March 27, 2017
RICS in collaboration with IFMA has now published the full version of Part III in its ‘Raising the Bar’ research series. The report, written by Occupiers Journal, makes a case for how facilities management makes contributes to business success and organisational effectiveness and reviews the current state of the FM sector. An Executive Summary of Raising the Bar: From Operational Excellence to Strategic Impact in FM is also available. Both versions of the review identify the key issues facing the facilities management sector and suggest ways forward for how FM can build recognition and understanding within the boardroom, among other business leaders, and with related infrastructure groups.
March 24, 2017
A new guide for facilities management professionals working with clients on BIM construction projects has been issued by the BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management). Employer’s Information Requirements is a practical 47-page document to support clients using BIM (Building Information Modelling) to advise clients on how to specify their exact requirements for the design and construction phase of a built asset through to its full life-time operation. The purpose of the EIR is to support both FM professionals and clients by providing a template which can be edited and amended by the client or facilities manager to meet individual requirements for the project. Its guidance follows the publication of BIFM’s Operational Readiness Guide For Facilities Managers published in April 2016. Since April 2016, construction projects commissioned by Central Government have been required to use BIM for their procurement and delivery.
March 21, 2017
The difference between office design and facilities management is like the difference between sex and parenthood
There is an ongoing feeling within the facilities management discipline that when it comes to office design, facilities managers are not consulted early enough or well enough or consistently enough to ensure that the end result is a workplace that is as functional and as effective as it could be. The reason this feeling persists is that in many cases it is true. Or at least is true to a greater or lesser extent depending on how you view these things. And if that sounds woolly, then you have to remember we are talking about facilities management here, finding a definition for which has always been like nailing jelly to a wall. In many cases the demarcation between workplace design and workplace management is based on the mistaken idea that the two have little correlation when in fact the relationship between them should be more akin to that between sex and parenthood. One is an act of creation and the other of care. Sex may be more interesting and we might spend more time thinking and talking about it, but we spend more time being parents.
March 16, 2017
The Construction Industry Council has published a new guide to creating an accessible and inclusive environment. The guide sets out six principles as suggested by the Office for Disability Issues to ‘guide, support and motivate’ industry professionals. The guide is an initiative that emerged from the Built Environment Professional Education Project – a government project that has been championed by CIC. The aim is to build on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by helping to generate a change in the way skills related to inclusive design are taught in the UK. The aim is that all built environment professionals will receive mandatory, quality teaching about inclusive design so that they can help create inclusive building, places and spaces for future generations.
March 15, 2017
At the end of the 18th Century it was becoming apparent that overpopulation was something the human race would need to address for perhaps the first time. Advances in technology and the urbanisation that followed the Industrial Revolution had created a new set of challenges. These were most famously laid out in a 1798 book called An Essay on the Principle of Population, written by an English cleric called Thomas Malthus. The book helped to influence the nascent discipline of economics and informed the thinking of Charles Darwin when he wrote On The Origin of Species some sixty years later. The term Malthusian remains in use to this day when describing the central paradox laid out in the book. This paradox suggests that because population increases geometrically (doubling every 25 years by multiplication), while food production only grows arithmetically (by addition), the end result can only be depressed wages and ultimately starvation.
March 15, 2017
Cluttons has proposed that a mobile coverage rating should be added to lettable workspace criteria, because despite mobile and internet connections being the fifth essential utility for the modern environment they are often overlooked when leasing space. With the rise of dependence on SIM-based equipment, the property firm argues that workplaces should be let with a coverage rating, measuring connectivity within a property. It argues that given the fast-paced evolving nature of the sector, landlords who invest in excellent telephony infrastructure are likely to secure tenants for longer periods and potentially achieve higher rental values. The approach is being borne out by the government recognising the importance of better mobile and internet infrastructure, by making it a focal point to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by the end of 2017. This comes as no surprise given that several emerging markets are leap-frogging the adoption of technology and are quickly outpacing the UK in the sophistication of infrastructure on offer to occupiers. London is ranked near to the bottom of the internet connectivity league table when looking at Europe.
March 14, 2017
City infrastructure plays a key role when multinationals decide where to establish locations abroad and send expatriate workers, claims a new report. Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living survey now includes a supplementary question on city infrastructure, as easy access to transportation, reliable electricity, and drinkable water are all important considerations when determining hardship allowances based on differences between a given assignee’s home and host locations. Western European cities hold most of the top ten places in the city infrastructure ranking, with Frankfurt and Munich jointly ranking 2nd worldwide, followed by Copenhagen (4) and Dusseldorf (5). London is in 6th place, and Hamburg and Zurich both rank 9th. However, in terms of quality of living which is ranked separately, Vienna (pictured) occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, and despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, many of its cities offer the world’s highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment. In the UK, London is favoured for its overall quality of living and for its city infrastructure.
March 13, 2017
Corporate real estate occupiers must do more to embrace flexible working and identify the sources of competitive advantage offered by their workplaces, according to the newly published Corporate Real Estate (CRE) 2017 trends report from JLL. The study highlights the key issues affecting corporate property needs and requirements this year, and offers occupiers some advice on how to deal with them, including how real estate strategy affects organisational perfomance. As well as flexible working and real estate strategy, the report also considers the consequences of automation, which it suggests will have a significant impact on the way workplaces are designed, occupied and managed within just a few years,
March 9, 2017
Google has revealed the latest designs for its new Mountain View office campus, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio, the partnership that is also collaborating on Google’s new London offices. This is the third iteration of the designs which will now be presented at a public hearing pending approval by Mountain View City Council. The designs of the purpose built office complex and campus maintain the tent like structures from previous ideas as well as a heavily landscaped environment. The public spaces, pavilions, cafes, research labs, event spaces will be at ground level with offices on a mezzanine level. The new design for the roof incorporates curved metal shapes in grey which will discourage birds from flying into the structure.
March 8, 2017
This is the second of two responses to an excellent article by Antony Slumbers, the first being this perspective from my mirrored room, in this instance offering that his views offer a far too presumptive picture of how technology will shape our work future. The paragraph headlines are from Antony’s original article. One person’s optimism is another’s pessimism. A decade ago the dream of liberated commute-free teleworking was, to many, the nightmare of enforced seclusion to the soundtrack of the dishwasher. The deployment of robots for the performance of menial tasks creating time and wealth for leisure is another’s horror at the loss of employment and resultant anomic fragmentation and decay. The fatally pointless optimism of Candide’s Dr Pangloss was agnostic in regard to every such outcome. It was positive only because there could be no alternative, and therefore no better alternative.
March 7, 2017
A survey of more than 423,000 NHS staff has shown their experience of the workplace is improving, despite the huge financial pressures and public demand on healthcare in the UK. Responding anonymously to the annual NHS Staff Survey, staff reported small but measurable improvements in 26 of the 32 key workplace categories, including having confidence to raise concerns about clinical practice, feeling supported by managers and recommending their workplace for employment or receiving care. The report is published by the national NHS Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre on behalf of NHS England and was carried out in October and November 2016.
March 3, 2017
Demand for construction workers in London looks set to grow due to the completion of Crossrail and the extension of the Northern Line alongside other infrastructure projects. But a new analysis reveals the Capital is struggling to attract and train the workforce needed; with London and the South East having a shortfall of 60,000 people in the construction industry. This is according to a first of its kind analysis of the role of migration on London’s economy by London First and PwC. ‘Facing Facts: the impact of migrants on London, its workforce and economy’ argues that London’s growing workforce is significantly contributing to economic growth and helping to create more jobs in the capital. The report, which draws on a comprehensive range of information, including detailed ONS Labour Force Survey data shows how London’s total workforce has grown from 4.3 million people in 2005 to just under 5.2 million, made up of people from around the UK, the EU and the rest of the world.