3XN chosen as preferred partner to design new Olympic HQ 0

dreamcenter

3XN is also designing the DreamCenter

Danish firm 3XN has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as its preferred architectural partner for the design of the new IOC headquarters. It will be located on a 24.000 square metre site on the banks of Lake Geneva to provide an ‘Olympic campus’ of administrative buildings for 500 employees. The IOC announced its intention last year to regroup all its staff, currently spread throughout Lausanne at a number of sites; arguing a new HQ would result in substantial savings in rental fees, increased working efficiency and energy conservation. If the project, which is dependent on discussions and decisions with the relevant Swiss authorities goes ahead, it will add another building to a number of projects by 3XN for big international organizations such as the DreamWorks Animation DreamCenter complex [pictured] and the United Nations. more

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BIM adoption in UK rises as awareness of competitive advantage grows 0

BIM adoption in UK rises as awareness of competitive advantage grows70 per cent of those using Building Information Management believe it has given them a competitive advantage and (at 95%) awareness of BIM is now almost universal. According to the fourth annual NBS National BIM Survey, adoption rates are accelerating with more than half of respondents (54%) using it and 93 per cent predicting adoption by 2016, the Government’s deadline for BIM use on publicly funded projects. Improvements in productivity, increased efficiencies, better coordination of construction information and higher profitability are among the benefits cited by adopters of BIM, with a mere 4 per cent wishing they hadn’t begun the journey. The construction industry feels more confident in its own knowledge of BIM (up from 35% in 2012 to 46% in 2013), there is still scepticism regarding the wealth of information on the subject, with only 27 per cent of respondents saying they “trusted what they hear about BIM”. more

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On Green Earth Day, a reminder of how we struggle to understand ‘green’ 0

Needle about to pop a green balloonToday is Green Earth Day and there are things happening all around the world and people are marking the occasion in many ways. The organisers claim one billion people will be active in 190 countries and so too will be many firms. Serviced office provider Regus, for example, is offering free use of its business lounges for one day. There is no such thing as ‘environmentally friendly’. The best we can hope for is to minimise and mitigate our impact on the environment. The problem with the idea that anything we do can be described as ‘environmentally friendly’ in any way is this: our existence is inherently damaging to the world in which we live. We do it some damage each time we get in a plane, train or automobile; every time we make or buy something; every time we eat, drink, breathe or fart. So if you want to be ‘environmentally friendly’ my advice is this. Resign from work. Then, go home, throw yourself on a compost heap and wait to expire.

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The latest issue of Insight is now available to view online 0

firstclassIn the latest Insight newsletter, available to view online; read (and watch) a list of some of the greatest songs to deal with the arcane subject of office furniture and discover the six dimensions of wellbeing that can be impacted by the design of the physical environment. Details of the first free and publicly available resource for building professionals to access detailed comparative data on carbon in buildings; and research that shows moderate stress levels can actually help a manager’s performance.  Mark Eltringham suggests the real reasons why so many employers champion the open plan office layout and argues the design of trains [pictured] is almost as great an indicator of workplace thinking as the office itself. Finally, our regular contributor Simon Heath defends the much maligned HR function.  To automatically receive our weekly newsletter, simply add your email address to the box on the home page.

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UK unemployment down & wages up, but regional differences widen 0

Mind the gapUnemployment dropped below 7 per cent for the first time since the recession, according to figures published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Jobless figures fell by 77,000 to 2.24 million in the three months to February 2014, taking the unemployment rate to 6.9 per cent for the first time since 2009. The figures also show a small growth in regular weekly pay, which, excluding bonuses was up by 1.4 per cent on the year. However, the recovery appears to remain regionally unbalanced, with London and the Greater South East powering ahead of the rest of the country. Said Ian Brinkley, chief economist at The Work Foundation: “Employment levels in the North East are lower today than they were at the end of the recession, measured by the workforce jobs indicator. Gaps in regional employment performance are also widening rather than narrowing.” more

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Gallery: Interiors Group completes office fit-out at Instinctif Partners 0

140306INS-20 smThe Interiors Group has completed a project for the design and fit-out of the relocated offices for Instinctif Partners, an international business communications consultancy now situated at  65 Gresham Street, London. The relocation coincided with the launch of Instinctif Partners’ new name (having previously been known as College Group) so the new design became an expression of the new identity. The office fit-out project includes joinery, the installation of a media wall, bespoke feature walls, reception desk and lighting. The flooring consists of porcelain tiles and carpet from Interface.  The backlit reception desk displays the client’s twelve corporate colours on rotation. Leather seating was specified for the visitors’ waiting area. The open plan office is designed as a circular newsroom with a high table in the heart of the space highlighted by an oversized dome pendant. The dining area has been fitted out with LED screens and furnished in white. more

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European Commission names Munich as continent’s main tech hub 0

Der Muenchner Christkindlmarkt und das Rathaus strahlen am Montag (28.11.05) waehrend der Blauen Stunde in weihnachtlichem Lichterglanz. Mit der Eroeffnung des zentralen Muenchner Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Marienplatz begann am Freitag (25.11.05) die WeihNever mind the Champion’s League, there is a fascinating battle across Europe’s major cities to win the tech hub crown, or at least wear it for a year before it is snatched away by some other agglomeration of latte-sipping arrivistes. The latest City to be awarded the mantle is, perhaps surprisingly, Munich often seen as something of a laggard even within the borders of Germany, playing second fiddle to Berlin. According to the European Commission report (not so snappily titled Mapping the European ICT Poles of Excellence: The Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe) even London, usually regarded as the continent’s tech heartland, bends the knee to the Bavarian City. According to the report’s authors Munich is particularly strong in research and development, although it loses out to London on other factors including networking and access to finance. Paris was placed third.

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The six most important dimensions of wellbeing in the workplace 0

B-Free working choiceDesigning an office environment using six key elements of wellbeing will benefit both employers and their staff, leading to a healthier, more productive workplace finds a new report. Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures global research team, which included a psychologist, a designer and an ergonomist conducted an in depth study on existing wellbeing research, surveys, indicators and theories and found that the key to physical and mental wellbeing is the emotional experience, which can be influenced by a person’s surroundings, actions, and way of perceiving the world. The six dimensions of wellbeing that can be impacted by the design of the physical environment are; optimism, mindfulness, authenticity, belonging, meaning and vitality. Together these create what Steelcase refers to as an “interconnected workplace,” that offers employees choice and control over where and how they work.  more

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New BIM guidance published for operational phase of a building 0

Fresh BIM guidance publishedGuidance on the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling) in the operational phase of a building has been issued by the business standards Institution (BSI). PAS 1192-3, Specification for information management for the operational phase of assets using building information modelling (BIM) is a companion document to PAS 1192-2, which specified an information management process to support building information modelling (BIM) Level 2 in the capital/delivery phase of projects. In contrast, PAS 1192-3 focuses on the operational phase of assets irrespective of whether these were commissioned, acquired through transfer of ownership or are part of an existing asset portfolio. The new specification recognizes that the cost of operating and maintaining buildings and facilities can represent up to 85 per cent of the whole-life cost and savings can pay back any upfront premium in construction expenses in a few years. more

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UK to miss out on overseas public sector procurement growth, warns CBI 0

Wrong-WayPublic procurement of goods and services in twelve key emerging markets will almost triple to £452 billion by 2030, according to new research from the Confederation of British Industry. But the report warns that UK will only capture £11 billion of this growth, if its current market share stays the same so the UK needs to do far more to capture a higher share of the extensive growth in global public procurement in emerging markets. The procurement of goods and services in key emerging markets will soar to £452bn by 2030 as public sector organisations in rapidly developing countries increase their procurement of goods and services, driven by the needs of aging populations and a growing middle class. China will lead the growth in public sector procurement with its market increasing by 7.4 percent each year. Indonesia and Turkey will also rapidly increase their spending by 6.2 percent and 6 percent respectively.

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