Why standing up in the office can help you lose weight

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Office workers can burn an extra 144 calories per day by standing rather than sitting at their desk, says a leading expert on exercise and health. Applying his knowledge of human physiology, Dr John Buckley, from Chester University’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition, has calculated that working at a standing desk for three hours a day will burn eight pounds of human fat in the course of a year, with no change to your job or leisure time activities.  More →

All right? Manchester property outperforms other UK regions

The idea that the UK is essentially a closely bound federation of city states, each with their own culture and economy is given added credence by new research from CBRE into regional variations in the commercial property market. London does things  its own way, of course, but the top regional city is Manchester – the only one of eight centres that showed any evidence of rental growth during 2012, even though it was a modest increase from £29.50 per sq ft to £30 per sq ft. The full report can be viewed hereMore →

Seeing stars, new guidance on reducing obtrusive lighting

RSL_slideThe Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) part of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has published its new SLL Guide to Limiting Obtrusive Light, which looks at ways of controlling obtrusive light and the design implications for the planning, design and specification of exterior lighting schemes.
While outdoor lighting is important for people’s work, safety and leisure, it can cause issues of sky glow, light trespass or glare. Obtrusive light can affect health if sleep is disturbed, and affect the visibility of the stars and the behaviour of flora and fauna. More →

Show stomping change as Maze prison site plans approved

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The notorious Maze Long Kesh prison site in Northern Ireland where the ‘H’ block hunger strikes took place is to be redeveloped into an international standard showground designed by London-based firm Studio Egret West.
The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) was granted planning permission to relocate the Balmoral Show, (Ireland’s largest Agricultural and Food Show) to the site of the former Maze prison, after the Balmoral show outgrew the Kings Hall site where it has been held for 100 years. More →

Clarification complaints on changes to EPCs

EPC_header_image_contentpageimageImportant changes to the requirements regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are effective from tomorrow – 9 January 2013.

But according to RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) many of these changes have not previously been discussed and RICS has been asking the DCLG for clarification on some of the amendments, including whether or not listed buildings are now excluded. More →

Coalition’s mid-term review given green thumbs down

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The government may have reiterated its commitment to the green agenda in its Mid Term Review, which was published this week, but green groups remain resolutely unimpressed by its overall environmental record. Summarising the Coalition’s green initiatives so far, including the trebling of support for low carbon energy up to 2020 and the encouragement of green investments through the Green Investment Bank, the review stated: “We promised to be the greenest government ever, and we will fulfil that commitment.” More →

Contractors to be appointed for defence estates projects

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Some of the UK’s biggest contractors have been invited by the Ministry of Defence to bid for a range of construction projects across its estate as part of the new National Capital Works Framework. The companies will be chosen by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to deliver the design and build of construction projects up to a value of £50m. The framework forms part of the Next Generation Estate Contracts programme which was announced in December. More →

UK construction hits new low as service sector shrinks

Graph Down ArrowThe three little words nobody wanted to hear at the start of 2013 are triple dip recession. Yet even as the US managed to avoid its own fiscal cliff at the turn of the year, two reports raised fresh fears that the UK’s recovery would be postponed for a while yet. According to the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index, UK construction hit a six-month low as the sector dropped from an index of 49.3 in November to 48.7 in December. This is well below the index of 50 which indicates a contraction in activity. Meanwhile another report from Markit/CIPS reported an unexpected fall in the UK’s service sector. More →

Chance to visit London landmark The Crystal

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The Crystal, which was built by Siemens to showcase sustainable design and construction, is the venue for a couple of major events in February.  Achieving BREEAM Outstanding, the Crystal opened at Royal Victoria Docks in London last September to provide a hub for discussions and dialogues about how to create a sustainable urban future. The Crystal will also be home to the Workplace Futures 2013 conference, organised by i-fm.net on the 12 February, and will include an opportunity for delegates to attend the building’s interactive sustainable exhibition prior to an evening networking session. More →

Govt looking to save £600m with shared services

The latest wheeze from the Government as it looks to ‘streamline’ the public sector’s back-office functions including purchasing is to create two Independent Shared Service Centres as part of the Next Generation Shared Service Plan. Pick through the usual gobbledegook and acronyms and what you will find are some significant developments  as The Cabinet Office seeks to save up to £600 million a year in administration costs. More →

Mayor announces green fit-out of 400 buildings

City_HallThirteen building services contractors have been awarded a contract to retrofit around 400 London public sector buildings to make them more energy efficient. The work is being carried out as part of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s RE:FIT initiative. The new programme of work is expected to last four years and will see contractors guarantee a set level of savings based on the energy conservation measures implemented. More →

London companies heading off to the East

Hello to all this

Hello to all this

…East London that is. According to property consultants Cushman & Wakefield we are seeing a net migration of companies away from their West End heartland towards the supposedly more creative and tech-focussed districts of Clerkenwell, Shoreditch and King’s Cross.  The firm reports that the take-up of West End office space fell by around a quarter to 2.5m sq ft in 2012.

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