Report urges EU and members states to use design for public good

Report urges EU and members states to use design for public good

Design is no longer just an add-on, but has evolved into a fully joined-up innovation methodology and with countries around the world adopting this thinking the European Union cannot afford to be left behind.  This is the message of Design Council and other members of SEE (Sharing Experience Europe) in a report published today, Design for Public Good, which encourages the European Union and its member states to adopt design-led innovation to create the next generation of public services and policy that can meet the pressing demands of the future.

More →

NHS Estate inefficiencies present ‘Hyde Park sized opportunity’, claims report

Hyde ParkConsultants E C Harris have just published the latest edition of their report into the NHS Estate which claims that the service has an opportunity to save around £2.3 billion a year in the way it manages and procures space. Every report needs headlines to go with and in this case E C Harris have plumped for the idea that the NHS is underutilising space equivalent to an area the size of Hyde Park and that an eighth of the estate is unsuitable for its intended use, equivalent to ‘three Hyde Parks’. Last year’s edition of the report claimed the potential saving of disposable space was the equivalent of ‘264 Premier League football pitches’, which at least has the advantage of being comprehensible for those who can’t envisage how big Hyde Park is.

More →

Government approach to efficiency yields savings, but is it sustainable?

Public SectorA new report from the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO)has praised the work of the Efficiency & Reform Group (ERG), part of the Cabinet Office in delivering over £5 billion of savings in central government but has challenged the ERG to make them sustainable over the longer term to meet the Government’s target of making annual savings of £20 billion by 2015. The NAO report welcomes the achievements of the ERG so far but expresses its concerns that many of the savings had been achieved with quick wins related to the renegotiation of existing contracts, staff cuts and the cancellation of marketing budgets, which had already begun to tail off.

More →

UK employers gain confidence to start recruitment of new staff

UK employers hiring intentions rise

UK businesses are slowly gaining confidence in hiring new staff this year and the majority of employers (79 per cent) don’t plan any job losses. This is according to the Barclays Job Creation Survey 2013 which found that while the proportion of larger employers that plan to create jobs this year has fallen to 65 per cent from 72 per cent in 2012, mid-sized businesses hiring intentions are up to 71 per cent from 65 per cent. The majority of those employers who do intend to hire remain cautious however, with 73 per cent planning to have sales growth lead to job creation as opposed to job creation creating sales (2012: 77 per cent).

More →

Public sector property initiatives have proved successful but work still needed

Gorilla-in-a-hat1There was a time, not so long ago, when nobody worried too much about the shape of the rooms that led off the corridors of power. But the pressure on UK finances has politicised the design of the UK’s public buildings. The latest example of this was the recent  announcement  in Parliament of a report that, amongst other things, called for a new approach in the way facilities are designed to deliver better services in a more cost effective way. The report Restarting Britain 2: Design and Public Services was the result of an eight-month investigation led by the Design Commission along with politicians, designers and civil servants.

More →

BIM task force group to represent built environment

BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is of as much importance to those tasked with using and managing buildings as those involved in their design and construction and has led to the formation of the BIM4FM group, which represents institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment. Supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit, the BIM4FM group will provide input into the on going development of BIM and work being developed through the Government Property Unit and BIM Task Group. Geoff Prudence, Chair of the BIM4FM group said: “Although BIM has long been discussed at the construction end of the supply chain it has only recently and repeatedly started to raise its profile with those operating and using buildings.” More →

Muted response from built environment sector to Budget 2013

BudgetThere’s been a muted reaction by the building and construction sector to the Budget announcement of a boast to infrastructure investment and relief that revised energy management regulations are likely to be pushed through. CIBSE has welcomed the news that the Government will be giving a detailed response to last year’s Consultation on changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, which covers energy efficiency, by May 2013. The body which represents building services engineers had raised concerns that delays in changes to Part L of Building Regulations in England should not hold up much needed, cost beneficial changes to Part L for the non-domestic market.

More →

Building Information Modelling is unstoppable finds survey

BIMNearly three quarters (71 per cent) of building design and construction experts agree that BIM (Building Information Modelling) represents “the future of project information” and 39 per cent confirmed that they are already using it. But the annual industry-wide BIM survey, undertaken by NBS, reveals a lack of clarity around the subject which could prove an obstacle to its more rapid adoption. 74 per cent of those polled agreed that the industry is “not clear enough on what BIM is yet” and only around one-third claim to be “very” or “quite” confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.

More →

Rise in jobless figures puts pressure on Chancellor

The Treasury

There is more pressure on Chancellor George Osborne ahead of today’s budget with the news that uemployment rose by 7,000 to 2.52 million between November and January. However the overall unemployment rate for November 2012 to January 2013 remained at 7.8 per cent, unchanged from August to October 2012. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also show that while pay rose by 1.2 per cent during the same period, with inflation measuring 2.7 per cent between January 2012 and January 2013, there continues to be a cut in the real value of pay. More →

Government should engage suppliers to address green supply failings

Green chainThe UK’s National Audit Office has published a new report on the Government’s record on sustainable procurement which suggests that policy has focussed on cost savings and budget cuts at the expense of sustainability. The briefing document on sustainable procurement is a response to a request from  the Environmental Audit Committee and paints a clear picture of the conflict between two key areas of economic policy which many experts argue should go hand in hand when managed intelligently. However a sign of the Government’s priorities may have been clear when the Cabinet Office abolished the post of Chief Sustainability Officer and close the Green Government Unit in 2011.

More →

New procurement systems to make it easier to bid for Government work

Public SectorThe Cabinet Office has unveiled a new centralised system that it claims will make it easier and cheaper for suppliers to compete for government and public sector work  because they will only have to register once to have access to a range of contracts. Currently, suppliers to government and the public sector have to register on several systems to be able to view, access and tender for business opportunities. The Cabinet Office believes the new system will be particularly attractive for SMEs who found the current system too onerous.  The system will replace an existing system which serves over 80,000 registered suppliers and the same number of customers

More →

Call for budget to help construction sector growth

The Treasury

Leading environmental and building construction bodies are calling on the Government to help grow the built environment in next week’s budget. The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) is urging the Chancellor to use the Budget 2013 to demonstrate the Coalition’s commitment to energy efficiency as a key driver of green growth and provide a boost to the construction sector. And in a list of requests, RICS asks the government to visibly promote public sector construction contracts, meaning smaller firms across the UK are aware of projects and able to directly bid for work.

More →

Translate >>