The growing urbanisation of work and workplaces

The growing urbanisation of work and workplaces 0

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The question of what makes a city great is an old one but has never been asked more than it is right now. It is usually couched in terms of the urbanisation of large parts of the world but it is important for other reasons too, not least because the urban environment is an increasingly important part of the virtual workplace many of us now inhabit and offices themselves increasingly resemble the agglomeration of spaces we have typically associated with our towns and cities. Recently, McKinsey published a  report into urbanisation, based largely on the usual premise of the proportion of the world’s people involved, but it is an issue that touches all of our lives and in unexpected ways.

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UKGBC issues circular economy guidance for construction clients

UKGBC issues circular economy guidance for construction clients

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UKGBC issues circular economy guidance for construction clientsNew guidance has been launched by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) to assist client organisations to include more ambitious circular design and construction best practices in project briefs for non-domestic projects. It addresses the commercial realities associated with making this practically happen and provides support and evidence to assist clients in setting clear strategies that ensure budget, project timescales and risks are all minimised and mitigated. The guidance may also be helpful for those in the supply chain looking to support construction clients on their journey towards specifying and practically applying circular economy principles.

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Tower in Norway confirmed as tallest timber building in world

Tower in Norway confirmed as tallest timber building in world

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A man looks up at the tallest timber building in the worldThe Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has verified the status of Mjøstårnet, a mixed-use building in Brumunddal, Norway as the World’s tallest timber building. At 85.4 meters, it is also the third-tallest building in Norway and the country’s tallest with mixed functions. This news coincides with the amendment of the CTBUH Height Criteria – the official guidelines upon which tall buildings are measured – to include timber as a recognised structural material. The update was prompted by the recent uptick of tall timber buildings currently under construction or in planning around the world, and the interest of involved stakeholders and the general public in defining what truly constitutes a “timber” structural system.

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We need to change the terms of the open plan office debate

We need to change the terms of the open plan office debate

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Attractive foyer in office building designed by GenslerNew workplace data from the Gensler Research Institute claims to challenge the current narrative surrounding the open plan office ‘debate’ and uncovers the right way to invest in work-focused amenities, including coworking, that result in higher employee engagement, business performance and profit. The 2019 Gensler US Workplace Survey includes the input from more than 6,000 US office workers across a variety of industries and demographics to provide new insight into not only what makes an effective workplace, but the investments companies can make to improve employees’ workplace experience and performance. Reports for the UK, Germany, Latin America and Asia are also available here.

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Getting a better handle on the psychology of office design

Getting a better handle on the psychology of office design

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It was the Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa who described the door handle as ‘the handshake of the building’ in his book The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Buildings greet us in other ways too and we respond to those greetings in very human ways. So much so, in fact, that when we make decisions about the ways in which offices introduce themselves, we should take account of the psychological factors that can mean the difference between a successful or failed office design.  More →

Core Innovation Hub secures funding to transform the way buildings are designed, built and managed

Core Innovation Hub secures funding to transform the way buildings are designed, built and managed

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An alliance of experts specialising in digital, manufacturing, building performance standards and construction technology has been awarded leadership of a new national Hub to drive innovation and technological advances in the UK construction and infrastructure sectors. Following a nationwide competition, Innovate UK has awarded £72 million to the Transforming Construction Alliance to deliver a national Core Innovation Hub, a key element of the Transforming Construction programme. The alliance brings together the specialist expertise of the MTC (Manufacturing Technology Centre), BRE (Building Research Establishment) and the CDBB (University of Cambridge Centre for Digital Built Britain).

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New workplace trends will bring people back to the office, Gensler report suggests

New workplace trends will bring people back to the office, Gensler report suggests

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The next generation of office buildings will draw employees back to the workplace, a new report from architect and design firm Gensler suggests. It suggest that an increased number of employees are set to be drawn back to the office, as the importance and power of face-to-face interaction grows, and office design increasingly caters towards this. This year’s 2018 Design Forecast report, Shaping the Future of Cities (registration required), created by the Gensler Research Institute explores over 200 of the latest trends that are changing cities across the world. The overarching prediction is that design will “put people back at the centre” and become the driving force behind resilient, liveable cities. Buildings that react and respond to the people within it will be critical to the workplace experience, harnessing data to interpret internal workplace data and make intelligent adaptations.

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UKGBC launches new industry task group on net zero carbon buildings

UKGBC launches new industry task group on net zero carbon buildings

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UKGBC launches new industry task group on net zero carbon buildingsA new task group spearheaded by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) being launched which will develop an industry-led definition for net zero carbon buildings. The task group brings together over thirty experts from across the building value chain and is being supported by 12 leading industry bodies. Following the recent IPCC report and the Paris Climate Agreement, worldwide attention has switched to achieving “net zero emissions” to escape the worst impacts of climate change.  To answer this, a global campaign is being led by the World Green Building Council – calling for all new buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2030 and all existing buildings to achieve this standard by 2050. Its aim is to build industry consensus on a definition for net zero carbon buildings, which can then be used to advise project designs, planning requirements and building regulations.

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Biophilic design the key to improving mental health, productivity and stress levels

Biophilic design the key to improving mental health, productivity and stress levels

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An expert panel at this week’s Welcome to the Biophilic Concrete Jungle event in London made the case for incorporating the principles of biophilic design into the workplace, including for health and wellbeing considerations, the promotion of productivity and to address workplace stress and urban disconnection from nature. HOK organised the event.  Panellists included Joyce Chan, Head of Sustainability and Trina Marshall, Regional Leader of Consulting from HOK, Professor Derek Clements-Croome from Reading University, Alexander Bond from Biophilic Design and Dr Ed Suttie from BRE.

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BSRIA publishes list of new and upcoming legislation and guidance for buildings

BSRIA publishes list of new and upcoming legislation and guidance for buildings

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The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) has published a list of the most up to date legislation and guidance that affects the design, construction and management of buildings. While a couple are relevant primarily for domestic buildings, the emphasis is very much on commercial property and will be of interest to a range of professionals. BSRIA members also have access to a legislation service on building and building services legislation and relevant guidance. More →

Bloomberg HQ declared the best new building in the UK as well as best office

Bloomberg HQ declared the best new building in the UK as well as best office

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The humble office doesn’t always feature prominently in RIBA’s annual Stirling Prize list but last night, Bloomberg’s European headquarters was named the UK’s best new building. The 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize judges were unanimous in their decision to award Bloomberg the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize describing it as a “once-in-a-generation project”. RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire says it is a “monumental achievement”.  It’s the second award bestowed on the project in the last week. The BCO has already declared the building the UK’s best workplaceMore →

CIB sets out a roadmap for the creation of intelligent and responsive buildings

CIB sets out a roadmap for the creation of intelligent and responsive buildings

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The International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) has published a free roadmap written by members of the W098 Commission and CIBSE Intelligent Buildings Group, which presents collective ideas for the creation of intelligent and responsive buildings for current needs and the future. Intelligent buildings present a number of challenges, according to the authors. They must be responsive to people’s needs including their health and wellbeing; be sustainable in the use of resources as well as incorporating the most useful parts of the evolving technologies.

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