BBC announces further moves out of London to reduce cost of property estate

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BBC announces more moves out of London to MediaCity

MediaCityUK in Salford

The BBC has announced plans to move more of its BBC teams out of Media Village, London W12, to bases in Salford, Birmingham, Caversham and other buildings in London. It’s part of the corporation’s strategy to reduce the size and cost of its property estate, invest more of the Licence Fee in programmes, and build its presence outside the capital. Around 120 Future Media roles and 102 Technology roles will move to Salford during 2015, joining around 3,000 colleagues already based at MediaCityUK. Anne Bulford, Managing Director Finance and Operations, said: “We are well advanced with reducing the amount of space the BBC occupies in London W12. Spending less on these buildings will enable us to invest more of the Licence Fee in programmes, as well as continuing to build up our presence out of London, ultimately bringing us closer to audiences. BBC Worldwide is due to leave the Media Centre early in 2015, so we are developing proposals on how to accommodate the remaining occupants and free up this building to release savings.” More →

Mace to oversee Old Admiralty refurbishment for DfE occupation

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Old admiralty building refurbishmentAs a direct result of the Cabinet Office’s programme to consolidate and modernise the government estate, the Grade II listed Old Admiralty Building is to be designed and refurbished for the Department for Education (DfE).  Mace is to oversee the project, which will see the modernisation of 18,000 sq. metres of office space to provide space for over 1,600 staff, who are currently working in leasehold accommodation. Old Admiralty Building (OAB) is currently occupied by staff from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, who as part of the estate rationalisation strategy, will be consolidated into the Foreign Office’s King Charles Street Office in 2015. Refurbishment work is targeted to commence at the OAB late in 2015, following a design procurement process, including liaison with Westminster City Council planning and English Heritage, with the project due for completion in 2017. More →

First female President in RICS’ history will focus on diversity

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RICS' first female president in 146-history to focus on diversityThe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has confirmed the first female President in the Institution’s 146 year history. New President of RICS Louise Brooke-Smith will give her inaugural speech today (1 July) during RICS’ Governing Council meeting in London. Alongside her presidency of RICS, Brooke-Smith will continue to be involved with the Birmingham based planning and development consultancy, Brooke Smith Planning. RICS accredits over 118,000 qualified professionals across the globe in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. She succeeds outgoing RICS President, Michael Newey and during her year-long presidency, will focus on three core areas; diversity, Africa and her professional specialisms, planning and land economics. Commenting on her diversity plans for the year Louise Brooke-Smith, RICS President said: “Chartered Surveying is a globally recognised profession, and we must ensure that it is open to all, whatever their background, or gender. More →

Workplace wellbeing increasingly incorporated into office design

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Wellbeing considerations being incorporated into workplace designMore UK companies are proactively designing their workspaces with wellbeing in mind as the health and wellbeing of office workers soars up the list of business priorities. This is according to Bostjan Ljubic, the newly appointed head of Steelcase in the UK and Ireland, who believes the economic impact of employee wellbeing, plus greater understanding of the issue is now propelling companies to develop and enhance their engagement with their workforces, as they increase their post-recession drive to attract and retain high quality staff. “The issue of wellbeing has developed very significantly in recent times,” said Ljubic. “Businesses that are focusing clearly on the issue are doing so because they have identified the potential emotional, financial and competitive advantage. The mountain of research on wellbeing points very clearly to it being in a company’s interests to take the matter seriously.” More →

Acquisition of Dublin office site marks strengthening demand in Ireland’s capital

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Dublin acquisition marks strengthening demand for office spaceA 1.7-acre office development site in Dublin has been acquired for €40.5 million by Development Securities in a joint venture with Colony Capital and two leading Irish commercial developers. The site already has existing planning consent for the development of a 166,000 sq. ft. grade A office building which would replace an existing five storey, vacant office building that currently occupies the site. Located on Burlington Road, within Dublin’s prime commercial core, the office development will be marketed for pre-lets over the near-term, with initial site works expected to commence within the next 6 months and the building’s completion by in mid to late 2016. The move reflects a wave of office development in the Irish capital, where, according to a report by CBRE Ireland, a complete lack of office development over the last three years has manifested itself in supply shortages of Grade A office accommodation in core locations.

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Where office workers would really like to work? Outdoors.

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office workers outdoorsLast year, we shared research from Overbury which suggested that what most people really wanted from their offices was for them to be a lot more like Starbucks. Now new research from Steelcase Solutions claims that what people would really like is to be working in bucolic splendour, or at least an indoor approximation of it. The survey of around 800 UK based office workers carried out by IPSOS claims that people would feel more optimistic about their work if natural light, more control of temperatures and informal, dynamic spaces were core elements of their working environments, which coincidentally are also important factors in fostering wellness and productivity. In addition, the authors of the report  claim that more offices in future will apply biophilic design principles to offer staff a daily glimpse (or illusion) of the great outdoors. More →

New BBC Wales headquarters will be less expensive to run

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Ageing facilities prompts BBC to move Wales headquartersThe BBC is to move its main headquarters in Wales to a new, purpose-built broadcast centre in Cardiff city centre by 2018. BBC Cymru Wales, currently based in Llandaff in north west Cardiff, says it plans to relocate to a new 150,000sq ft. development in Capital Square – on the site of the current bus station at the northern entrance of Cardiff Central rail station. The decision follows a detailed three-year study prompted by the ageing facilities at the current base in Llandaff and the pressing need to modernise the outdated and unreliable technology. Options to upgrade the current site were ruled out as they were costlier, more disruptive and would have taken longer to deliver. The new centre, which is being designed by Fosters & Partners, will be roughly half the size of the current premises and less expensive to run. More →

Deloitte increases flexible working rights to attract future female leaders

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Deloitte increases flexible working rights to attract future female leadersAs employers prepare for new flexible working legislation, which comes into place at the end of this month; Deloitte UK has announced it is to allow its 12,000 employees more say in where, when and how they work. The firm has introduced a range of new and adapted, formal and informal agile working arrangements to incite a change in the day-to-day culture at the UK firm. Deloitte already offers all employees the right to request a formal flexible working arrangement; it will now also enable them to request a block of four weeks unpaid leave each year, without reason or justification. These arrangements support its wider measures that encourage a more agile workplace, including the introduction of collaborative and adaptable working spaces, an environment that supports open conversations about agile working and improvements to technology that make it feasible. More →

Loss making design and build service withdrawn by MITIE Group

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MITIE withdraws design and buildDiversified facilities management services business Mitie has announced it is no longer to provide design and build services in the energy sector and will no longer provide mechanical and electrical (M&E) services. It has announced in its preliminary results for the year to March 2014 that the withdrawal of both operations will incur substantial losses – £25.4 million and £22.1 million respectively – so it will now concentrate more closely on its core and more lucrative facilities management markets instead where it sees the ‘potential for growth and [to] meet our margin targets’.  While the firm reports that a number of design and build projects had experienced delays and cost overruns which led to substantial losses, results for the whole of MITIE group show pre-tax profit up 4.3 per cent to £113.3m with revenue up 8.2 per cent to £2.14 billion.

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Ska rating is shaping the future of sustainable office design

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t-cmg-01-sideWe all know the ways in which we can ‘do our bit’ at home – turn off the lights when you leave a room, only boil as much water as you need, recycle as much as you can. At work however, it can be all too easy to forget and ignore the impact we have on our environment. Intelligent and inspired office design can not only increase productivity and employee wellbeing, but also be sustainable and provide financial benefits as a result. Although there were established tools for assessing the environmental impact of whole buildings, such as BREEAM and LEED, the certification of fit-outs, especially on existing buildings, had previously been unsatisfactory. To address this, the Ska Rating method was developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

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New collaborative office design for Petronas HQ in Italy

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Petronas 2 300dpi cropBuilding work has begun on the new 17,000 sq. m. European Research & Development Headquarters for Petronas Lubricants, the global lubricants manufacturing and marketing arm of Petronas, the Malaysian oil and gas company. The building has been designed by architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan. The office – located in Santena, just outside Turin, Italy – is part of a major investment into Petronas’ overall research capability and will be home to a community of several hundred scientists, researchers and new product developers. It is expected to play an important role in supporting Petronas’ development and refinement of fuels and lubricants with a particular emphasis on an office design that encourages collaborative work.

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Gallery: Interiors Group completes office fit-out at Instinctif Partners

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140306INS-20 smThe Interiors Group has completed a project for the design and fit-out of the relocated offices for Instinctif Partners, an international business communications consultancy now situated at  65 Gresham Street, London. The relocation coincided with the launch of Instinctif Partners’ new name (having previously been known as College Group) so the new design became an expression of the new identity. The office fit-out project includes joinery, the installation of a media wall, bespoke feature walls, reception desk and lighting. The flooring consists of porcelain tiles and carpet from Interface.  The backlit reception desk displays the client’s twelve corporate colours on rotation. Leather seating was specified for the visitors’ waiting area. The open plan office is designed as a circular newsroom with a high table in the heart of the space highlighted by an oversized dome pendant. The dining area has been fitted out with LED screens and furnished in white. More →

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