BBC unveils plans for development of Television Centre site

BBC_Television_CentreFollowing last year’s sale of its iconic Grade II listed West London Television Centre to developer Stanhope, the BBC has announced details of the future direction of the 14 acre site. The announcement comes as the BBC continues its programme of relocating staff and functions to Media City in Salford and the new Broadcasting House in Central London. Work will start in 2015 on a mixed use development which will include residual office and studio space for the BBC, offices, hotels, leisure facilities, some 1,000 new homes, parks and a hotel. However the listed buildings on the site, originally opened in 1960, will be retained. More →

Sit-stand chair on Ergonomics Design Award shortlist

muvman shortlisted

A sit-stand seat allowing workers more freedom of movement is amongst the designs shortlisted for the fourth IEHF Ergonomics Design Award. Other shortlisted entries include, a new type of protective hood, a mobile app and a 3D foot scanner. Said John Wood Executive Chairman of CCD Design and Ergonomics and chair of judges: “We’re very pleased to see the extensive range of projects that have again been entered for the award this year; it’s a sign of the continuing and growing recognition of the importance of ergonomics in society and business today.” More →

Commercial sector bucks downward UK construction trend

Construction figsConstruction business activity fell by the third month running in January, with new orders at slowest pace since October 2012 according to the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). There were some reports that snowfall had contributed to reduced output volumes, but the majority of respondents cited weak underlying client demand and a lack of new projects.  However commercial activity was the only sub-sector to buck the wider downward trend in output during January with the latest data indicating unchanged volumes of commercial activity, ending five months of contraction. More →

Teams perform better when bosses pick favourites

 Bosses favourites

Bosses should pick favourites if they want top performing teams, a new study from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business reveals. “Conventional wisdom tells us that we should treat everyone the same to create a collegial and productive work atmosphere,” says Sauder Professor Karl Aquino, who co-authored the forthcoming study for the Journal of Business Ethics. “But our research shows this can be a disincentive for workers who would otherwise go above and beyond on behalf of the team with a little bit of extra attention.” More →

Gulf construction and fit-out continues to boom, claims report

Abu DhabiThe total value of building projects in Gulf Cooperation Council states will exceed $80 billion this year according to a new report from dmg::events* in conjunction with consultancy Ventures Middle East. The survey concludes that this year will see a near one fifth increase in the overall value of projects up from nearly $69 billion in 2012 to $81.6 billion in 2013. Meanwhile the interlinked market for interior contracting and fit-out in 2012 was valued by the report at $7.86bn – a 56 per centincrease on 2011. The UAE continues as the the region with the largest interiors spend ($2.83bn), followed by Saudi Arabia ($2.6bn) and Qatar ($1.49bn). More →

Marked improvement in US energy efficiency

Energy use in US

The US is consuming energy considerably more efficiently and with lower emissions than just five years ago thanks to a slew of modern technologies that are changing decades-old patterns, according to a major new report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for the Business Council on Sustainable Energy. Energy Star-certified commercial building floor space has increased by 139% from 2008 to 2012, and the stringency of building air conditioning efficiency standards has increased by up to 34% since 2005. Overall, energy intensity for US commercial buildings has now dropped by more than 40% since 1980. More →

Ban team building exercises for a feel good Friday

workplace relationships

Anyone who hates team building exercises will welcome a survey published by Samaritans and Simplyhealth today, which reveals that at 4%, the least popular option for making people feel good at work is team activities, including away days. When asked to select their top two factors, 42% of workers felt that positive relationships helped them to feel good at work, compared with a mere 14% for hitting their targets. The poll of more than 1,400 workers found having a good work-life balance was the second (40%) most common reason for feeling good at work followed by receiving praise (26%).

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A Field Guide to Workplace Terminology

As the ecosystem around the workplace industry grows ever more complex, so too does the language we use to describe it. In an attempt to bring order to chaos, guest writer Simon Heath presents here a glossary of terms, acronyms and abbreviations to help you navigate these linguistic waters. (For example Business Intelligence – A commonly used oxymoron.) For more of Simon’s worldly, wise and witty writing on all things work and workplace related, visit his blog at https://workmusing.wordpress.com.

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Lights off as France announces new energy saving law

SwitchThe French Environment Ministry has announced that a new law will come into effect in July that requires non-residential buildings  to turn off interior and window display lights each night. Under the new legislation lights in shop windows will need to be turned off at 1am and lights in office and other commercial buildings switched off an hour after the last employee leaves.  The new law is planned to save around 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year as well as enough energy to power 750,000 French households. The ministry believes the law will change attitudes and help the country become a pioneer in reducing light pollution and energy use.

New York state of mind to increase building energy efficiency by 20percent

Build NY

In one of the most ambitious green initiatives in the United States, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years. He also announced Build Smart NY, a plan to  strategically implement the Executive Order by accelerating priority improvements in energy performance. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements, including new lighting fixtures and controls, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems and automated energy management systems. More →

Ageless workforce welcomed, despite sickness absence increase

GRiD age research

One third (33%) of UK employers have seen the average age of their workforce increase over the last year, with three in five (59%) believing that the removal of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) meant they were more likely to recruit employees aged 50 and over. Older workers are viewed positively, despite the fact that, according to new research by Group Risk Development (GRiD), over a quarter (27%) of employers report increased absence rates or an increase in age related health conditions since the removal of the DRA. More →

Better Buildings challenge for sustainable innovation

BPP

A competition to find green solutions that help to improve the performance of commercial buildings has been launched by the Institute for Sustainability, in partnership with the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC) and the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) – a collaboration of leading London commercial property owners and investors. Because energy efficiency improvement works have focused primarily on mechanical and electrical control upgrades and plant replacement, the competition focuses on innovations which could help improve the environmental performance of the building envelope. More →

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