About Mark Eltringham

Mark is the publisher of Workplace Insight and IN Magazine. He has worked in the office design and management sector for over twenty five years as a journalist, marketing professional, editor and consultant.

Posts by Mark Eltringham:

London’s West End confirmed as world’s most expensive office location

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C4G1T6A new report from Cushman and Wakefield has confirmed the results of an earlier study from DTZ that London’s West End is the world’s most expensive office location. According to the property services firm the West End has overtaken Hong Kong’s central business district for the first time since 2008 because of rent increases of 2 per cent fuelled by a shortage of appropriate space. According to the report occupiers now pay as much as £169 per square foot to occupy the best West End office space including rent, service charges and taxes. rents went up around the world by an average of 3 per cent, driven by rapidly growing markets, especially in South America.

Room for improvement in public sector workplace management

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Portcullis HouseLast week technology company Citrix announced that the UK Government could cut its property costs by a third by adopting flexible working policies. It used a Freedom of Information request to discover how much space each public sector employee in the UK is allocated and how much it costs then applied a formula to work out how this would be affected by greater adoption of flexible working. What was interesting was not just the up-front argument you would expect from an ICT provider but also the discovery that the average employee is allocated 1.1 workstations with some enjoying 1.6. More →

Arup publishes its vision of the 2050 building

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Itsailvereport218x281Arup has published a new report called It’s Alive, which aims to describe how buildings in our cities could look and function in 2050. The study has been produced by Arup’s Foresight + Innovation team and predicts that “structures will be fully integrated into the fabric of the city, responsive to changes in the external environment, and designed for continuous adaptability, according to real-time needs and demands of its users.” The report includes a series of artist’s impressions, to illustrate how building features such as photovoltaic surfaces and algae-producing biofuel pods might enable buildings to produce food, energy and resources. More →

Tipping point reached in battle between tablets and PCs

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Surface proThe signs of the final showdown between the personal computer and the tablet are now all around us. It is evident in the launch of new products such as Microsoft’s Surface and the new generation of more powerful iPads which can (nearly) match the performance of Apple’s own laptops. It is also evident in the restructuring of firms like Dell, once the world’s most successful PC maker. The end result will not only be a new shape for the products on which we work but also a new shape for the places in which we work. Our postures will change and so too will the things we need to support us.  More →

Tallest tower to be built in Pakistan, claim developers

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Burj Khalifa - there to be shot at

Burj Khalifa – there to be shot at

Just as we were getting used to the idea of the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah relieving the Burj Khalifa of its short-lived crown as the World’s tallest building, news emerges that Abu Dhabi Group is planning to top them both as part of an investment of some $45 billion in several Pakistani cities. The proposed projects include ghastly sounding replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World along with a huge tower in the city of Karachi. Whether all of the mooted projects see the light of day is one to debate given the parlous state of the World’s finances.    More →

Architects appointed for Kingdom City project

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Kingdom CityTwo architectural practice have been appointed to carry out masterplanning for the $20 billion Kingdom City project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Kingdom Holdings, the firm owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has appointed US-based Calthorpe Associates as lead masterplanner for the 5.3 million square metre development, while Gulf based Godwin Austen Johnson has been named urban architect. Kingdom City is a vast mixed use development which will also be home to the world’s tallest building the Kingdom Tower.  The project will be completed in three-phases with Kingdom Tower be built in phase-one, infrastructure to be created in phase-two, and details of phase-three yet to be revealed.

UK government to ban tax cheats from winning public sector work

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white-hall-placeThe UK Treasury yesterday announced new rules that would mean that it can ban firms who avoid tax illegally from winning public sector contracts. The new system will come into force as early as April 1 of this year, leaving little time for consultation and are outlined in draft guidance published for consultation by the Government. It will require potential suppliers to notify contracting departments of their recent tax compliance history and to tell the department if any tax return has recently been found to be incorrect and if they have been convicted for tax related offences or subject to a penalty for civil fraud or evasion. Departments will be able to disqualify any bidder meeting these criteria from the procurement process.

Long awaited plans submitted for Smithfield development

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SmithfieldThe controversial and long-awaited plans for the redevelopment of the derelict sections of Smithfield in London have been submitted by Henederson Global Investors.  While the existing meat market will remain untouched, the £160m plan for the rest of the site includes the refurbishment of the former General Market, Fish Market and Red House Buildings, as well as the original engine house.  Originally built between 1886 and 1883 by the architect of Tower Bridge Horace Jones, the historic site has been the subject of previous proposals including a controversial scheme by architects KPF which was thrown out after a 4 year battle in 2008. More →

Report shows global range of policy on BYOD

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BYODA new report from Dell has indicated the differing approaches firms take to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies around the world.  According to the survey of 1,500 senior IT managers in 10 countries including the US, UK, Spain, Germany, Singapore, India and China, companies in Singapore are the most proactive in using digital rights to manage the dissemination of potentially sensitive company information. Nearly two thirds of respondents in Singapore said their firms focus more on the management of users than devices, an approach seen as the best way of ensuring the benefits of BYOD. More →

Video: demolishing a building from the inside

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Amazing time lapse footage of the internal destruction of the 140m tall Grand Prince Hotel in Akasaka, Japan. While not as exciting and crowd pleasing as the traditional method of blowing the building up, the company responsible, Taisei Corporation, claims the new method decreases dust by up to 90 percent and reduces noise by around 20 decibels and can be used on a wide range of building types and structures.

Tech and media companies continue to reshape the world’s cities

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google-doodleTech and media companies continue to shape the world’s cities and local property markets according to a recent report from BNP Paribas. While this is a global phenomenon, some of the most dramatic developments will take place in London, not least a shift of tech firms in the city away from their heartland towards Kings Cross following Google’s $1bn purchase of 2.4 acres of land within a major new development in the area. The new development may become a hothouse for technology companies in spite of the UK Government’s focus on promoting Tech City and surrounding areas in East London.  More →

Whatever the office of the future is, it should be there to serve people

Whatever the office of the future is, it should be there to serve people

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Larkin BuildingFuturology is notoriously a mug’s game. Especially when it comes to making predictions about technology. Just ask Ken Olson, the founder of DEC who in 1977 pronounced that ‘there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home’. Or Bill Gates himself who once claimed that Microsoft ‘will never make a 32 bit operating system’. But that shouldn’t make us blind to those predictions that we know will largely come true, not least those based on what we know is happening in the present. This is typified by research carried out by Cass Business School and Henley Business School and presented in a book called Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work. It found that two-thirds of the 360 managers it surveyed believe that there would be a revolution in working practices over the coming decade. Ninety per cent said that staff were more productive when empowered to decide when and where and how to work.

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