinet Office announced the launch of The What Works Centre for Wellbeing including a dedicated website. The centre has the support of 17 founding partners including Public Health England, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Office for National Statistics, a number of other central government departments, the Local Government Association and the BIG Lottery Fund which means it enjoys wide ranging buy-in from the people best able to shape policy making and is chaired by Lord Gus O’Donnell.

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NHS estate checks in for major surgery of leases and facilities management 0

facilities managementThe troubled organisation which looks after a £3 billion chunk of the NHS estate is set to launch an extensive review of its enormous portfolio of offices, hospitals, health centres and GP practices. According to a report on commercial property website CoStar, the move comes as NHS Property Services gets to grips with structural problems in the way the estate is managed, not least the fact that over two thirds of its properties do not have documented leases in place, many facilities management services are provided without a contract in place and nobody seems aware of the true cost of running its estate of the thousands of individual sites involved. The health estate has come under mounting scrutiny over the past two years following the setting up of NHS Property Services in April 2013 as part of the Government’s plans to modernise and rationalise the public sector property portfolio.

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Fold7 drops in to its new Mary Poppins inspired Farringdon offices 0

Farringdon OfficesFold7 has moved into new offices in Farringdon to house the expanding agency business and talent. The agency, which counts Go Compare, Gumtree, Ted Baker, Nike and Orange as its clients, has unveiled its news offices designed by Paul Crofts Studio with a Mary Poppins-inspired installation of people floating away on umbrellas and two ‘dry’ jacuzzis. On the upper level, the agency has dedicated an entire floor to an informal working area, more akin to a restaurant and bar. A wall of curiosities screens the meeting room wall, with each individual item representing a story from our history and our experiences. A mid floor raised platform with two ‘dry Jacuzzis’ provides additional break out spaces. The ‘formal’ boardroom at the Farringdon offices is fitted with a collection of cuckoo clocks to serve as a reminder that ‘it’s not the time that matters, but what you do with it that counts’ according to Fold 7 founder Ryan Newey.

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Regus opens first dedicated drop-in office on the M6 motorway 0

New dedicated drop-in office on M6 motorwayA new dedicated drop-in office has been opened by Regus at Sandbach South motorway service area on the M6 motorway this week. With previous research commissioned by the serviced workspace provider revealing that two fifths of mobile workers had dialled into conference calls whilst driving; dedicated workplaces at motorway service areas are intended to help combat the problem by offering a convenient place to stop off and work, for a few minutes or a few hours. The new drop-in offices will be followed by further Regus Express launches before Christmas at Strensham North (M5), Watford Gap (M1), Chester (M56) and Norton Canes (M6 Toll). The facilities will each feature a drop-in business lounge and high-specification meeting rooms available by the hour and are aimed at attracting those wanting to hold out-of-town meetings and self-employed people seeking an occasional alternative to the home office.

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DeVere Group completes fit-out of new office in Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi 0

de Vere fit-outThe Interiors Group have completed a shell and core fit-out at the new offices of financial consultancy PIC deVere Group on a floor at Tower 3 of Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi. The new office was designed to have a similar look, feel and functionality to the firm’s Dubai office and to anticipate the firm’s expansion. The brief included the provision of as many large team rooms as possible, so that each room could accommodate approximately thirty members of staff. The fit-out also incorporates a separate training room as well as print and breakout areas. Corporate colours were incorporated in this area with furniture and fittings largely in white and deVere blue introduced as the chosen finish for the Interface ‘Swing’ carpet and accent paint on elements of the interior architecture including columns and the glass and stone feature wall behind the reception desk.

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Next ten years will see a surge of activity in new smart cities era 0

fs_gfx_smart-cities-concepts-v1Researchers Frost & Sullivan are promoting a study of the world’s smart cities which predicts that the global market will be valued at US$1.565 trillion by 2020. The report also claims that there will be a minimum of 26 smart cities worldwide  by 2025 with more than half in Europe and North America. By 2025, nearly three fifths of the world’s population, or 4.6 billion people, will live in an urban setting and in developed regions, this figure could run to over 80 percent. This new era of urbanisation will force planners to radically rethink how they create cities, develop digital infrastructure and provide services to residents  in a sustainable manner across a range of key parameters. The report defines smart cities as those built around ‘smart’ and ‘intelligent’ solutions and technology that lead to the adoption of at least 5 of 8 key parameters—energy, building, mobility, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, governance and education, and citizen.

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CBRE identifies priorities for facilities management excellence 0

Three priorities for operational excellence in FM identifiedTo achieve operational excellence in facilities management, organisations must balance three priorities: managing costs efficiently and creating value; maintaining high satisfaction among occupants and clients; and proactively stewarding property and infrastructure. Forging the Iron Triangle: Facility Management Operational Excellence, is a new report by the CBRE’s Global Corporate Services research team and the result of a year-long inquiry into mainly US-based facility management organisations, industry scholarship, and an industry-wide survey of more than 125 facility management executives. It reveals the initiatives that have a lasting impact on facilities management team performance and the reduction of risk, increasing workplace satisfaction and extending the useful life of properties or building infrastructure. Talent management, risk management and life cycle cost analysis are also found to be prevalent in high performing FM teams.

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Unions and employers call for greater uptake of flexible working 0

Flexible WorkingThe release of two new sets of employment data has prompted the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to issue separate rallying calls for the greater uptake of flexible working. Responding to a YouGov survey, which found that over two-fifths (42 percent) of UK workers would not feel comfortable asking their employer for more flexible working practices, the CBI called on firms to encourage and respond positively to such requests in both their own interests and those of employees. Meanwhile, the TUC used the publication of new figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that under-employment remains at pre-recession levels and there remains a shortfall in the number of full-time job opportunities, to suggest that part of the solution to both problems lies in the promotion of flexible working rights.

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Promoted story: What will the Government’s new wellbeing measurements change? 0

Workplace wellness initiatives improve job morale, satisfaction and performanceThe UK Government has announced that it is developing new ways of measuring wellbeing. Several changes have been made to policy to provide a fuller picture by looking at several economic, social and environmental measurements. Employees should already know that workplace wellbeing is essential to achieve good results and ensure the business runs as efficiently as possible. To understand what could change as a result of this, we need to look at what’s changed in the way things are being measured. The new programme will consider the wellbeing of people by looking at a wide variety of measures, whereas before this figure would have been achieved simply by looking at GDP. This is a much more in depth study and will be looking at factors such as general health, relationship, levels of education and skills, what jobs we do, where we live and work and finances.  …more

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