December 13, 2015
In this week’s newsletter; Mark Eltringham on the prescience of philosopher Seneca on a time and a place to work; and a report by Sara Bean finds the boardroom increasingly views office space as a strategic asset. Glassdoor announces the best places to work for 2016; researchers reveal the phenomenon of ‘inattentional deafness’; a new Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction is announced; and Gartner says we’ll be using three technical devices by 2018. Over 100 councils to join an office-sharing scheme; Gen Z will blur the boundaries between home and work, and too much focus on standing in the sit-stand debate. Download the new issue of Work&Place and access an Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, which looks at agile working in the public sector. Visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
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 30, 2015
Those bewildered by the confusion of acronyms that surrounds building environmental standards will be pleased to hear that BRE has acquired a rival standard to merge with itsBREEAM accreditation. BRE claims that the acquisition of CEEQUAL, a sustainability scheme for civil engineering, allows it to ‘create a single, science based standard and certification tool for civil engineering and infrastructure projects’. As a result of the acquisition, CEEQUAL will transfer its operations to BRE Global after which CEEQUAL will then be delivered by the BREEAM certification team with support from a CEEQUAL management team. The move is supported by the Institution of Civil Engineers and has been prompted by ‘the industry’s desire for a single sustainability rating scheme that addresses the challenges that infrastructure clients, professions and contractors currently face in delivering more sustainable and resilient infrastructure.’
November 30, 2015
In this week’s newsletter; Mark Eltringham argues the six hour working day is a deeply conservative idea, dressed up in radical clothing; Matias Rodsevic says it’s important to understand what employee engagement actually means and Darren Bilsborough identifies seven separate layers or “skins” of workplace productivity. As COP21 gets underway, there’s evidence that Megacities are taking the lead in climate action, WeWork unveils its latest plans to dominate London; three new reports reveal technological confusion in the workplace; and a study says the Government’s challenge is how best to match its commitments with its resources. You can also download the new issue of Work&Place and access our first Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, which looks at agile working in the public sector. Visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
November 27, 2015
The built environment has a vital role to play in helping governments meet their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions targets says RICS – ahead of the 21st Conference of the Parties or COP21. This begins on Monday, when 196 governments meet in Paris for the climate change summit hosted by the United Nations. Buildings are some of the biggest emitters of CO2 accounting for one-third of global greenhouse gasses. Commercial and residential buildings also account for 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption. RICs is working with members in the land, real estate and construction sectors to find solutions across the property lifecycle to support more sustainable business practices, and will be in Paris to join stakeholders from governments, industry and civil society to support efforts to reach an agreement. The commitments made at the summit could have far-reaching repercussions for the built environment, and the global economy more generally.
November 26, 2015
Ahead of COP21 next week, a new report ‘Climate Action in Megacities 3.0’, published by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and research partner Arup states that since COP15 cities have taken the lead in climate action by forging a collaborative pathway to low carbon and climate resilient development. Mayors have scaled-up action- with 51 percent of schemes now delivered city-wide, as opposed to 14 percent in 2011. Since the last major COP in Copenhagen, C40 cities have taken 10,000 climate actions – a doubling of actions in just six years – and have committed to reduce their CO2 emissions by 3 Gt CO2 by 2030, equivalent to the annual carbon output of India. Furthermore, decisions taken by global cities to invest in low carbon development over the next 15 years have the potential to avoid locking in a total of 45 Gt of CO2, or eight times the total current annual emissions of the United States.
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 27, 2015
People who work in well-ventilated offices with below-average levels of indoor pollutants and carbon dioxide have significantly higher cognitive functioning scores in crucial areas such as responding to a crisis or developing strategy than those who work in offices with typical levels. That is the headline finding of a new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Syracuse University published this week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.The researchers looked at people’s experiences in “green” vs. “non-green” buildings in a double-blind study. The findings suggest that the indoor environments in which many people work daily could be adversely affecting cognitive function-and that, conversely, improved air quality could greatly increase the cognitive function performance of workers.
September 26, 2015
In this week’s issue; legend of the UK office furniture sector, John Fogarty reflects on his five decades of experience; Mark Eltringham argues the TMT sector no more fell from the heavens than Gen Y, and Charles Marks weighs up the pros and cons of the BREEAM environmental standard. The financial sector dominates the annual list of Top Employers for Working Families and we reveal there’s a tendency to drift into caricature when describing multigenerational working. Activity in Europe’s commercial property markets is at its highest level since 2007 and colleagues, not bosses can make people feel more engaged at work. Check out our video evidence which shows how some visions of the future of work can be remarkably prescient while others get it completely wrong. Visit our new events page, subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here. And follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
September 24, 2015
For some years there has been a growing awareness of the need to improve the environmental performance of buildings. This is closely linked to both the Government’s own international commitments to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent over the next 35 years and the need of organisations to act ethically and cut costs while they’re about it. Buildings are important in this regard because of their impact on the environment (and the bottom line). According to The Carbon Trust, buildings produce around 37 percent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, 40 percent of it from commercial buildings.This is commendable stuff but the real problems arise when it comes to meeting such laudable goals in practice. We are learning all the time about how to achieve the best results and we are helped in that with the availability of a number of increasingly sophisticated building environmental standards.
September 21, 2015
The theme of this year’s World Green Building Week which runs from 21–25 September is Powering Positive Change. The week brings together Green Building Councils from around the world to create a public conversation about the role buildings play in a sustainable future. Hundreds of events worldwide with the aim of demonstrating global diversity and a collective mission to create sustainable built environments. This is achieved through a variety of activities – including workshops and panel discussions, exhibits and building tours. There are over 30 events in the UK and you can view a calendar of them here. The flagship International Climate Negotiations 2015: Catalysing Action on Buildings will look forward to the international climate negotiations in Paris (COP), and the role which the construction and property sector can play in delivering carbon cuts and supporting national commitments.