WorldGBC launches Circular Built Environment Playbook

WorldGBC launches Circular Built Environment Playbook

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 75 Green Building Councils are launching the Circular Built Environment Playbook.The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 75 Green Building Councils are launching the Circular Built Environment Playbook. The organisation claims this is ‘a critical guide for the building and construction sector around the world to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles’. More →

Government turns to business rates reform to improve building quality, but will it work?

Government turns to business rates reform to improve building quality, but will it work?

The UK Government claims that a new bill will support businesses by modernising the business rates system to incentivise property improvementsThe UK Government claims that a new bill will support businesses by modernising the business rates system to incentivise property improvements and support more frequent revaluations. The measures being put forward review and reform business rates in England, making them fairer and more responsive to changes in the market. The Non-Domestic Rating Bill will introduce more frequent valuations, to take place every three years instead of the current five, meaning those with falling values will see their bills drop sooner, accorrding to the Treasury. More →

EU building data project to drive full decarbonisation in three European countries

EU building data project to drive full decarbonisation in three European countries

Czechia, Ireland and Spain will be the first countries to participate in a new initiative which aims to boost the availability of quality building climate data, a critical step towards full decarbonisation of the heavily emitting construction sectorCzechia, Ireland and Spain will be the first countries to participate in a new initiative which aims to boost the availability of quality building climate data, a critical step towards full decarbonisation of the heavily emitting construction sector, responsible for almost 40 percent of global carbon emissions. The INDICATE initiative will bring together governments, industry and academia to tackle one of the most common barriers to enacting policies which will ensure climate neutral construction: a lack of reliable and comprehensive emissions data for buildings. More →

Are we asking the right questions about the workplace?

Are we asking the right questions about the workplace?

In 1989, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, performed a TV sketch called Information. You can watch it below. It featured Stephen Fry sitting at a desk with a placard displaying the word “INFORMATION”. He asks, “Can I help you?” to which Hugh Laurie replies, “Oh, I would like some information, please”. Though, in the discussion, Hugh Laurie expects to get information without asking any questions, Stephen Fry explains that he has lots of information, such as “the average weight of a rabbit”. In response comes the statement, “Well, I didn’t know that, that there was an average weight of a rabbit!” More →

New guide to office fit-out and refurbishment launched by trade body

New guide to office fit-out and refurbishment launched by trade body

Trade association FIS has launched a revised Client Guide to Office Fit-Out and Refurbishment with the aim of promoting best practice in the fit-out processTrade association FIS has launched a revised Client Guide to Office Fit-Out and Refurbishment with the aim of promoting best practice in the fit-out process and to take account of new working practices post-pandemic, the Building Safety Act and advances in sustainability. First published in 2017, this updated guide is aimed at clients, contractors and architects involved in fit-out projects in a changing world. It is available for free download. More →

Only one in eight office occupiers think their property aligns with their business objectives

Only one in eight office occupiers think their property aligns with their business objectives

Only around 14 percent of office occupiers believe their existing workspace portfolios align completely with their business objectives,Only around 14 percent of office occupiers believe their existing workspace portfolios align completely with their business objectives, according to a new report on the future of the office by the Urban Land Institute and The Instant Group. The ‘state of flux’ identified in the report suggests that while the office is ‘here to stay’, the sector is bracing itself for a profound shift.  Two thirds (62 percent) of office landlords expect a decrease in capital values with the current valuation model and less than 2 percent of asset owners feel they have the required capex to respond to occupier and ESG legislation-related requirements. More →

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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Two thirds of US landlords don’t really understand how their buildings are used

Two thirds of US landlords don’t really understand how their buildings are used

62 percent of US landlords don’t have the tools they need to understand how their properties are used, in spite of the ongoing pressure on them to understand the experience of occupiersA new report from VTS claims that 62 percent of US landlords don’t have the tools they need to know how their properties are used, in spite of the ongoing pressure on them to understand the experience of occupiers and retain their business. More →

Less than a third of businesses know how energy efficient their office is

Less than a third of businesses know how energy efficient their office is

A surprisingly high proportion of UK businesses are unaware of new environmental legislation concerning the energy efficiency of their buildings, or how even how energy efficient they are in the first placeA surprisingly high proportion of UK businesses are unaware of new environmental legislation concerning the energy efficiency of their buildings, or even how energy efficient they are in the first place, according to a new survey commissioned by Irwin Mitchell: Redefining the Office – A report on office occupier trends in 2023.  The new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation means that from 1st April 2023, property owners must not continue to let properties that have an EPC rating of F or G (unless they have an exemption) and all let properties will need to have a minimum EPC rating of E. More →

Government Environmental Improvement Plan is ambitious but needs a clear plan

Government Environmental Improvement Plan is ambitious but needs a clear plan

The UKGBC has welcomed the ambition and vision of the Government’s Environmental Improvement Plan, particularly the water efficiency roadmap which broadly aligns with UKGBC recommendations. Yet the lobbying group also claims that the Plan falls short of providing the practical targets and policiesThe UKGBC has welcomed the ambition and vision of the Government’s Environmental Improvement Plan, particularly the water efficiency roadmap which broadly aligns with UKGBC recommendations. Yet the lobbying group also claims that the Plan falls short of providing the practical targets and policies for the built environment to play its part in halting nature’s decline. Many critical areas of interest to our sector – including planning system reform, policies for environmental net gain, and tangible targets – are insufficiently explained or missing entirely from the Plan. More →

Issue 13 of IN Magazine celebrates ten years of workplace insight

Issue 13 of IN Magazine celebrates ten years of workplace insight

The new issue of In Magazine has now been published. It marks ten years of Workplace Insight with a few things we think we know about work, working culture and work places.The new issue of In Magazine has now been published. It marks ten years of Workplace Insight with a few things we think we know about work, working culture and work places. Elsewhere in this issue: Stephanie Fitzgerald talks about the unspoken privilege of wellbeing; we consider the sprawl of the world’s megacities; Jo Knight argues that the office sector needs to really up its game on the environment; Rene Stevens makes the case for a strategic approach to learning environments; we weigh up the pros and cons of retrofit and new builds; Neil Usher sets out to develop a universally acceptable definition of hybrid working; Andy Brown on what we really need data for; why dead tech hangs around; and we do the maths on what it means when people say the office should be worth the commute it takes to get to it. More →

New lighting guide updated to embrace era of hybrid working

New lighting guide updated to embrace era of hybrid working

The Society of Light and Lighting has launched the latest Lighting Guide 07 (LG7): Offices to reflect trends such as hybrid workingThe Society of Light and Lighting has launched the latest Lighting Guide 07 (LG7): Offices [paywall for non CIBSE members]. There have been considerable developments since the previous edition, published in 2015. The new guide considers hybrid working, addressing uncertainty around how office space will be used in the future. With increased hybrid working and the use of portable devices, people are spending less time at their desks and in the office. This revision of Lighting Guide 7 now includes home office lighting advice. More →