Property and Construction
April 5, 2013
If Tesco ever wants to update its three word strapline from Every Little Helps, it could plump for something more accurate such as We Own You. Unless Facebook or Google register it first, of course. The news this week that the extensively diversified retailer is to set up an office for its digital operations in the heart of one of the UK’s Technology Media and Telecoms (TMT) hothouse in Clerkenwell tells us a great deal about how it sees its operations in this area. The move will not only help Tesco to recruit staff in and around the Tech City area of East London, but sets a marker for how it views its place in the scheme of things.
April 4, 2013
The Dutch Embassy in London is to move from its current location at Hyde Park Gate to a 50,000 sq ft site as part of the Embassy Gardens development on the South Bank of the Thames. The Embassy, which will move in 2017, will sit adjacent to the new US Embassy, already under construction and due for completion during the same year. Embassy Gardens is part of the Nine Elms development on the South Bank and is masterplanned by architect Sir Terry Farrell to encompass a kilometre-long Linear Park – starting in Vauxhall and moving through Embassy Gardens on the way to Battersea Power Station. more…
April 4, 2013
According to the latest Markit/CIPS monthly survey of purchasing managers in the construction industry, output in the sector decreased once more in March but at the slowest rate since October of last year. The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) which measures overall output in the sector, was calculated at 47.2 during March, up from 46.8 in February. Scores below 50 are deemed to indicate a contraction in the market. The reduced output was put down to a combination of subdued underlying demand and unusually bad weather.
April 4, 2013
Investors in the commercial office market are increasingly being drawn towards the UK regions, according to a new report by Deloitte Real Estate. The UK Key Cities publication explores the trend that regional offices are emerging as a focus for savvy investors seeking higher returns. At the same time, individual cities are recognising the need to stand apart from competing locations and bridge the gap between themselves and London. These cities are being bolstered by factors such as improved connectivity through large planned infrastructure projects, devolution of power, and investment into the retail and leisure markets.
April 3, 2013
Entries are now open for the SBID (Society of British Interior Design) third International Design Awards, which recognises design excellence across the built environment, ranging from super luxury projects, to innovative design and new talent on limited budgets. The fourteen categories include residential and contract sectors, entertainment space, transport, product and public space, visualisation (3d renderings) and interior design project under £50,000. Previous finalists and winners have included: Candy & Candy’s Candyscape II and Number One Hyde Park; Bentley Motors Head Office in Crewe by FutureBrand [pictured]; Mercedes Showroom in Washington by Studio Lux; The Hyundai Business Centre in Korea by Hyundai Construction and Engineering; Viking Cruises by Integration.
March 31, 2013
Normally it would strike you as a bit odd that a company would appoint one of the world’s most high profile architects to design its new headquarters, a man with an immediately recognisable and frequently stunning visual style, only to then ask him to rein it all in and produce something pretty sober and unobtrusive. But that is precisely what Facebook has done with the appointment of Frank Gehry who has been tasked with producing a low key design for its new headquarters building and campus in California which gained approval at the end of last week.
March 29, 2013
The story of the world’s cities is often told not in words but in numbers. This is especially the case with the megacities – those with a population in excess of 10 million – which obtain enough critical mass not only to produce eye boggling statistics but also to distort the fabric of whole regions and change the way people live and behave. This is true for the established megacities of London, New York and Tokyo as well as the emerging global metropolises in Sao Paolo, Beijing, Mumbai, Shanghai, Cairo and Istanbul. It is also increasingly true for cities many people have never heard of.
March 28, 2013
The latest Future Trends Survey by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is showing a more positive picture for the architect profession and the wider construction sector. The RIBA’s Workload Index for February 2013 stands at +16, the third consecutive monthly increase, and has now remained in positive territory since November 2012 which continues to suggest improved confidence amongst architects regarding their future growth prospects. RIBA practices report that overall actual workloads remained stable throughout 2012, following falls in every calendar year from 2009 until 2011.
March 27, 2013
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is of as much importance to those tasked with using and managing buildings as those involved in their design and construction and has led to the formation of the BIM4FM group, which represents institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment. Supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit, the BIM4FM group will provide input into the on going development of BIM and work being developed through the Government Property Unit and BIM Task Group. Geoff Prudence, Chair of the BIM4FM group said: “Although BIM has long been discussed at the construction end of the supply chain it has only recently and repeatedly started to raise its profile with those operating and using buildings.” more…
March 26, 2013
If you’re looking for some practical guidance on sustainability check out a free London-wide event, Green Sky Thinking, a week-long series of free sustainability-focused events showcasing innovative and practical solutions to greening London’s built environment, which runs across London from 15-19 April. Ranging from onsite project talks, round-table discussions, pecha kuchas and seminars, it offers attendees the inside view from top experts, industry leaders and collaborative teams to understand innovations and what works in practice. Victoria Thornton, Founding Director of Open City, said: “The value of Green Sky Thinking Week is offering the solution of ‘how’ to make London’s built environment sustainable.” more…
March 26, 2013
One of the standard complaints commonly ascribed to facilities managers and others who work to manage our buildings and the people and stuff inside them is that they are not consulted well enough when it comes to the development, architecture and design of buildings. Well, now they may have a chance to see how that all feels writ large following yesterday’s announcement from Culture and Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey of the launch of an independent review of the UK’s architecture which will be undertaken by the architect Sir Terry Farrell leading a panel of mainly architects.
March 25, 2013
The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has taken enforcement action against a fifth of the refurbishment sites it visited as part of a month long programme of inspections. HSE inspectors visited 2,363 sites where refurbishment work was taking place and served 631 enforcement notices at 433 sites.A total of 451 notices were served that ordered work stop immediately until appropriate action was taken to minimise risks to workers and members of the public. The inspections took place between 18 February and the 15 March as HSE officials made unannounced visits to constructions across the UK to check on measures taken to counter high risk situations such as working at height and other circumstances such as the use of PPE equipment.