Property and Construction
May 15, 2013
Alan Muse, Director of Built Environment Professional Groups (RICS) is calling for a cultural shift to ensure that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is more widely adopted. This follows the results of a survey taken at the RICS National BIM conference which revealed that despite its overwhelming recognition within the built environment nearly half of respondents were still not using the process, with 46 per cent identifying minimal client demand as a major factor preventing their implementation of BIM. Comments Muse: “Quite simply, some clients are not yet recognising the efficiencies that BIM can bring”, which is the reason why RICs is now developing a BIM accreditation standard.
May 15, 2013
The UK government should reverse the long term slump in infrastructure investment to boost the economy, according to a new report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. The report, Securing Our Economy: The Case For Infrastructure, calls for the government to address the decade long £13bn infrastructure construction shortfall and lays out a series of recommendations to reverse the situation. The report claims the UK endures a £78bn GDP ‘black hole’ each year due to the lack of investment and that by investing at the level of other developed economies, the economy could enjoy an additional £100 billion each year by 2026.
May 14, 2013
The results of a pilot project to review list descriptions for post-war commercial offices has been announced by English Heritage. The revisions to 28 commercial offices by the conservation body have better identified the special interest in these buildings, which in many cases are the exterior and internally are usually limited to spaces such as lobbies and board rooms. When other parts of the building, such as basements and working floors are not of interest, this is said explicitly, thereby giving owners greater flexibility and clarity in the consents process and the management of change.
May 14, 2013
Anybody who has been working in and around the facilities management sector for any length of time will know that the FM profession/discipline (delete as appropriate) regularly undergoes protracted periods of existential angst about its role. It strikes me however that this is actually quite an easy question to deal with because the answer is the same as it is for similarly amorphous professions such as marketing. It all seems to depend on who you are and what you are trying to do. That’s the twist. The average facilities manager, like the Urban Spaceman, doesn’t exist. I might think that but it won’t stop the associations and institutes currently working together to establish a new super-body for FM in the UK having to continue the debate.
May 10, 2013
The office rental sector has benefited from the prospect of reduced supply, stemming from the recent announcement by the government to relax the need for permission to change use from commercial to residential, according to RICS’ property and construction experts. Although the first quarter results of the 2013 RICS UK Commercial Market Survey reveals how the retail side of the commercial market continues to suffer, other areas of the commercial property market – such as office and industrial space have seen demand for premises strengthen slightly with no major increases in empty floor space and rising levels of tenant demand for office premises. more…
May 9, 2013
Following our report in February that the majority of London’s boroughs had applied to be exempt from plans to relax planning laws on the conversion of offices into homes, the government has today exempted most of central London and some UK regions from the new rules. Local authorities were asked to apply for exemptions earlier in the year and now cover areas within the jurisdiction of 17 local authorities including the City of London, Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Westminster, Newham and Kensington and Chelsea. Nationwide, exemptions have been granted for parts of central Manchester, the Vale of the White Horse, Stevenage, Ashford in Kent, Sevenoaks and East Hampshire.
May 8, 2013
Workspace Group has announced that it has received planning consent for the mixed–use redevelopment of its property at the Tower Bridge Business Complex in South East London. The final development will offer 270,000 sq ft of existing business space and 60,000 sq ft of new business accommodation as well as 800 new residential units and a public park. Jamie Hopkins, chief executive officer said: “There is strong demand for tailored business space in the area and it is our firm intention to increase the number of jobs on site in order to benefit the local community. The development also provides a significant boost to both the capital value and rental income of the site.”
May 2, 2013
The built environment is an engine for green growth and UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) intends to demonstrate how, says the sustainable buildings campaigner today as it outlines specific areas of focus to promote green building over the next 12 months. This follows the publication of its Impact Report earlier this week which reflected on some of its key initiatives over the past year, including the launch of Pinpoint, a new search engine for information on green building, the publication of a plan for growth strategy and its work to influence government policy regarding the built environment.
May 1, 2013
The world’s leading property institutions meet today to create a universal method of measuring property assets. At present, the way property assets – such as an office development is measured, varies widely from country to country. With so many different methods of measurement available, it makes it difficult for those looking to invest in these developments to compare like with like. This confusion can affect property values, lead to errors in financial reporting and, consequentially, undermine market confidence. Headed by RICS, this initial meeting of the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC) is the first step to delivering this consistency.
April 30, 2013
Building and infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty has issued its second profits warning in six months, with the announcement that its UK construction business is expected to deliver significantly lower profits than expected this year. The company said the UK construction market has been a challenging environment in which to win and execute work, adding: “Market conditions which deteriorated significantly in the second half of 2012 continue to be difficult. Change in procurement trends, which we have previously highlighted have persisted, allowing customers to impose increasingly stringent conditions onto contractors.”
April 30, 2013
A new report from Jones Lang LaSalle claims to highlight how those firms who see their property as a driver of added value rather than a cost reap rewards in the form of higher revenue, employee performance and shareholder returns. In contrast, those firms who view their facilities as a cost and seek to reduce those costs for short term gain are, in fact, storing up long term problems and risks. JLL’s report – Global Corporate Real Estate Trends – claims to reveal the top five corporate real estate risks, including negative impacts on competitive advantage and profitability from cost cutting, procurement processes, lack of collaboration between functions and failure to drive productivity.
April 30, 2013
The UK isn’t the only country looking to convert its unwanted office space into other uses. According to a new report from CBRE, the oversupply of new commercial property in Dubai is leading developers to switch the use of projects in the Emirate before they have even finished building them. With occupancy levels already at less than 50 percent in some areas and swathes of new developments coming online thanks to Dubai’s ongoing commitment to a policy of ‘build it and they will come’, developers are taking the decision to convert construction projects to homes or hotels.
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