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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“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.” Now 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 the City of London 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 →

British Council for Offices announces names of best workplaces in UK

British Council for Offices announces names of best workplaces in UK

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Bloomberg’s London HQ (left) came out on top at the British Council for Offices (BCO) National Awards in the UK’s capital last night, taking home both the ‘Best of the Best’ and the ‘Corporate Workplace’ awards. The office was joined by five other award winners recognised for excellence in office space. The BCO’s respected National Awards programme sets out to recognise top quality office design and functionality, with the objective of setting the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK. The awards dinner attracted over 1,200 players from the office sector to celebrate the best-in-class talent. Winners from the 2018 Regional Awards programme attended the event at London’s Grosvenor House, hoping to take home the National Award for their category.

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BRE announces plans for £10m innovation hub building

BRE announces plans for £10m innovation hub building

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UK based building research body BRE has announced plans for a new research centre building at its campus in Hertfordshire. The new Open Innovation Hub will be built on the current site of a redundant and soon to be demolished 1960’s office block, known as Building 4, at the organisation’s Garston base. BRE says the new building, designed by architects AHMM will create a national and international centre for research and innovation in emerging sectors such as digital, connected and smart built environment. The four-floor 35,000 sq ft building will offer high-quality incubation and SME acceleration space to facilitate collaboration between the research base, large firms and knowledge-intensive SMEs. BRE aims to see the £10m build project achieve a BREEAM outstanding environmental accreditation. Once finished it will create 150 jobs and BRE also hopes to attract as many as 25 new firms to its Enterprise Zone.

London pledge to make all new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030

London pledge to make all new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030

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London pledges to make all new buildings zero carbon by 2030London has joined 18 other cities around the world, including Paris, New York and Tokyo, in a landmark commitment to make all new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030. Regulations and planning policy will also target existing buildings to make them net-zero carbon by 2050. Net zero carbon buildings are buildings which reduce all energy use as far as technically possible, with remaining demand met through renewables. The commitment has been orchestrated by C40 cities, a global group of major cities committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level. As city authorities do not have direct control over all the buildings in their area, the commitment includes a pledge to work together with the private sector as well as state and regional governments to drive the transformation. This pledge from cities is part of the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment for businesses, cities, states and regions.

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Coworking trends are influencing design and layout of central London offices

Coworking trends are influencing design and layout of central London offices

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Coworking trends are influencing design and layout of central London offices

The rise of coworking and flexible working are affecting the design and layout of central London offices, with many traditional offices being given makeovers to reflect current trends in wellness and connectivity. And according to Cluttons’ Central London Office Market Outlook for Spring 2018, the Central London office market continues to experience a comparatively low vacancy rate – currently standing at 5.9 percent percent well below the 15 year average of just under 8 percent, which is more or less the same following Brexit in mid 2016. In comparison, following the peak of the last cycle at the end of 2007, the overall vacancy rate in Central London moved out from 7 percent to an average of 8.2 percent in the following two years. Landlords have been generally far more responsive to the recent downturn than in previous cycles; not only in relation to rent but also lease flexibility, together with a willingness to cap service charges and dilapidations with older style buildings. Alongside this, the volume of flexible office space in London rose by 20 percent last year as smaller firms move into serviced or managed offices.

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Canada leads the way in worldwide surge in adoption of green buildings

Canada leads the way in worldwide surge in adoption of green buildings

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Major metropolitan office markets across the globe are seeing a significant increase in the adoption of green building certification programmes, according to the inaugural International Green Building Adoption Index (IGBAI) – a study by CBRE and Maastricht University. The study reports that 18.6 percent of space in 10 markets across Australia, Canada and Europe is now certified green versus just 6.4 percent in 2007. Canadian cities set the pace, with 51.6 percent of the space in Vancouver (pictured) and 51.0 percent in Toronto holding green certifications. This is particularly notable for Vancouver, as the city has a formal initiative and action plan – “Greenest City 2020” – toward becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. In Vancouver and Toronto, green buildings trends will continue to drive both new development and redevelopment of office product. In Vancouver, more than half of the 1.5 million-square feet of product under development is being built to high green certification standards, while much of Toronto’s existing class A product is undergoing intensive capital improvement projects that include upgrades aimed at earning green certifications as well.

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Report sets out business case for health and wellbeing in green buildings

Report sets out business case for health and wellbeing in green buildings

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The World Green Building Council has launched a new report highlighting what it suggests are the tangible economic benefits of green buildings and the improved levels of occupant satisfaction when companies implement new health, wellbeing and productivity features in existing green structures. Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Wellbeing in Green Building presents case studies of 11 facilities around the globe that have one or more green certifications including LEED, Green Star and BREEAM. The report evaluates health and wellbeing features that were integrated into the facilities, such as enhanced fresh air ventilation, acoustic privacy, increase of daylight penetration and use of biophilic design elements such as green walls and extensive indoor plants.

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Reimagining the built environment would transform people’s lives, claims Design Council

Reimagining the built environment would transform people’s lives, claims Design Council

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The Design Council and Social Change UK has launched its Healthy Placemaking report which highlights the outcomes from their survey of over 600 built environment practitioners across the UK including architects, town planners and urban designers. The aim of the survey was to gain insight and understanding of their experiences across multiple areas on the creation of a healthy built environment. The latest research from Design Council and Social Change UK claims that healthy placemaking can ‘sit outside mainstream UK housing, public health and placemaking policy. It continues to be seen as a cost to local development rather than an investment, and when considered alongside the plethora of local planning priorities and frameworks it often gets overlooked’.

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New Liverpool HQ of the Royal College of Physicians set to be one of the UK’s healthiest workplaces

New Liverpool HQ of the Royal College of Physicians set to be one of the UK’s healthiest workplaces

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Plans for the new northern headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians have been unveiled this morning at MIPIM. The 160,000 sq ft building, currently in development at the Knowledge Quarter, Liverpool will be one of the healthiest workplaces in the UK for mental and physical wellbeing and among the first to achieve the international WELL standard of modern building design, according to its designers. The £35m northern building will be known officially as The Spine, taking its name from a staircase on its north elevation that resembles human vertebrae. The building has been designed by AHR Architects.

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Women working in construction sector three times more likely to miss out on promotion

Women working in construction sector three times more likely to miss out on promotion

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Women working in construction sector three times more likely to miss out on promotion

The built environment still has some way to go to achieve gender parity a new report suggests, as women in construction are paid up to 45 percent less than men and are three times more likely to miss out on promotion than men due to perceived gender discrimination. According to the survey by Randstad of more than 5,500 construction workers and 540 employers across all job functions and levels – 75 percent of those passed over for a more senior role were women compared to 25 percent men. The findings  suggests women in the industry typically are not being given the same opportunities to progress as their male counterparts even though almost every respondent (93 percent) said having a female manager either wouldn’t affect their way of working or would in fact have a positive impact. More →

Built environment needs to address the talent gap to make the digital transition says WEF

Built environment needs to address the talent gap to make the digital transition says WEF

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Built environment needs to address the talent gap to make digital transition says WEFThe construction industry needs new talent and skills to help in the adoption of new technologies to meet the challenges of digital transformation. It must also become more diverse, including increasing the percentage of women in the industry. These are the recommendations of a new report from the World Economic Forum, developed in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Shaping the Future of Construction: An Action Plan to solve the Industry’s Talent Gap. The report argues that the Infrastructure and Urban Development (IU) industry has failed to innovate as quickly as other sectors, resulting in stagnating productivity and negative effects on the economy, society and the environment. An ongoing industry-wide shortage of qualified workers is among the key reasons for this issue. It has undermined project management and execution, adversely affecting cost, timelines and quality. It also has impeded the adoption of new digital technologies, such as building information modelling (BIM), automated equipment and cloud-based collaboration tools, which could improve productivity. The report provides twelve key actions which needs to be implemented to close the structural talent gap of the construction industry.

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Green buildings provide billions of dollars in additional benefits, claims Harvard study

Green buildings provide billions of dollars in additional benefits, claims Harvard study

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A new sponsored study from researchers at Harvard University claims that green buildings deliver billions of dollars of social and health benefits beyond those associated with reduced energy consumption. The researchers examined a subset of green-certified buildings over a 16-year period in six countries: the U.S., China, India, Brazil, Germany and Turkey. The study identified nearly $6 billion in combined health and climate benefits. The results are published in the peer reviewed Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.

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