Mixed use scheme’s sustainable power supply gets vice-presidential seal of approval

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Quadrant 3 at Regent Street boasts space technology The Quadrant 3 redevelopment of offices, retail, residential, restaurant and hotel space in the Regent Street Quadrant in London has become the first in the UK to install an efficient and sustainable fuel cell that draws its power from the same technology used to provide energy to space shuttles during flights. It’s so impressed former US Vice President Al Gore he’s headquartered his sustainable investment firm, Generation Investment Management at Quadrant 3. The building’s sustainable design was an important factor in the firm’s decision to move to the scheme with Mr Gore commenting that the developer, The Crown Estate demonstrated a “sophisticated commitment to sustainability”. More →

RIBA reports a surge in confidence and headcount for UK architects

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The good news keeps on coming for the UK’s architects. Following a number of reports of increased activity in the sector earlier in the year, the latest RIBA Future Trends survey reports that architects are increasingly confident about their future workloads. The Index used by RIBA to measure confidence rose by four points in September to +26. The number represents the difference between those expecting an increase in work and those expecting  decrease. Encouragingly, the increase in confidence was seen across all of the sectors surveyed and in every part of the UK. The survey also recorded an increase in headcount in architectural practices as firms gear up to meet the demands of their increased order book.

AHMM chosen for new Met Police headquarters project

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New New Scotland Yard

Courtesy of Simon Heath

The firm of architects chosen for Google’s enormous new North London headquarters project as well as the redevelopment of the BBC’s Television Centre has been chosen to design the new home of the Metropolitan Police in Whitehall. The decision to award the job to Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) was announced by the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) is selling New Scotland Yard, and moving to modern offices at the iconic Curtis Green building on the Victoria Embankment in 2015. This new building will then revert to being called Scotland Yard.

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Two major new London fit-out contracts for ISG

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Colegreave HouseMultinational fit-out and construction firm ISG has won a contract for the fit-out of clothing retailer Arcadia’s UK headquarters near Oxford Street in London and is believed to have won a £50 million contract to fit out the ‘Baby Shard’ at London Bridge for Rupert Murdoch’s News UK. The £32 million Arcadia project for the reinvention of Colegreave House, designed by Sheppard Robson, involves the fit-out of four storeys and 155,000 sq. ft. of the existing building. Staff at the firm responsible for High Street brands such as Dorothy Perkins, Top Shop and Burton will remain in situ for the duration of the phased project which includes the installation of glazed roofs over the atria at the heart of the building to provide new community areas for staff.

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Balfour Beatty appointed main contractor for St James’s Market scheme

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St James scheme appoints Balfour Beatty as main contractorThe Crown Estate and Oxford Properties have announced the completion of a joint venture agreement to finance the £320 million St James’s Market scheme around London’s Regent Street area. Balfour Beatty has been appointed as the main contractor, with work due to start on site in the next month. The St James’s Market scheme is set to deliver 210,000 ft2 of office and 50,000 ft2 of retail and restaurant space. Bob Clark, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Major Projects division said: “As a global infrastructure group we will be bringing our experience in delivering high end commercial properties to the scheme and utilising our investment in 4D information modelling technology and modular construction capability to ensure perfect delivery.”

New microsite shares sustainability knowledge with the built environment

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New microsite shares sustainability expertise in the built environment

One of the biggest design and construction firms in the UK, BAM Construct UK, has launched a sustainability microsite to share its green building knowledge. The website is broken into six key performance indicators: sustainable design; carbon; resource efficiency; sourcing responsibly; community; and health and wellbeing. BAM Director of Sustainability Nitesh Magdani said: “The sustainability team at BAM includes a range of professionals from site managers and environmentalists to architects. We advise our teams on issues including sustainable design; waste and environmental management; community engagement; LEED and BREEAM certification; Post Occupancy Evaluations; and air quality issues.” More →

Planning permission granted for development at East London Crossrail site

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Poplar Business ParkPlanning permission has been granted for a mixed use scheme including 58,000 sq. ft. of office space at the Poplar Business Park next to the new Crossrail station just North of Canary Wharf in East London. Crossrail is the South East’s most important infrastructure project linking commuters in the Home Counties and Essex with central London and will complete in 2018. Jamie Hopkins, the CEO of developers Workspace claimed, “It is a significant redevelopment in an area that will be experiencing a lot of change over the coming years with the arrival of Crossrail at Canary Wharf.  Poplar Business Park will be a thriving residential and business location in the heart of one of London’s future hotspots.”

Law firm defies sector’s West End exodus with office relocation

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Davenport Lyons AtriumThe relocation by law firm Davenport Lyons from London’s Mayfair to its new offices at 6 Agar Street in the West End next month, means it is one of the last remaining West End-based law firms – most have moved out of the area due to the increasingly exorbitant costs. Davenport Lyons, which has been based in its current Old Burlington Street location for 23 years, says it remains in the area to form a “legal hub bridging the gap between the financial institutions and wealth in Mayfair, and the commercial banking sector in the city and Canary Wharf.” The new office space is also designed to deliver a semi cellular space solution, reflecting the next phase in the law firm’s evolution. More →

Unilever extends BT partnership to further more sustainable ways of working

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Unilever extends BT partnership to further sustainable and flexible working plan

Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, which includes Wall’s Ice Cream, Dove beauty products, Lipton and Knorr brands has announced a three year extension to its IT outsourcing contract with BT. It’s part of the firm’s Sustainable Living Plan to grow its business, while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its social impact. BT, which first won its first contract with the Anglo-Dutch company in November 2002, delivers a fully integrated network providing voice, data, video and mobility services to the company’s 173,000 employees across nearly 100 countries. This includes the delivery of collaborative services such as audio-conferencing and video-conferencing, which is helping Unilever introduce more sustainable ways of working. More →

Arup helps ensure tallest tower in Latin America is earthquake resistant

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Torre Reforma in Mexico City

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Arup has disclosed it is currently working on five tall buildings in Mexico City, the most notable of which is the Torre Reforma, a mixed use building, which will be the tallest tower in Latin America. According to the tower’s architect Benjamin Romano, one of the greatest challenges has been in ensuring the building is designed for Mexico City’s high seismic activity. When completed in late 2015  the building will be able to withstand a 2500yr seismic event while achieving a life safety performance level; making it one the most secure buildings in the region.  More →

Hospitality giant receives second LEED certificate for sustainable HQ

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 Wyndham Worldwide HQ wins second LEED silver award

Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, which counts the Travelodge and Ramada chains amongst its brands has received a second silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for its New Jersey-based headquarters. One of the green initiatives was the introduction of a sustainable purchasing policy that encourages the purchase of ongoing items such as lamps, electronic goods and furniture, to be environmentally friendly, conserve natural resources, minimize waste and reduce toxicity. More →

News Corp move marks largest Central London office letting agreement in 8 years

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The Place

In the largest letting in Central London to be agreed in the last eight years, News Corp is to move its entire operation to all 17 floors of the Place, next door to the Shard at London Bridge Quarter. The Place, like The Shard, is designed by Renzo Piano and comprises 430,000 sq ft of high quality offices, much of which utilises natural light. The move will see staff of News UK, Dow Jones and HarperCollins housed together for the first time once relocation to the new site begins in the summer of 2014.

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