Property and Construction
November 12, 2013
Lease lengths for commercial property fell to an historic low in the year to June 2013, while income, lost due to tenants going bust, hit an all time high, according to a new report from IPD. The IPD Lease Events Review measures over 93,000 leases, and 3,500 lease events across the UK. The 2013 edition found that over 80 percent of UK leases signed in the year to June 2013 were under five years in length, the highest level since measurement began and up from 55 percent over the last ten years. The average length of commercial property leases is now 5.8 years, down from 7.8 years in 2003, lower even than the 6.0 years in 2009 at the lowest point of the recession. Landlords have struggled to maintain cash flow and lost over 6 percent of their income due to a record numbers of defaults and insolvencies last year.
November 12, 2013
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats (CTBUH) has announced the winners of its Best Tall Building Worldwide competition. The overall winner was the China Central Television Headquarters in Beijing (above) which was also the regional winner for Asia. The other three regional awards went to The Shard, London (for Europe), The Bow in Calgary (Americas) and the Al Khatem Tower in Abu Dhabi (Middle East and Africa). The awards were presented in Chicago on 7 November with the winners chosen from 60 entries by a judging panel. A popular vote was taken on the evening which also saw the audience voting the CCTV headquarters as the best tall building. The overall winner award was presented to the building’s joint architect Rem Koolhaas, who famously included a chapter called ‘Kill the Skyscraper’ in his 2003 book Content.
November 6, 2013
Office construction in the City of London is higher than it has been for five years, according to a report from Deloitte Real Estate. The London Office Crane Survey found that there are over 5 million sq.ft. of office developments at 23 schemes in the Square Mile including major landmark and well known buildings such as the Walkie Talkie and the Cheesegrater. Elsewhere in London, development is at a 4 year high in the central area which covers the West End, King’s Cross, Midtown, South Bank, Docklands and Paddington, with 71 schemes set to create some 9.7 million sq. ft. of new commercial property. The report claims that in 2014 alone, some 6.6 million sq ft of office developments will be complete in central London. More →
November 5, 2013
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has launched a global guidance note which can help facilities and estates managers increase efficiency and drive up profits across business. The Global Strategic Facilities Management (FM) Guidance Note is aimed at facilities managers and corporate real estate professionals overseeing the running of commercial property worldwide, providing recommendations on developing, implementing and evaluating a strategic plan for the running and servicing of individual buildings and property portfolios. The note is also accessible for clients and consultants by providing them with a clear picture of the best practice methods that should be implemented in the running of buildings in order to boost organisational performance. More →
November 5, 2013
According to a new report from commercial property consultancy Savills, the global expansion of Chinese financial institutions may see them take up as much as 2 million sq. ft. in the City of London over the next decade. The report claims that Chinese firms see London as one of the key centres for global finance and will take up the opportunities offered by setting London as a base as part of a $1 trillion investment in the West over the next seven years. With four in ten of the World’s largest banks now Chinese, and the sector expanding rapidly since the 2008 downturn, the investment will not only change the structure of the City but also consolidate its position as a global financial centre.
November 4, 2013
Adobe, one of the first companies to adopt the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard, is to conduct a study of its LEED certified workplaces to determine if they measurably contribute to more collaborative, creative, innovative and healthy employees. The move is part of a new Building Health Initiative launched last week by the California chapter of the USGBC. Google, Arup and Interface are amongst the founding partners, along with approximately 20 other organisations from a range of sectors. The movement aims to elevate green building as a benefit to public health as well as encourage the development of transparency standards in building materials. More →
November 4, 2013
With just six months remaining until they are required to deliver long-term strategies on renovation, EU Member States are being urged to develop ambitious plans for retrofitting their buildings. Under the Energy Efficiency Directive, EU Member States must establish “a long-term strategy for mobilising investment in the renovation of the national stock of residential and commercial buildings, both public and private” from 30 April 2014. The World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network (of which the UK Green Building Council is a member) and the Renovate Europe Campaign are calling on EU nations to seize the opportunity by publishing strategies that will help ensure investment in jobs and growth, and help deliver lower energy bills for struggling European citizens. More →
October 31, 2013
According to a new report from Deloitte, the recent upturn in the US commercial real estate sector is set to continue unabated into next year. Which is great news but according to the property consultancy, the market that emerges from the ashes of the downturn will be very different to the one from which they were formed. Deloitte’s 15th annual Commercial Real Estate Outlook report has identified what it considers the top ten trends that will reshape the emerging market based on a mixture of original research, subjective insights and the firm’s experience with clients. These trends are dominated by structural and financial issues and the only nods towards external socio-economic factors are mentions for the aging workforce within the market (so much for the transformational potential of GenY) and increases in single family households (can’t see the link with commercial property).
October 30, 2013
There has been an 11 per cent drop in major injuries at work compared to 2011/12, according to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics – though construction remains one of the most dangerous sectors. Meanwhile, figures compiled by health and safety expert ELAS shows the HSE has fined UK firms more than £5.5 million for health and safety failings under its ‘Fees for Intervention’ scheme (FFI) since its launch one year ago. Under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, companies that break health and safety laws are liable for fines to cover HSE related costs, including call-outs, inspections, investigations, and taking enforcement action. Businesses were fined a total of £5,532,565 for such breaches by the watchdog since October 2012. These can range from slips, trips and falls, right down to not providing enough toilets or washing facilities. More →
October 30, 2013
In his lightning summary of five decades of the office at Workplace Trends 2013: Making it Work, which took place last week, architect Frank Duffy remarked on the challenge of justifying place in an increasingly virtual world. It’s never been easy to gauge the productivity of offices and knowledge workers – a conundrum the conference returned to throughout the day. Tim Oldman from the Leeman Index, which has gone some way to measure workplace effectiveness, revealed that only 53 per cent of 42,677 workers questioned had agreed their workplace enables them to work productively. Yet despite this, as most of the sessions of the day confirmed, the office is far from obsolete, and as a place for workers to congregate and collaborate, it remains king. More →
October 28, 2013
There is a great deal of talk about the growing urbanisation of the world right now, and its effects on societies, economies and individuals. The numbers of people involved are daunting, especially in the developing world. As a result, many countries are currently experiencing the sort of upheaval we in Britain experienced nearly 300 years ago, and they are doing so in a very compressed time span compared to the 150 years it took in Britain. But the changing nature of cities is also apparent in the UK where it is having an effect not only in the country’s only megacity but in regional centres too. For places such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow the challenges presented by a new generation of initiatives focussed on urbanisation can be profound and mark an opportunity to shift at least some of the UK’s economic focus away from London.
October 24, 2013
Yahoo has had some successes since curtailing its work from home policies, global corporate real estate leaders were told at this week’s CoreNet Global Summit in Las Vegas. Continuing the industry conversation around balancing an organisation’s need to foster work and collaboration in person (aka: presenteeism) against the needs of employees to work off site, the discussion centred on how employees can “be present” in an increasingly virtual world, and where should leaders in corporate real estate place their focus? Julie Ford-Tempesta, Senior Director, Real Estate & Workplace at Yahoo said despite predictions of “epic policy failure” following the announcement that all employees must work in the office; employee engagement is up, product launches have increased significantly, and teams are thriving. More →