Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

Progress depends on heterodox thought and difficult questions

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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Stronger profit margins and job opportunities as demand for facilities management increases

Stronger profit margins and job opportunities as demand for facilities management increases

facilities managementWorkloads, profit margins and employment opportunities are set to continue to grow for the year ahead due to increasing demand for facilities management services, according to the latest RICS UK Facilities Management Market Survey. More →

Digital twin and other tech to benefit from landmark $3.5trillion infrastructure package

Digital twin and other tech to benefit from landmark $3.5trillion infrastructure package

Siemens digital twinGrowth in key tech sectors is set to rocket after a landmark $1 trillion infrastructure package bill passed in the US Senate, part of a comprehensive $3.5 trillion plan within President Biden’s post-COVID Build Back Better initiative and paralleling the UN’s Race To Zero campaign. There had been an upward trend in share prices for companies in several tech sectors already, but Pitchbook research identified nanotechnology and digital twin technology as most likely to gain from the new bill – the largest public investment in America’s infrastructure for decades. More →

Time to stop playing around with the issue of workplace sustainability

Time to stop playing around with the issue of workplace sustainability

workplace sustainabilityThe  so-called green agenda, sustainability and climate change have finally hit centre stage. Various announcements are being made by UK Government and numerous high profile figures are crying a call to action to implement carbon reduction plans now. Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, stated at the Annual Lord Mayor Gresham Lecture early in 2021: “Climate change is a bigger threat to the world than COVID-19.” He called on the financial and professional services sector to take urgent action to tackle climate change and ensure sustainability is at the heart of every financial decision. More →

Majority of people would cycle to work if their employer offered better facilities

Majority of people would cycle to work if their employer offered better facilities

cycleEmployers should be doing more to encourage staff to start commuting into the office by bicycle, suggests research from Graham Coffey & Co.Solicitors. Ahead of Cycle to Work Day (August 5th), the law firm surveyed more than 1,500 people to better understand attitudes towards cycling safety and what can be done to make cycling a more attractive prospect for employees. More →

Indoor air quality guide published by BESA

Indoor air quality guide published by BESA

indoor air qualityThe removal of most Covid restrictions in the UK has increased calls for clearer practical guidance and the setting of specific indoor air quality (IAQ) contaminant targets to support the health and wellbeing of building occupants. The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has, therefore, produced a concise guide to good practice: ‘Indoor Air Quality for Health & Well-Being’, which is designed to help building owners, managers and engineers interpret IAQ data and turn it into useful strategies for improving the indoor environment. More →

Trees can’t solve the climate change problem. That’s our job

Trees can’t solve the climate change problem. That’s our job

An image of the Earth to highlight climate changeTo address the climate change challenge, the UK became the first, major, world economy to pass law committing us to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050. It was a strong signal to organisations and individuals across the UK that it was now time to stop talking and start acting. And start acting we did. Massive changes are already underway to achieve decarbonisation in all sectors of the UK economy. One only has to look at the transition to EV’s, while the way we generate energy has also witnessed a rapid change as we switch from fossil fuelled to renewable power generation. Progress in the built environment is not so good, and sadly, it’s a case of too little, too slowly, and by too few. More →

Demand for Facilities Management professionals continues to rise

Demand for Facilities Management professionals continues to rise

demandThe latest RICS UK Facilities Management Survey results suggest a greater demand for services across all sectors, apart from retail, with FM employment opportunities therefore increasing. Furthermore, for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis swept the world last year, profit margins in the sector are expected to rise. 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

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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New normal looking more and more like old normal, say facilities managers

New normal looking more and more like old normal, say facilities managers

Workers across the UK could return to offices faster than anticipated, according to a new RICS survey of facilities managers. According to the poll, a growing number of respondents say that up to 80 percent of employees will head back once the pandemic is resolved. This is up from less than 60 percent expected in the same poll from the previous quarter ending November 2020. As evidence suggests the UK vaccination programme is taking hold across the country, results to the RICS UK Facilities Management Survey show more respondents starting to believe employees could return to the office in greater numbers than many initially expected in the previous quarter. More →

BCO offers new guidance on indoor air quality

BCO offers new guidance on indoor air quality

indoor air qualityA new BCO research paper, Thoughts on ventilation design and operation post COVID-19, has called for UK offices to ensure they have adequate ventilation ahead of the return to work. The paper highlights that while most offices that follow good practice guidelines do benefit from indoor air quality, there are also many examples of poorly ventilated offices that fall short of the best practice guidelines set out in the BCO’s 2019 Guide to Specification. Poorly ventilated indoor spaces have been linked to COVID-19 super spreader events and the paper states that ventilation in these offices must be “addressed urgently.” More →

The return to buildings will now focus attention on ventilation

The return to buildings will now focus attention on ventilation

windows and ventilationThe UK COVID-19 vaccination programme is well underway. Once the over 50s, younger people with health conditions, NHS and care workers have received the vaccine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been clear that current lockdown restrictions could be lifted in stages with schools and business a top priority. The situation is under review, but there is an expectation that business premises could reopen as early as Easter, when a large proportion of the working age population may not have been vaccinated. That means the focus in workplaces and other multi-occupant spaces, especially those open to the public, must remain on limiting transmission to prevent the spread of coronavirus to un-vaccinated people, and especially on factors such as ventilation. More →

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