Lifecycle management most important aspect of BIM say FMs

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The relationship between Building Information Modelling (BIM) and lifecycle management is the most important factor for facilities managers, who, along with owners and occupiers believe BIM will becoming increasingly important in day-to-day working practices within the next two to three years. The findings are from a poll of individual members of the BIM4FM group which represents institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment. “The results clearly show that there is recognition that BIM offers the opportunity to improve the lifecycle management of buildings. Interestingly there is both a desire, and an expectation for BIM to be able to support better working practices and improve operation and maintenance of buildings in practice:” said Geoff Prudence Chairman of the BIM4FM group More →

New Construction Strategy focuses on sustainability and efficiency

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New Construction strategy focuses on sustainability and efficiency

An industrial strategy for construction‘Construction 2025’ is being launched by the Coalition Government today which aims to tap into the considerable growth opportunities predicted for the global construction market. The strategy has been developed in partnership with the new Construction Leadership Council, jointly chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable and Sir David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail, formed to help oversee the delivery of the action plan and its strategic priorities. The strategy’s vision to 2025 includes ambitions for a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, and an equal reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials. More →

Video: is this the world’s most sustainable office building?

Video: is this the world’s most sustainable office building?

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What is claimed to be the world’s most sustainable office building has just achieved a platinum LEED certification. The NuOffice building in Munich was supported by the EU funded Direction project which promotes energy efficient and sustainable building design along with the  Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP). The focus of the building’s design is on energy efficiency and applies radiant heating and cooling technology, switchable glazing and innovative insulating material to reduce the environmental footprint and running costs of the building. The developers claim that local energy costs have increased by 50 percent over the last decade so the new building which is expected to reduce energy consumption by 90 percent can offer a substantial cost saving over conventional designs.

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Many facilities managers not engaging with industry bodies and social media

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 Industry bodies and social media are not engaging practising FMs

What were your thoughts on the recent announcement of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), Asset Skills, the Facilities Management Association and the Cleaning and Support Services Association agreeing to the concept of forming one single and united body to represent facilities management and support services? I suppose the devil is in the detail and clarification of “agreeing to the concept” is required. Is this going to be a quick process, something that drags on for a lengthy period and what consultation will there be? And that is the crux for me – consultation is where this could all break down. But let’s take a step back and ask how many people work in the sector and how many facilities managers do the organisations involved represent?

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Ergonomics of dishonesty. How desk size influences behaviour

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The influence the design and layout of the workplace can have on productivity is widely acknowledged. Now, according to a new scientific study expansive physical settings like having a big desk to stretch out at work can cause individuals to feel more powerful, and in turn these feelings of power can elicit more dishonest behaviour such as stealing, cheating, and traffic violations. This might sound far-fetched but The Ergonomics of Dishonesty was written by a group of researchers at leading business schools, including Harvard, Columbia and Berkeley and is soon to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science. Co-author Andy Yap, explained: “Our research shows that office managers should pay attention to the ergonomics of their workspaces. The results suggest that these physical spaces have tangible and real-world impact on our behaviours.” More →

Under a quarter of US staff enjoy optimal working environment, claims report

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American flag cakeArchitecture firm Gensler has released the results of its 2013 US Workplace Survey. The report claims that under a quarter (24 percent) of US workers work  in an optimised working environment with the remainder suffering from unnecessary lost productivity and a lack of innovation and engagement. The survey of more than 2,000 knowledge workers from across the US examined specific design factors across four work modes defined by Gensler: focus, collaboration, learning and socialising. The report concludes that the modern workplace has a  number of new and increasingly important drivers including new technology, globalisation, generation Y and so on which define where, when and how workers perform their jobs and concludes that the ability to balance focus and collaboration with strategic workplace design is essential.

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Govt incentives needed to promote energy efficiency for non-residential buildings

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Energy efficiency for built environment needs incentives to work Govt warned

The Government should conduct a comprehensive assessment of non-residential low-carbon policies to ensure they work effectively said the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in its latest annual progress report to Parliament today. Progress in implementing some of the measures required to meet carbon budgets was limited in 2012, it warned, while the simplification of the CRC energy efficiency scheme beyond the CCC’s original recommendations has further eroded the incentives to improve energy efficiency it set out to provide. John Alker, Director of Policy and Communications at the UK Green Building Council, said: “Just one day before the release of official statistics on the Green Deal, the CCC’s report is a timely reminder that the Coalition’s flagship energy efficiency policy needs to be further incentivised to encourage take-up.”

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US corporate occupiers changing the size and type of office space they demand

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America’s corporate occupiers are not only reducing the amount of office space they use, they are changing their requirements too according to the latest Office Occupier View report from CBRE. Not only did overall demand for commercial space fall during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the last of 2012, the average amount of space allocated to each worker is falling below 225 sq.ft. (21 sq.m.) , and occupiers are demanding more open, ‘creative’ working environments in Class A buildings with large floor plates. Occupiers are also looking for space that is ideally located  in central business districts (CBDs) with easy access to transport links and amenities and offers them flexible terms.

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Five essential things to consider before you implement a BYOD policy

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BYOD is far more than just allowing your staff to check their email on their personal mobile. It’s about the security of corporate information – we’re all demanding more flexible working to fit our lifestyles, but with flexibility comes personal responsibility. Are we rushing to join the BYOD party without realising some of the more serious considerations. A recent article on OfficeInsight considered a Gartner survey which suggested that BYOD would be prevalent by 2017. The article implied that companies should embrace this as an inevitable change. Before we get too excited, though, let’s explore some of the issues that BYOD should be raising for employers – including the technical demands that these policies make on IT departments and infrastructure, and the compliance IT departments will demand of staff.

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Online BIM discussion group created for the built environment

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The BIM4FM group, representing institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment has created an online discussion group to stimulate the conversation around the engagement of facilities managers, owners and occupiers in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Government Soft Landings (GSL). Geoff Prudence, Chairman of the BIM4FM group explained: “Since our launch many individuals have asked to join the BIFM4FM group. However, the group has been set up as a steering committee of institutes, trade bodies and professional associations, supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit. That said, rather than excluding the enthusiasm of individuals, we thought we should encourage and harness their input from across our communities, as it’s often those who are operating at grassroots level who raise the most valuable insights.”   More →

The democratisation of the workplace is changing how we work

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Citizen Smith & why democratisation of the workplace is changing how we work

Work. We all, with some noticeable exceptions, are obliged to do some. If we are lucky we receive remuneration for our labour. This for me is at the heart of work. We are professionals. specialists, generalists, doers, thinkers, strategists or the people on the front line – but we all go to work. So, shouldn’t the people in charge – and just as importantly, the consultants they talk to about us workers – find out what makes us tick? Obviously, that is exactly the argument that many workplace consultants are making via Office Insight, via Twitter and in the property and FM media. Engaging with employees, via workshops forums or surveys such as Leesman or the more intelligently crafted employee surveys – I agree with all of it, but I think we might be missing something. We need to get back to what work is about.

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It’s sunny side up for office furniture designs at this year’s Neocon

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Landing “sunny side up” in Chicago is always a pleasure. While we’re here for work, the city has so many additional benefits for the seasoned international business traveller including a deep-rooted jazz culture, a beach, restaurant service to die for and – the reason we were there in the first place – the Neocon expo, amongst other things an exhibition of the finest new American and international office furniture trends which takes place every year at the enormous Merchandise Mart in the centre of Chicago (above). Quite a lot “snapped my celery” this year, and while, under normal circumstances I find the Milan furniture fair is the front-runner in terms of defining trends while the rest of the world slowly catches up, This year it was refreshing to see Neocon marking those trends right on the button.

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