What Baloo can teach us about our suspicion of tall buildings

What Baloo can teach us about our suspicion of tall buildings

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tall buildings“What Baloo had said about the monkeys was perfectly true. They belonged to the tree-tops, and as beasts very seldom look up, there was no occasion for the monkeys and the Jungle-People to cross each other’s path.” Of course, Rudyard Kipling meant this figuratively but there is a clear link between ‘up’ in the figurative sense and ‘up’ in the physical sense. The executives at Omnicorp don’t lease the most expensive offices in a tower in so they can sit around on the ground floor watching the hoi polloi pass by at street level. They need to be at the top of the building looking down on them. More →

Growing number of major firms commit to net zero carbon buildings

Growing number of major firms commit to net zero carbon buildings

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Today, seven major global private sector companies including Goldman Sachs and Lendlease have announced pledges to slash emissions from their buildings to net zero, by signing up to the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment). The organisations have pledged to take urgent action to ensure their own portfolios of buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 or sooner. More →

World Green Building council launches case study library of best practice

World Green Building council launches case study library of best practice

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Green Building

The World Green Building Council has launched a new digital case study library showcasing what it claims is excellence in sustainable development globally, featuring buildings that are net zero carbon and/or enhance human health. According to the WGBC, claims are verified by established certification schemes, rating tools or other third-party systems. Buildings and construction together account for 36 percent of global final energy use and 39 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions when upstream power generation is included. Additionally, people spend 90 percent of their time in buildings, and there is a consistent association between unhealthy indoor environments and negative human health impacts. More →

BCO issues final call for 2020 Awards

BCO issues final call for 2020 Awards

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BCO AwardsSome things in life come around quickly, the changing of the clocks, birthdays, Christmas music in supermarkets – and the British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards deadline. Just four weeks remain for wannabe winners to submit their applications, with the call for entry closing at 5pm on Friday 29th November 2019. The BCO claims that its National Awards sets the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK, attracting over 1,300 property professionals on the evening, as they hope to take home the National Award for their category. Entrants will be judged by a regional panel of judges in the Spring, with each local winner going on to compete for the National title in October. More →

RICS launched new Social Impact Awards

RICS launched new Social Impact Awards

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social impactThe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has today launched a new awards programme. Entries are being sought for the RICS Social Impact Awards, which set out to ‘recognise the positive and transformational contribution that the built environment has on people’s lives across the UK’. According to RICS, the awards will ‘assess the human, social and environmental impact, and the innovation and collaboration, that has gone into development and infrastructure projects in the Commercial, Education, Healthcare, Heritage, Infrastructure, Land & Rural, Leisure, Residential and Student Accommodation sectors’. More →

Best workplaces in UK honoured at BCO Awards

Best workplaces in UK honoured at BCO Awards

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best workplaces in uk BCO AwardsLondon’s 2 Television Centre was celebrated as ‘Best of the Best’ at the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) National Awards in the capital last night, also taking home the ‘Commercial Workplace’ award. The office was joined by six other award winners recognised as leading examples of excellence in office space. More →

Aping our robot overlords, Instagrammable buildings and some other stuff

Aping our robot overlords, Instagrammable buildings and some other stuff

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What happens to people when their skills become obsolete? If you’re not asking yourself this question already, you probably should. A new study from researchers at MIT and Wharton is the basis for this piece in Quartz at Work which considers the implications for what looks like a small technological change and its consequences for a large number of people who had to reset what they offered employers. More →

Perkins and Will to design offices of European Commission

Perkins and Will to design offices of European Commission

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officesThe London studio of designers Perkins+Will working with Madrid-based architects Rafael de La-Hoz has won the competition to design the new European Commission offices in Brussels. The consortium’s design was chosen over nine other entries from international teams in a blind competition for the project. The winning team will oversee the creation of the new complex, which is designed to reinvigorate the central European Quarter of Brussels in line with the plans of the local authorities. Alongside the new European Commission offices, which will house more than 5,000 people, will be public and retail space, a public gallery and landscaped gardens for staff, visitors and the local community. More →

The Age of Blorp, a dead tulip, no muggles allowed and some other stuff

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First the good news. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has rejected the proposals for Foster+Partners’ godawful 300 metre tall ‘Tulip’ viewing tower in London. The reasons given for the refusal from the Mayor’s office include the fact that the thing didn’t represent the sort of “world class architecture that would be required to justify its prominence”. A nicely dressed up way of saying it’s a terrible idea, a terrible piece of architecture and has absolutely no place in London. More →

The scale of the problem for workplace design

The scale of the problem for workplace design 0

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There is a typically telling and intelligent Pixar moment in the film A Bug’s Life in which an already well-lubricated mosquito goes up to a bar and orders a ‘Bloody Mary, O Positive’. The barman plonks a droplet of blood down on the bar. The mosquito sinks his proboscis into it, sucks it down in one go and promptly falls over. The mosquito doesn’t need a glass because that is for animals who have a problem with gravity. For insects, the major force in their lives isn’t gravity, but surface tension. More →

Biophilia in the corporate HQ: an historical perspective

Biophilia in the corporate HQ: an historical perspective

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In recent years, the concept of biophilia and the inclusion of greenery in the working environment has captured the media’s attention, which has depicted it as an important aspect of wellbeing in the workplace, seemingly the crucial indicator of a great office. For this reason, and beyond the superficial or cosmetic use of plants in the office, I would like to analyse the relationship between nature and the corporate world from a historical perspective in an effort to understand the role of greenery within the architecture of the corporate headquarters.

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Lies about work, the limits of wellness programmes, sleepwalking architects and some other shoes

Lies about work, the limits of wellness programmes, sleepwalking architects and some other shoes

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There are lots of reasons to worry about where the World might be taking us, or perhaps where we are taking it. You can take your pick but for me one of the most worrying aspects of contemporary discourse is the obvious dearth of empathy. We might like to think of this as an innate characteristic of human beings, but it really isn’t. It’s something that we also need to learn. This idea is explored in this piece by Hanna Rosin who centres her argument around an analysis by Sara Konrath, an associate professor and researcher at Indiana University who has discovered that our willingness to empathise with people is eroding rapidly, especially for those who we see as ‘other’ or irrelevant. If you want an example of lack of empathy, you can see it in this footage of a banker being taken to task for it in a US committee hearing.

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