Property and Construction
September 24, 2013
One of the most common reasons for large organisations to move to new offices is a consolidation of an extensive and disparate estate that has developed over a long period of time. But what happens when the benefits of the move are scuppered because the organisation finds it impossible to get rid of its old buildings? That is the question facing Newham Borough Council as it emerges that it may have to quit the controversially swanky £110 million offices it moved to in 2010 and back into some of the 26 properties it left at the time and has struggled to unburden itself of since.
September 20, 2013
Property costs – such as business rates and rent – are one of the most significant expenses incurred by SMEs and failure to take professional advice on how to manage them can cost businesses thousands of pounds. RICS has launched a guide to help small businesses take better control of their finances through managing their property assets differently. The Small Business Property Guide, which is free of charge for business owners, covers all aspects of the property process. It has been endorsed by the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Retail Consortium and the Association of Town and City Management. The guide includes advice on; finding the right premises; business rates; tax allowances on property; and valuations.
September 19, 2013
The Cabinet Office has unveiled a new initiative which aims to promote the practice of Business Information Modelling (BIM) amongst smaller businesses in the UK construction industry. At the launch of the Construction Industry Council’s dreadfully named BIM4SME forum, Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith reiterated the Government’s commitment to use BIM on all Government construction projects by 2016. However new research from the Institution of Structural Engineers has revealed the problems facing small businesses in using BIM, including the fact that two thirds think the Government stance on BIM makes it harder for them to win work and three quarters believe it presents them with major cost challenges.
September 19, 2013
Plans for a new high rise office development in the City of London have been unveiled by Henderson Global Investors. Designed by Make architectural practice, the high buildings at 40 Leadenhall Street, EC3 will vary in height between 7 and 34 office storeys, with two additional basement levels, a roof level plant, and café and restaurant uses at ground floor level. The total size of the building is 910,000 sq ft, split between 890,000 sq ft office and c. 20,000 sq ft retail. A grade II listed building at 19-21 Billiter Street, built in 1865, will be restored and integrated in the proposed scheme, which it is estimated will create 390 construction jobs, with around 7,000 people expected to work in the completed building. more…
September 18, 2013
British Land, Spanish city Vitoria-Gasteiz and the City Green Court building in Prague, Czech Republic, have clinched the top spots in the inaugural World Green Building Council Leadership Awards – Europe Region. The awards, which were announced to coincide with World Green Building Week 2013 – honour leadership and best practice in green building policy, construction projects and corporate initiatives. British Land won the category for Business Leadership in Sustainability; Vitoria-Gasteiz picked up the award for Leadership in City Policy for Green Building award; and office building City Green Court, topped the Leadership in Building Design and Performance category for its sustainability features. more…
September 16, 2013
Making sustainability sexy is a tall order. Look up the topic “green building” and you’ll invariably come across in depth descriptions of energy saving schemes and achieving a BREEAM rating. All these considerations are of course very important, but they make it difficult to engage building occupants. With the theme “Greener buildings, better places, healthier people”, World Green Building Week, which begins today (16-20 September), should do just that, by concentrating on the tangible benefits to building occupants of a green office. Paul King, Chief Executive of UK-GBC, said: “We often hear about the environmental and financial benefits of green buildings, but less attention is paid to the impact on those who live and work in them.” more…
September 16, 2013
The value of commercial real estate in the UK rose for the fourth consecutive month during August, led by increases in the average value of offices, according to a report from Investment Property Databank (IPD). The average value of offices, warehouses, retail and industrial rose by a 0.4 percent across the country. Office buildings rose by 0.6 percent during the month while total return, which combines changes in real estate values and rental income, was 0.9 percent, to reach the highest level since March 2011. The report claims the upturn is down to the wider economic upturn and persistent low interest rates which incentivise investors to acquire high income generating assets. The report also notes that investors are looking to acquire more property outside of London as the economic recovery spreads across the UK. more…
September 12, 2013
A “west-to-east” migration, focussing predominantly on Clerkenwell and the western City core, is continuing amongst media and service sector businesses seeking more affordable London rents. But according to Cluttons’ latest West End Office Market report, many firms seeking the combination of value and idiosyncratic space are set to be priced out of the current City fringe. The area between the City and West End – branded Noho by estate agents – is attracting a new wave of private equity and extraction firms, willing to pay premium rents for new or pipeline space just north of Oxford Street. Meanwhile, prime office rents in Mayfair / St James’s have broken through the £100 per sq ft ceiling once again as a handful of tenants continue to favour location over quality. more…
September 11, 2013
The latest Occupier Density Study from the British Council for Offices reveals that London and the South East of England have some of the most spacious workplaces in the UK, in spite of the fact that London has the most expensive office space on Earth. The BCO research found that the South West has the highest density at 8.6 sq. m. per workstation while London (11.3 sq. m.) and the South East (12.7 sq. m.) have lower densities than all UK regions apart from Wales (11.4 sq. m.). Yet recent research from Cushman and Wakefield has identified London as the world’s most expensive city to rent office space and a report last week from BNP Paribas revealed the large disparities in total occupancy costs between London and the rest of the UK.
September 9, 2013
£60 million to help the UK construction industry design and develop more energy efficient buildings is to be awarded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board. The projects, which address the challenges of both new and existing buildings, are expected to leverage in an additional £60 million of industry investment and £30 million extra funding from across government and other agencies. The board has already invested £83 million of funding through the Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform, (LIBIP). It aims to help the UK construction industry deliver buildings with a much lower environmental impact by investing jointly with industry and other funders in projects to bring innovative solutions to a growing market for more environmentally friendly buildings. more…
September 6, 2013
Two landmark developments in London have been given the go ahead at the same time as the troubled plans to develop the iconic Smithfield market are once again put on ice. Google’s plans for a 924,000 sq. ft headquarters building as an anchor of the redevelopment of Kings Cross were waved through by Camden Council, while Islington Council has also granted permission for a 207,000 sq. ft scheme to develop six storeys of office space, with retail units at street level, on the corner of Cowcross Street and Farringdon Road, one of two new office developments located at the new Crossrail station.
September 5, 2013
There has been a clear and upward trend in the sustainability performance of global real estate, but despite the continued focus of EU regulators on the built environment, Europe lags behind other regions. According to the results of the GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) 2013 Report – based on sustainability data gathered from 543 property companies and funds, providing aggregate information on 49,000 properties across the globe – the real estate sector significantly reduced its environmental impact, decreasing energy consumption by nearly 5 per cent over the 2011-2012 period. Over the same period, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2.5 per cent, and water consumption by 1.2 per cent. more…