Using nature based solutions in buildings will help address climate change

Using nature based solutions in buildings will help address climate change

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The IGNITION project from the UK Green Building Council has published its first report for businesses, titled ‘Nature-based solutions to the climate emergency: The benefits to business and society’  The report claims to provide organisations with the data they need to make informed decisions about the types of urban nature-based solutions (NBS) available to them and how these can help meet sustainability objectives to benefit business, society and the environment. It sets out to highlight the benefits of using NBS across the built environment and aims to inspire confidence in business leaders and investors to increase the use of NBS. More →

BCO releases lift and escalator guidance for reopening offices

BCO releases lift and escalator guidance for reopening offices

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The British Council for Offices (BCO) has published new guidance for the safe use of escalators and lifts, as the country begins to return to the office. The safe use of lifts and escalators has been a priority for the industry, with 90 percent of decision-makers and influencers in the commercial office sector saying they were worried about their safe use. To help solve these headaches, the guidance emphasises the importance of social distancing and strict hygiene measures. More →

Return to work offers us a unique opportunity to change everything

Return to work offers us a unique opportunity to change everything

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Four day week return to workThe way we worked before covid was fundamentally broken; our wellbeing, our climate and our business efficiency. The genie is out of the bottle; going back just simply isn’t an option. When considering the return to work, there are organisations making knee-jerk decisions trying to avoid a complex minefield of potential missteps which could impact the safety of their employees and health of their business. Simply creating a ‘covid secure’ workplace right now would be a great opportunity lost in cementing real change and transformation into the world of work; for our wellbeing and our planet. More →

Workplace design in a new age of reason

Workplace design in a new age of reason

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Workplace design needs to recapture the principles of the enlightenmentThe enduring but changing struggle to improve the working conditions and performance of people through workplace design and management has more than a whiff of the Enlightenment of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries about it. The Enlightenment marked a new era in which the old superstitions and dogmas were to be overthrown by pure reason.

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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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