February 15, 2016
Commercial buildings in the UK may be producing an average of 3.8 times more carbon than the estimate presented at their design stage, according to research from InnovateUK. The study examined six years of data from Innovate UK’s Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) Programme. It found that only one of the 48 buildings studied produced the amount of carbon specified by its design. In some cases, total emissions were 10 times the rate calculated for Part L compliance. ‘Building Performance Evaluation Programme: Findings From Non-Domestic Projects’, identifies complex energy controls and building management systems (BMS) as significant factors in poor levels of carbon emissions, suggesting that they should be simplified. Although two-thirds of the buildings studied employed renewable energy, a significant proportion of these experienced problems that had a negative impact on their energy consumption and carbon emissions.
January 11, 2016
Birmingham’s development upturn looks set to continue this year, as the latest Deloitte Birmingham Crane Survey shows office construction at the highest level for 13 years. The report also showcases the significant increase in hotel, leisure and retail developments in the city, reflecting both the rise in investor interest in regional cities and the year-on-year growth of visitor numbers attracted to the UK’s second city. The report, first launched by the Deloitte Real Estate team in the Midlands in 2000, shows 969,000 sq ft of office space under construction, with hotel construction three times higher than the 10 year average. Office take-up has shown a particular resurgence. Q1 to Q3 of 2015 reached 732,000 sq ft, its highest level since 2008. The Colmore Row district remains very attractive to investors, whilst more peripheral locations have become more established and are generating serious interest.
December 17, 2015
According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research Building Information Modelling (BIM) Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2015 – 2022, the global BIM market was worth US$2.76 bn in 2014 and is expected to reach US$11.54 bn by 2022, expanding at a CAGR of 19.1 percent from 2015 to 2022. North America was the largest market for BIM in 2014. Growth in this region is expected to be driven by increases in construction activities and the penetration of cloud-based services for BIM software. BIM is a tool used to visualize the design of buildings in 3D. BIM also helps in attaining estimates of various other factors, such as cost implementation, time requirement, labour requirement, raw material provision, and other key prerequisites in the construction industry. Management of the entire construction lifecycle can be simulated by BIM.
December 9, 2015
Research by Leesman Index (among others) shows how the design of learning environments influences a student’s choice of university. This thinking now also applies to offices, with the commercial office design sector creating the kind of facilities available on the modern university campus. A new workshop organised by furniture brand HÅG has discovered how Generation Z imagines its future workplace. For example, in the same way that a college library offers collaborative and silent spaces; the young people in the workshop didn’t share the current trend of shared workspaces but wanted a mix of collaborative areas combined with isolated working pods that they could customise for their own requirements and mood. However, Gen Z goes further than ever, in blurring the boundaries between home and work, with a great deal more emphasis on wellbeing and areas to relax compared to previous generations.
December 7, 2015
A total of 25 Green Building Councils from around the world have unveiled commitments reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that the building and construction industry plays its part in limiting global warming to 2 degrees. More than 1.25 billion square metres of buildings – almost double the size of Singapore – will be registered, renovated or certified as green building space over the next five years, under ambitious commitments made by Green Building Councils at COP21 in Paris. Green building is one of the most cost-effective solutions to climate change, which generates significant environmental, economic and societal benefits. A new alliance of 16 countries and over 60 organisations, known as the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (which includes WorldGBC, its 74 Green Building Councils and their 27,000 member companies) is now committed to help countries meet their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) through green building.
November 23, 2015
RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) has become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and has undertaken to support its principles on human rights, labour standards, the environment and corruption. Joining the UNGC is part of the RIBA’s focus on ethics which has recently included co-founding a new coalition to develop a set of globally recognised ethics standards for real estate and related professional organisations. RIBA President Jane Duncan said: “As our profession changes and becomes increasingly international, so must our approach to developing and reinforcing professional ethics. Architecture has a direct impact on societies and economies; it shapes and influences the world we live in. For this reason, we architects have a duty to uphold the highest standards wherever we practice. I am delighted that RIBA has signed the UN Global Compact and undertaken to support and promote its principles.”
November 17, 2015
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Awards Jury has announced that Bosco Verticale, Milan, is the overall “2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide” at the 14th Annual CTBUH International Best Tall Building Awards Symposium, Ceremony & Dinner, held last week at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. In July, the CTBUH Awards Jury named a winner from each of the four competing regions in the world: Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. The Regional Winners were One World Trade Center, New York City, United States; CapitaGreen, Singapore; Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy; Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Although the overall winner was primarily a residential tower, offices were well represented in the regional winners thanks to the inclusion of One World Trade Center and Capita Green.
November 5, 2015
Developers, owners and occupiers of buildings might expect that compliance with regulations will produce a building that is energy efficient in operation and well on its way towards the 2020 nearly-zero energy target mandated by a European Directive. In practice, the actual performance of most buildings falls well short of the design intent – the so-called performance gap. In Australia, this chronic problem has been eliminated for new office building projects in which clients and their teams sign up to – and then follow – a “Commitment Agreement” protocol to design, construct and manage their buildings to achieve agreed levels of actual in-use performance. Now with the backing of the Better Buildings Partnership, a four month study to develop a prototype UK scheme which embraces Australia’s ‘design for performance’ approach has been launched by a team led by Verco and including BSRIA, Arup and UBT.
October 29, 2015
Does any of this describe you? “You have a need for other people to like and admire you, yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable yet hidden strengths that you have yet to turn to your advantage. Self-controlled on the outside, you are slightly insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you always make the right decision. You prefer a certain amount of change and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept the statements of others without satisfactory proof. But you also think it can be unwise to be too frank in revealing too much about yourself.” Does this sound familiar? Well it should because that is how most people see themselves.
October 14, 2015
The British Council for Offices (BCO) has warned that the UK needs to avoid a free-for-all following the government’s announcement it is to make permanent the relaxation of planning rules on the conversion of office to residential properties. According to recent BCO research, changes to the Permitted Development Right for office to residential conversion led to over 6 million sq ft of office space in England being converted to residential use in 2014. Some of the most concentrated commercial property markets have been significantly affected by this. In London, office to residential conversions are now occurring at a faster pace than ever before with 2.7 million sq feet of office space lost to residential conversions since May 2013. London Assembly Member Nicky Gavron questioned the decision to extend the scheme saying that it will reduce the availability of affordable workspace required by start-ups and small businesses in the capital.
October 9, 2015
Keynsham Civic Centre & One Stop Shop in Keynsham, near Bath, has been named the Best of the Best workplace in the country at the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) annual Awards. The office was recognised as the Best Corporate Workplace in the UK, topping a list of six other award winners recognised for excellence in office space. The building provides an environmentally sustainable, low maintenance and flexible workspace, whilst acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the town. As a workplace for the local council, the judges praised the building’s impressive use of natural light to create an ‘uplifting workspace’ as well as the design of the office floors which lend themselves toward flexibility and encourage collaborative working. The team behind the building was also commended for conducting a thorough and impressive stakeholder engagement process, from the inception of the project through to completion.
October 6, 2015
According to a report published in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Apple is planning to add another tech palace to run alongside its Norman Foster designed campus in California. This time Apple is not commissioning a purpose made building but is buying one off the shelf, albeit one marked ‘exactly the sort of place Apple would occupy’. The HOK designed Central and Wolfe campus in Sunnyvale will house 3,000 employees in three connected six storey offices set in landscaped grounds that include walks, bike paths and retail and leisure facilities. The campus is designed to achieve a LEED Platinum accreditation so includes green roofs, solar panelling and water reclamation technology. According to the report: “The campus promises to dramatically alter a neighborhood dominated by single-storey industrial and R&D buildings. While Apple has been snapping up existing buildings all over the neighborhood, the massive new campus could become a new icon for the region.”