Go ahead granted for Manchester Airport business district

The application to build a new business district within the government-designated Airport City enterprise zone in Manchester has been granted outline planning permission by Manchester City Council. The UK coalition government made the area one of its first four “vanguard” enterprise zones in March 2011 to provide fastrack planning and tax breaks to encourage rapid development. The application involves the creation of  113,400 sq. m. of office space, 49,000 sq. m. of industrial units, and 5,800 sq. m. of retail and leisure facilities on the outskirts of Manchester. The £650 million scheme is anticipated to create over 11,000 jobs over the next 15 years.

Consensus in property industry for green agenda

UKBC

The UK Green Building Council, backed by a wide range of trade and professional organisations across the construction and property sector, has sent an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne demanding a suite of policy changes to make the most of the green growth opportunity. The level of collaboration and consensus from within the industry is unprecedented, and includes, among others, support from the British Property Federation, Construction Products Association, British Council for Offices and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

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Google completes search for London HQ site

US based technology giant Google has completed the long expected £1bn property deal for a brownfield site in the King’s Cross Regeneration Area in London. The 2.4 acre site is located between King’s Cross and St Pancras rail stations and will be used for the development of an up to 11 storey complex which is due to be complete during 2016. Google will rationalise its two existing London locations into the new office and workplace design aficionados will be expecting great things from a firm that is renowned for its original approach, most recently at its Covent Garden offices designed by Penson.

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AIA announces 25 year award winner

The Menil Collection in Houston, by Italian architect Renzo Piano has been selected for the prestigious 2013 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Twenty-five Year Award. The neighbourhood museum set a new precedent in museum architecture and confirmed Piano, who designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as one of the world’s most trusted designers of cultural buildings. Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, the Twenty-five Year Award is conferred on a building that has stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years. More →

Build upon creative success urges design campaign

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The #includedesign campaign has urged policy makers to revisit proposals to include creative subjects in the English Baccalaureate and build upon the success of initiatives like Tech City. This is the ‘brand’ name for the creative technology community around Shoreditch in east London, with more than 3,000 creative tech firms, employing over 50,000 people. Last December the design industry wrote an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education warning him against the omission of Design & Technology and Art & Design from the EBacc. More →

Changes to Construction and Design Regs delayed

Proposed changes to the Construction and Design Management Regulations (CDM) 2007 have been delayed. The draft changes will now only be presented to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board for consideration in March 2013 at the very earliest. The CDM regulations, apply to all construction work in the UK, comprising construction, alteration, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance, decommissioning, demolition or dismantling, underwent a review last year, with industry practice found to have a significant influence on how the regulations are implemented. More →

Workplace transformation strategies are an essential element of CSR

CNGLogo

Adopting 21st-century workplace practices that meet the needs of employers and employees is an important form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), according to a new corporate real estate (CRE) industry advocacy statement by CoreNet Global. The report finds the nature of work is “changing dramatically, transcending the traditional definitions of productivity to include the concepts of enabling work, employee engagement, employee satisfaction and employee wellness, framed around an emerging ‘work-life support’ business model.” More →

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Greater clarity required for UK infrastructure plan

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The National Audit Office has called on the UK government to provide greater clarity to taxpayers and consumers on how it will meet its national infrastructure plan. The government expects £310 billion to be spent by 2015 and beyond on new infrastructure projects in sectors such as energy, rail, roads, water, waste, flood defences and digital communications. The government is looking to private companies to own and finance around 64 per cent of the £310 billion, with the burden of funding likely to shift towards the public as consumers rather than taxpayers.

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Global wellness spend has increased worldwide

Spending on wellness has doubled in the last decade and will continue to grow at an impressive rate, according to a new global trends report by McCann Truth Central which canvassed the views of 7,000 people from the US, UK, Japan, China, Turkey, South Africa and Brazil. The Truth about Wellness reveals that wellness has shifted from being a perceived luxury to being considered a fundamental human right and the average person now believes they will live to 79, an optimism which is being fueled by a technical revolution which directly impacts upon health.
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City of London grants planning permission for ‘The Scalpel’

No new building ever really deserves to be called ‘landmark’ unless it has acquired a nickname while still on the drawing board. That is why we can be assured that we will be hearing a lot more about the Kohn Pedersen Fox designed 38 storey HQ for US insurer WS Berkeley which has just been granted planning consent and already rejoices in the moniker ‘The Scalpel’. The new facility will provide over 500,000 sq ft of commercial space over 35 floors in Lime Street, East London. More →

Shard and Galaxy Soho contend for design of the year

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The Design Museum has announced the contenders for the sixth annual Designs of the Year. They include the best designs from around the world in the last 12 months across seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport. Selected by a panel of distinguished nominators, the awards compile the most original and exciting designs, prototypes and designers in the world today – brought together in a Design Museum exhibition from 20 March – 7 July 2013. More →

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