Mixed use development at Victoria Station named as the UK’s worst new building

Mixed use development at Victoria Station named as the UK’s worst new building

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A mixed use scheme featuring two prominent towers next to London’s Victoria station has been named the UK’s worst new building from the last year. The Nova Victoria development, designed by PLP Architecture, was awarded the 2017 Carbuncle Cup – an annual competition organised by architecture website Building Design (BD) that recognises the ugliest buildings completed in the UK over the previous year. The project was named as winner of this year’s unwanted accolade by a panel of judges comprising BD editor Thomas Lane and assistant editor Elizabeth Hopkirk, as well as Twentieth Century Society director Catherine Croft and urbanist David Rudlin who also took into account comments from readers.

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New eco coworking centre breaks ground in Oxfordshire

New eco coworking centre breaks ground in Oxfordshire

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Construction has begun on a new zero carbon business centre at the Elmsbrook development in Bicester, Oxfordshire. PERCH, Elmsbrook is one of two new coworking spaces brought to Bicester by Cherwell District Council (CDC) and is subject to support from European Regional Development Funding. The 1,400 sqm building will span three floors and accommodate up to 125 people. The council claims it will be unique in ‘providing local office space for individuals and small businesses in a highly sustainable building, meeting the standards of the North West Bicester Eco Town’ scheme.

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Mayor launches initiative to enhance the design of Londons buildings and spaces

Mayor launches initiative to enhance the design of Londons buildings and spaces 0

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has this week launched his Good Growth by Design programme to ‘enhance the design of buildings and neighbourhoods for all Londoners’. In a speech at the London School of Economics, the Mayor spoke of his vision for the future of London as the city’s population heads towards 10 million people. In what is claimed to be his first major intervention on this topic, the Mayor is calling on London’s architectural, design and built environment professions to help realise his vision of London as a city that is socially and economically inclusive as well as environmentally sustainable. According to the Mayor’s office, the Good Growth programme will leave a legacy of world-class buildings, outstanding public realm and large-scale regeneration for Londoners of the future.

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3D printing and Virtual Reality could reduce waste in design and construction says BCO

3D printing and Virtual Reality could reduce waste in design and construction says BCO 0

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3D printing and Virtual Reality could reduce waste in design and construction

Digital technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D printing could help reduce waste during a design and construction project, suggests a new report from the British Council for Offices (BCO). “Virtual Reality and 3D Printing – Reducing waste in office construction through new technology” reviews the existing applications of these technologies and their ability to mitigate waste during the design and construction process. The report, which is the result of a collaboration between an international team of multi-disciplinary experts also identifies opportunities and challenges for the technology in the future. According to the authors, if the UK construction industry is to come anywhere close to achieving the ambitious targets set out in the Government’s 2025 construction strategy there needs to be a sensible re-think about how we design, procure and construct buildings in the future; and two technologies that are now reaching maturity and could help are VR and 3D printing.

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What will the UK General Election mean for the workplace? Some experts respond

What will the UK General Election mean for the workplace? Some experts respond 0

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Any residual feelings of certainty that anybody in the UK may have had about the country’s future following last year’s Brexit vote, will have had them pretty much eradicated by last Thursday’s General Election result. However, we must try to make sense of things for society and the wider economy as well as specific facets of it, such as the world of work. The whole thing looks like the pig’s ear that it is, of course. Fortunately, as some experts have already argued, there are some reasons to see some positive outcomes, including a soft (or softer) Brexit and the chance of a more positive approach to workplace rights, now that the Government needs to maintain a broader consensus. The fear or hope that the UK would lighten its already soft touch approach to workplace legislation would seem at least to be less well founded.

 

 

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Every building on the planet must be net zero carbon by 2050 claims World Green Building Council

Every building on the planet must be net zero carbon by 2050 claims World Green Building Council 0

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The building sector, which is responsible for global emissions roughly equivalent to those of the whole of China, must operate at “net zero carbon” by 2050 if global warming is to remain under two degrees Celsius, the limit enshrined in the Paris Agreement. According to a new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), there are currently 500 net zero commercial buildings and 2,000 net zero homes around the globe (well under 1 per cent of all buildings worldwide), requiring a monumental and coordinated effort by businesses, governments and nongovernmental organisations to bring the building sector within striking distance of Paris Agreement targets. The report defines ‘net zero buildings’ as highly energy-efficient buildings which generate or supply the energy they need to operate from renewable sources to achieve net zero carbon emissions, and lays out specific actions that the private sector, governments and NGOs can take to ensure all new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and that all existing buildings are renovated to operate at net zero carbon by 2050.

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Design Commission publishes report on how design shapes people’s behaviour

Design Commission publishes report on how design shapes people’s behaviour 0

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A new report from the Design Commission in partnership with the BRE Trust is the latest to outline how the design of the built environment influences the way people think and behave. The report has been published following an inquiry chaired by Baroness Whitaker and Professor Alan Penn, Dean of The Bartlett, University College London and is endorsed by Richard Rogers and Kevin McCloud. It calls on central and local government to escape their muddled thinking on the matter and instead create a policy framework that acknowledges the link between design and behaviour. It also suggests that more private sector organisations should wake up to the link and do more than merely comply with their legislative obligations.

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BIFM issues new guidance for FMs working on BIM projects

BIFM issues new guidance for FMs working on BIM projects 0

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BIFM issues new guidance for FMs working on BIM projectsA new guide for facilities management professionals working with clients on BIM construction projects has been issued by the BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management). Employer’s Information Requirements is a practical 47-page document to support clients using BIM (Building Information Modelling) to advise clients on how to specify their exact requirements for the design and construction phase of a built asset through to its full life-time operation. The purpose of the EIR is to support both FM professionals and clients by providing a template which can be edited and amended by the client or facilities manager to meet individual requirements for the project. Its guidance follows the publication of BIFM’s Operational Readiness Guide For Facilities Managers published in April 2016. Since April 2016, construction projects commissioned by Central Government have been required to use BIM for their procurement and delivery.

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New guide to creating an accessible and inclusive built environment

New guide to creating an accessible and inclusive built environment 0

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The Construction Industry Council has published a new guide to creating an accessible and inclusive environment.  The guide sets out six principles as suggested by the Office for Disability Issues to ‘guide, support and motivate’ industry professionals. The guide is an initiative that emerged from the Built Environment Professional Education Project – a government project that has been championed by CIC. The aim is to build on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by helping to generate a change in the way skills related to inclusive design are taught in the UK. The aim is that all built environment professionals will receive mandatory, quality teaching about inclusive design so that they can help create inclusive building, places and spaces for future generations.

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Google reveals latest designs for new California headquarters

Google reveals latest designs for new California headquarters 0

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Google has revealed the latest designs for its new Mountain View office campus, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studio, the partnership that is also collaborating on Google’s new London offices. This is the third iteration of the designs which will now be presented at a public hearing pending approval by Mountain View City Council. The designs of the purpose built office complex and campus maintain the tent like structures from previous ideas as well as a heavily landscaped environment. The public spaces, pavilions, cafes, research labs, event spaces will be at ground level with offices on a mezzanine level. The new design for the roof incorporates curved metal shapes in grey which will discourage birds from flying into the structure.

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Barcelona’s iconic tower deserted by tenants who see it as impractical and ‘bad luck’

Barcelona’s iconic tower deserted by tenants who see it as impractical and ‘bad luck’ 0

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Visitors to Barcelona may still see Jean Nouvel’s iconic, phallic Agbar Tower as a welcome sight on the city’s skyline, but the building is less loved by its owners and tenants according to a report in Spanish newspaper El Pais. Inaugurated in 2005, the 34-storey skyscraper has been sold twice in three years as tenants have vacated and plans drawn up to either refurbish it or turn it into a hotel. The latest plan from new owners Merlin Properties is to spend €13 million on a refurbishment that will include a multi-occupier space for companies working in Barcelona’s thriving tech sector, centred on the Innovation District that is home to the Torre Agbar. The refurb aims to deal with the most common complaints from previous tenants which, according to the report, include a dysfunctional doughnut shaped layout, poor sightlines, inappropriate location, small windows with no view, inadequate shutters and an unwillingness to work in a building with such an overwhelming brand identity. Image: Ralf Roletschek 

The Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place is available now

The Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place is available now 0

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wp8-cover-artThe Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place is now available to view online. In this edition… Neil Usher, Workplace Director at Sky offers a first hand account of the story behind the firm’s remarkable new offices at the Osterley campus in London; Kate Langan explores some of the implications of the growing digitisation of the workplace; Jim Ware looks at how the challenge of creating effective meeting spaces is now a strategic concern; John Blackwell tries to make sense of falling productivity levels when we have all the tools and know how to increase it; David Woolf makes the case for designing better collaborative spaces; Mark Eltringham looks forward to an almost entirely unpredictable future for workplaces in the 21st Century; and Karen Plum and Andrew Mawson set out the factors that drive knowledge worker productivity. The PDF edition is available to view and download here. Or view online here.

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