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 →

A Field Guide to Workplace Terminology

DictionaryAs 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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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 →

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 →

Workers fear social media leads to loss of privacy

EmbarrassingAccording to a new report from AVG Technologies, more than half of adults believe that their privacy is being eroded at work because of the proliferation of social media. The Digital Work Life survey asked 4,000 people in ten countries about the experiences of and beliefs about issues such as cyberbullying, privacy and their approach to creating a better balance between their private and working lives. One in ten respondents had discovered secret discussions about themselves and 11 percent had embarrassing photos or videos taken at a work event and uploaded onto social media sites.

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Apple achieves trademark for store designs

Apple StoreIt has long been a complaint of designers and marketers that courts do not understand design. For the most part this has made it difficult for them to trademark things like packaging designs and colours leaving them open to copycat designs which can seriously undermine a brand and make merchandising more difficult than it need be. Now Apple – who else? – has taken things to a whole new level by officially trademarking its distinctive shopping centre store design in the US.

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Guide argues positive green message for sustainable gains

sustainia-world

Fear, despair and resignation do not motivate people to change their practices; they should instead be inspired by the positive messages of sustainable living. In Guide to Sustainia international sustainability initiative Sustainia argues innovation has made such impressive leaps over the last decade it’s now possible to break with the perception of a sustainable society as one of limitations. With cities and developers already assembling the nuts, bolts and designs of a more sustainable future, the guide presents a compilation of real initiatives and technologies from around the world, in a blueprint for a sustainable future. More →

Sodexo Workplace Trends report covers familiar ground

sodexo workplace trends editThe latest annual Workplace Trends Report from workplace services provider Sodexo claims to reveal the crucial role the built environment has in organisational performance. The report emphasises the growing strategic role of facilities management and the importance of sustainability as an element of corporate culture as well as a trend toward designing offices to attract and retain top talent by emphasising productivity and quality of life. The report also identifies the importance of social media in attracting prospective employees instead of traditional e-mail campaigns and other media.

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Innovation needed to catapult UK to technology success

Catapult centre

The government must scale up the UK’s new programme of technology and innovation centres – Catapults – by 50% to 100%, the Big Innovation Centre will announce at a meeting at the House of Lords today. Will Hutton, chair of the Big Innovation Centre at the Work Foundation warned: “Catapults are desperately needed and important new institutions that could allow the UK to reproduce German success in 21st century industrial sectors and services. Yet the Catapult programme needs to be bigger and bolder in its scope, aims and resources if their potential as convenors, catalysts, risk-mitigators and horizon scanners is to be fully exploited.”

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Report reveals wider impact than ROI for wellness programmes

Workplace wellness edit

The Return on Investment of workplace wellness programmes goes way beyond cost savings a major new report reveals. Making the Right Investment: Employee Health and the Power of Metrics found smoking cessation incentives help increase productivity, nutrition and exercise drives and centralised programmes which utilise the latest technology leads to increased employee engagement which helps reduce staff turnover. Said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman World Economic Forum “Over 50% of the working population spend the majority of their time at work, so the workplace provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness, as well as guide and incentivise individuals to develop healthier behaviours.” More →

A train that symbolises the clash of old and new ways of work

 

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Today we’ll all be hearing a lot more about the plans for HS2, the Government’s flagship construction project and all-round Keynesian boot in the pants for the UK economy. Most of what will pass for debate will involve some light class warfare about the route through Tory constituencies, seasoned with a dash of NIMBYism, some chest beating from Labour who started the whole thing but can’t be seen to support it fully and various other bits of pointless to-ing and fro-ing. But what is most remarkable about the scheme as far as Insight is concerned, is how its business case completely and deliberately ignores the way we work. More →

Tech and media firms drive demand for London offices

Tech City

The UK’s thriving technology and media sectors are driving demand for office space in London, creating hotspots of businesses and talent according to a new report published yesterday by property services provider Colliers International. However a shortage of supply means that not only are tech and media firms driving up rents and supplanting traditional businesses, many are adopting more ‘institutional-style’ office spaces then using design and refurbishment to put their own stamp on them.

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