Green Building Council group to develop guidance on renewable energy

Green Building Council group to develop guidance on renewable energy

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The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced a new task group which it says will develop guidance on the procurement of renewable energy and carbon offsets for the built environment sector. This work will build on UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework, which was developed to ‘build industry consensus on the definition of a net zero carbon building for both construction and operation’. More →

From the archive: the future of work and place in the 21st Century

From the archive: the future of work and place in the 21st Century 0

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future of work and placeHowever much we know about the forces we expect to come into play in our time and however much we understand the various social, commercial, legislative, cultural and economic parameters we expect to direct them, most predictions of the future tend to come out as refractions or extrapolations of the present. This is a fact tacitly acknowledged by George Orwell’s title for 1984, written in 1948, and is always the pinch of salt we can apply to science fiction and most of the predictions we come across. More →

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

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Between the 9th and 13th Centuries, the world’s intellectual centre and the source of much of its progress, discovery and achievement was Baghdad. This was the Muslim Golden Age and at its core was the House of Wisdom, established by the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. At one point, this library housed the largest collection of books on Earth and drew the greatest minds in the world to share ideas, innovate and explore ancient sources of science and wisdom from Greek and Persian texts. Muslim, Jewish, Christian and atheist scholars worked together to advance human understanding until a slow decline culminated with a later Caliph declaring that its diversity of thought should bow to a literal interpretation of the Quran and Hadith.

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BBP and BSRIA publish new soft landings report for property owners

BBP and BSRIA publish new soft landings report for property owners

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Better Buildings Partnership, together with BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association), has today published the joint report: Soft Landings: The Benefits to Commercial Property Owners. The commercial property sector is waking up to the fact that it needs to take responsibility on climate change and there is a broad recognition that a significant gap exists between the design expectations and operational performance of buildings. Part of taking climate action involves minimising this gap, the report’s authors claim. More →

From the archive: A new approach to office design is redefining property

From the archive: A new approach to office design is redefining property 0

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office design At the end of the 18th Century it was becoming apparent that overpopulation was something the human race would need to address for perhaps the first time. Advances in technology and the urbanisation that followed the Industrial Revolution had created a new set of challenges. These were most famously laid out in a 1798 book called An Essay on the Principle of Population, written by an English cleric called Thomas Malthus.

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What the humble avocado can teach us about why we will always work in offices

What the humble avocado can teach us about why we will always work in offices

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From the archive. Originally published in 2013. People have been talking about the death of the office for at least a quarter of a century. Leaving aside the often misleading conflation of flexible working with homeworking that is often involved, the underlying premise of such talk has been the same for all of that time. The main argument is, and always was, that there is an alternative to the tedium, aggravation and expense of travelling to an office solely to work inside its hermetically sealed and fluorescent-lit, blue-carpeted interior alongside people who can drive you spare, before you schlep home again. More →

Building systems must be rethought before a return to the office

Building systems must be rethought before a return to the office

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Preparing an office for safe re-occupation is about much more than turning on the lights.  Once it is agreed who will be working and when, there needs to be a thorough re-evaluation of air conditioning and ventilation systems, according to the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). The Institution, whose membership includes the UKs leading experts on ventilation and air quality in buildings, has produced a series of guides for businesses looking to understand how their workspaces can be re-populated while minimising risk to their staff. More →

From footprint to footfall: how the experiential workplace is set to take over the world

From footprint to footfall: how the experiential workplace is set to take over the world 0

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collaborative_main_dof_v5From the archive. This piece was originally published in 2016. The culture within which we work determines how effective, successful, fulfilled and well we are in both our professional and personal lives. The organisations for which we work – on whatever basis that might be – the physical surroundings they create, and the other places in which we choose to work are now woven into the fabric of our lives as never before. The technological immersion that allows us to work in new ways also means that each day becomes a series of experiences. Because we are free to work wherever and whenever we choose, we are increasingly able to determine the nature of those experiences. For those who design and manage offices this represents both a great opportunity and an unprecedented series of challenges.

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Carbon emissions from buildings fall, but more to be done

Carbon emissions from buildings fall, but more to be done

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Despite a fall in carbon emissions from buildings as a result of the lockdown, businesses can do much more to cut carbon and save costs during the COVID-19 lockdown reveals latest data from Carbon Intelligence which tracked and analysed energy usage from 300 buildings during this period. More →

Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

Facilities managers: you never noticed us because we did such a great job

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Getting all hot under the collar about brushed chrome door furniture is an understandable but classic displacement activity when much of your work is messy, unglamorous and even occasionally dangerous. You work alongside designers and architects and look longingly at their apparent casual trendiness and clean lines, marvelling at the quality of the beech from sustainably managed European forestries (kiln dried to 10-12 per cent moisture content) with which they have specified the side tables in reception. Achingly cool and effortless in a way you feel you’ll never be.

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The facilities manager`s fear of the penalty kick

The facilities manager`s fear of the penalty kick

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facilities managersOn the whole, football is not a great source of inspiration for artists. It certainly doesn’t film well, although there is a small place for it in literature. The likes of Arnold Bennett, Orwell, Sartre and J B Priestley have all drawn from the game some metaphor, philosophical point, social observation or other. There are even some major literary figures who played the game to a decent level, and the curious thing about them is that they were all goalkeepers.

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Tech firms drive explosion in Oxford office costs

Tech firms drive explosion in Oxford office costs

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Office rent in Oxfordshire has shot up an eye-watering 24.3 percent in a year, with Bidwells’ latest research suggesting the need to fast-track new office and laboratory space to fulfil the explosion in demand from growing technology companies. Bidwells recorded more than 1.1 million sq ft of office and laboratory space being sought in Oxfordshire – another all-time high – with just 569,500 sq ft of space available, less than was on offer at the end of 2018. More →

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