Google completes search for London HQ site

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US based technology giant Google has completed the long expected £1bn property deal for a brownfield site in the King’s Cross Regeneration Area in London. The 2.4 acre site is located between King’s Cross and St Pancras rail stations and will be used for the development of an up to 11 storey complex which is due to be complete during 2016. Google will rationalise its two existing London locations into the new office and workplace design aficionados will be expecting great things from a firm that is renowned for its original approach, most recently at its Covent Garden offices designed by Penson.

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Great product designs reflect the changing workplace

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If art holds a mirror up to nature, shouldn’t good workplace design hold a mirror up to the way we work? Well yes, of course. No points for answering no. By definition, the things with which we surround ourselves in the workplace should tell us something that is essentially true about the way we see ourselves and what we do. If it doesn’t, it’s not good design. So when we see award winning products, it should be possible to infer from them what is happening and what is changing in the workplace. More →

Build upon creative success urges design campaign

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The #includedesign campaign has urged policy makers to revisit proposals to include creative subjects in the English Baccalaureate and build upon the success of initiatives like Tech City. This is the ‘brand’ name for the creative technology community around Shoreditch in east London, with more than 3,000 creative tech firms, employing over 50,000 people. Last December the design industry wrote an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education warning him against the omission of Design & Technology and Art & Design from the EBacc. More →

Changes to Construction and Design Regs delayed

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Proposed changes to the Construction and Design Management Regulations (CDM) 2007 have been delayed. The draft changes will now only be presented to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board for consideration in March 2013 at the very earliest. The CDM regulations, apply to all construction work in the UK, comprising construction, alteration, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance, decommissioning, demolition or dismantling, underwent a review last year, with industry practice found to have a significant influence on how the regulations are implemented. More →

Workplace transformation strategies are an essential element of CSR

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Adopting 21st-century workplace practices that meet the needs of employers and employees is an important form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), according to a new corporate real estate (CRE) industry advocacy statement by CoreNet Global. The report finds the nature of work is “changing dramatically, transcending the traditional definitions of productivity to include the concepts of enabling work, employee engagement, employee satisfaction and employee wellness, framed around an emerging ‘work-life support’ business model.” More →

Shard and Galaxy Soho contend for design of the year

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The Design Museum has announced the contenders for the sixth annual Designs of the Year. They include the best designs from around the world in the last 12 months across seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport. Selected by a panel of distinguished nominators, the awards compile the most original and exciting designs, prototypes and designers in the world today – brought together in a Design Museum exhibition from 20 March – 7 July 2013. More →

Greenest commercial building in the world opens for business

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The Bullitt Center, proclaimed as the greenest, most energy efficient commercial building in the world, is opening in Seattle. The goal of the Bullitt Center is to change the way buildings are designed, built and operated to improve long-term environmental performance and promote broader implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and other green building technologies. Tenant are now moving into the six-storey, 50,000 square-foot building located at the intersection of Capitol Hill and the Central District in Seattle, Washington. More →

Urban design ideas needed for Vauxhall missing link

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RIBA has announced the launch of a new international design competition for Vauxhall on London’s South Bank. The Business Improvement District (BID) for Vauxhall is seeking ideas to improve and enhance the public realm, providing the ‘Missing Link’ between the New US Embassy Quarter and the South Bank’s cultural hub. The competition is open to architects, landscape designers, urban designers and students worldwide. As with the New York ‘High Line’ competition multi-disciplinary design teams are encouraged. More →

Why standing up in the office can help you lose weight

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Office workers can burn an extra 144 calories per day by standing rather than sitting at their desk, says a leading expert on exercise and health. Applying his knowledge of human physiology, Dr John Buckley, from Chester University’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition, has calculated that working at a standing desk for three hours a day will burn eight pounds of human fat in the course of a year, with no change to your job or leisure time activities.  More →

Seeing stars, new guidance on reducing obtrusive lighting

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RSL_slideThe Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) part of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has published its new SLL Guide to Limiting Obtrusive Light, which looks at ways of controlling obtrusive light and the design implications for the planning, design and specification of exterior lighting schemes.
While outdoor lighting is important for people’s work, safety and leisure, it can cause issues of sky glow, light trespass or glare. Obtrusive light can affect health if sleep is disturbed, and affect the visibility of the stars and the behaviour of flora and fauna. More →

Show stomping change as Maze prison site plans approved

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The notorious Maze Long Kesh prison site in Northern Ireland where the ‘H’ block hunger strikes took place is to be redeveloped into an international standard showground designed by London-based firm Studio Egret West.
The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) was granted planning permission to relocate the Balmoral Show, (Ireland’s largest Agricultural and Food Show) to the site of the former Maze prison, after the Balmoral show outgrew the Kings Hall site where it has been held for 100 years. More →

It pays to check the green credentials of manufacturers

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Generation from Knoll

Generation from Knoll

There is a theory that when companies talk about issues such as corporate social responsibility they are doing so because it helps them to achieve their business goals. This is the coldly rational thing to do according to people like free market guru Milton Friedman who argues that companies should not actively pursue altruistic ends unless that pursuit is ultimately in the interest of their shareholders. As Friedman puts it: ‘Hypocrisy is virtuous when it serves the bottom line. Moral virtue is immoral when it does not’.

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