BCO releases lift and escalator guidance for reopening offices

BCO releases lift and escalator guidance for reopening offices

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

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

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

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

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 Nineteen Eighty-Four, 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 →

BBP and BSRIA publish new soft landings report for property owners

BBP and BSRIA publish new soft landings report for property owners

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 →

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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