Property and Construction
July 8, 2013
The iconic Richard Roger’s-designed Lloyd’s Building at One Lime Street, London EC3, has been sold to Ping An, a Chinese insurance company for £260 million, it’s been confirmed. The Lloyd’s Building will continue to house the world’s leading insurance market as it is let in its entirety to the Society of Lloyd’s on a lease expiring in 2031. Jon Crossfield, director within Savills’ Central London team, says “This is a potentially landmark transaction, given it is the first by a Chinese Insurance company overseas. It is a high profile and confident entry to the market for them and further illustrates the dominance of overseas investors in London at present.” The commercial property deal, which represents the first purchase by a Chinese insurance company in the UK was managed by Commerz Real and advised by Savills and CBRE.
July 4, 2013
Reforms to strip out inefficiencies in public sector construction – including the use of building information modelling (BIM) and the creation of a sustainable supply chain have generated £447 million in savings and will deliver up to 20 per cent savings in project costs by 2015, Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith has announced. By making links across departments the Government has also been able to act as a single customer to the construction industry and provide clear benchmarks for budgets by setting out the average price it expects to pay for projects. The Government has now published a new set of benchmarks that are designed to drive down project costs even further and encourage the industry to offer more competitive and innovative solutions. more…
July 3, 2013
One day, news will emerge from Dubai of a new development that doesn’t break some record or other, or at least one that isn’t solely about the size of a building. The latest example of the Emirati obsession with scale is the plan by developers DMCC, the people who brought you the Jumeirah Lake Towers, to create the world’s largest commercial office building as part of a 107,000 sq m development of their business park. Although still in the development stage, the developers have their eyes on usurping the current holder of the tallest office crown, Taipei 101, the 509m-high building which was the world’s tallest tower of any sort until the Burj Khalifa came along in 2010. In their press announcement the developers claim the new tower will act as a magnet for multinationals, although not everybody is quite so enamoured of the idea that tall is best. more…
July 3, 2013
The London office market continues to thrive according to two new reports from property consultancies CBRE and BNP Paribas Real Estate. According to the CBRE survey, take-up of Central London office space in the second quarter of 2013 increased by 32 percent compared with the previous quarter while, according to BNP Paribas, the take up of central London offices in the first half of 2013 rose by nearly a quarter 24 percent to 6.02m sq ft compared with the same period in 2012, while activity rose by around a third (31 percent) to 3.08m sq ft in the second quarter of the year compared with the second quarter of 2012. CBRE report that there were three deals for offices over 100,000 sq ft in the period covered and eight deals over 50,000 sq ft, the highest number since Q4 2010.
July 2, 2013
An industrial strategy for construction – ‘Construction 2025’ is being launched by the Coalition Government today which aims to tap into the considerable growth opportunities predicted for the global construction market. The strategy has been developed in partnership with the new Construction Leadership Council, jointly chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable and Sir David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail, formed to help oversee the delivery of the action plan and its strategic priorities. The strategy’s vision to 2025 includes ambitions for a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, and an equal reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials. more…
July 1, 2013
What were your thoughts on the recent announcement of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), Asset Skills, the Facilities Management Association and the Cleaning and Support Services Association agreeing to the concept of forming one single and united body to represent facilities management and support services? I suppose the devil is in the detail and clarification of “agreeing to the concept” is required. Is this going to be a quick process, something that drags on for a lengthy period and what consultation will there be? And that is the crux for me – consultation is where this could all break down. But let’s take a step back and ask how many people work in the sector and how many facilities managers do the organisations involved represent?
June 28, 2013
Detailed plans have been submitted for the design of the new Google London headquarters building in King’s Cross. The 1 million sq. ft scheme designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris does not exceed 11 storeys at any point and will be home to up to 4,500 employees, double the company’s current London workforce and potentially making it the largest Google operation outside of New York. The scheme is part of a wider development of Kings Cross and will incorporate 750,000 sq. ft. of office space with 50,000 sq. ft. of shops and cafes. Current employees will relocate from three existing buildings in the capital. Subject to approval for the detailed design from Camden Council, who have already granted planning permission, work will begin on the site next year with completion set for 2016-2017.
June 25, 2013
The UK Cabinet Office has announced details of a new pilot scheme covering 12 local authorities in England which will encourage councils to work with central government departments and other bodies to share buildings and re-use or release property and land deemed surplus to requirements and so cut spending and free up land for local development. The ‘One Public Sector Estate’ scheme will also enable councils to share services and follow the path of central government which has its own schemes to cut costs and divest or find new uses for its property portfolio. Chloë Smith, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office who will be delivering the scheme in partnership with the Local Government Association, also believes the scheme will boost the UK economy and encourage regeneration and development at a local level.
June 25, 2013
America’s corporate occupiers are not only reducing the amount of office space they use, they are changing their requirements too according to the latest Office Occupier View report from CBRE. Not only did overall demand for commercial space fall during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the last of 2012, the average amount of space allocated to each worker is falling below 225 sq.ft. (21 sq.m.) , and occupiers are demanding more open, ‘creative’ working environments in Class A buildings with large floor plates. Occupiers are also looking for space that is ideally located in central business districts (CBDs) with easy access to transport links and amenities and offers them flexible terms.
June 24, 2013
A major new £8m low carbon building, which is the first commercial building to be designed to achieve both Passivhaus and BREEAM Outstanding certifications has been granted planning permission. The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia (UEA), designed by UK-GBC members Architype and BDP, as well as Churchman Landscape Architects, also aims to set radical new sustainability standards in terms of embodied energy and use of materials from renewable sources. Ben Humphries, Associate Director from Architype and lead designer for the project, described the building as an “exciting and innovative piece of architecture.” more…
June 20, 2013
Land Securities announcement today of a £260 million development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate, EC4, a speculative mixed-use development in the City of London confirms a growing confidence in the City office market. The 379,000 sq ft scheme occupies an island site near St Paul’s Cathedral and comprises two distinct buildings united by a new public piazza, which together aim to offer 346,000 sq ft of office accommodation set around open and green spaces. Colette O’Shea, Head of Development, London said: “Our decision to commence the speculative development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate reflects our confidence both in the City office market, where we believe supply of new space will be constrained in 2015, and in the quality of the attractive and highly efficient office space we are creating.” more…
June 18, 2013
The BIM4FM group, representing institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment has created an online discussion group to stimulate the conversation around the engagement of facilities managers, owners and occupiers in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Government Soft Landings (GSL). Geoff Prudence, Chairman of the BIM4FM group explained: “Since our launch many individuals have asked to join the BIFM4FM group. However, the group has been set up as a steering committee of institutes, trade bodies and professional associations, supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit. That said, rather than excluding the enthusiasm of individuals, we thought we should encourage and harness their input from across our communities, as it’s often those who are operating at grassroots level who raise the most valuable insights.” more…