Property and Construction
March 21, 2013
In spite of all its flaws, the Internet can empower people to address specific issues in ways that exceed the abilities of nation states. In this energising talk for the Royal Society for the Arts, Don Tapscott, a Canadian businessman and now one of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on people and societies, explores the idea that engaged and connected people can work together to innovate and solve issues that can seem intractable to the world’s governments and international bodies, including the most serious demographic and environmental challenges we all face.
March 21, 2013
There’s been a muted reaction by the building and construction sector to the Budget announcement of a boast to infrastructure investment and relief that revised energy management regulations are likely to be pushed through. CIBSE has welcomed the news that the Government will be giving a detailed response to last year’s Consultation on changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, which covers energy efficiency, by May 2013. The body which represents building services engineers had raised concerns that delays in changes to Part L of Building Regulations in England should not hold up much needed, cost beneficial changes to Part L for the non-domestic market.
March 21, 2013
As part of the Canadian government’s consolidation of its diplomatic mission in the UK, it has put up for sale MacDonald House in Grosvenor Square in London and will look to develop its other main building Canada House in Trafalgar Square. MacDonald House was formerly the American Embassy until 1961 and the Canadian Government has been looking to consolidate its operations for a number of years. As well as moving its functions under one roof, the Government has earmarked $16 million for a revamp of Canada House which will also be designed to showcase Canadian values and know-how.
March 20, 2013
Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of building design and construction experts agree that BIM (Building Information Modelling) represents “the future of project information” and 39 per cent confirmed that they are already using it. But the annual industry-wide BIM survey, undertaken by NBS, reveals a lack of clarity around the subject which could prove an obstacle to its more rapid adoption. 74 per cent of those polled agreed that the industry is “not clear enough on what BIM is yet” and only around one-third claim to be “very” or “quite” confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.
March 20, 2013
There is more pressure on Chancellor George Osborne ahead of today’s budget with the news that uemployment rose by 7,000 to 2.52 million between November and January. However the overall unemployment rate for November 2012 to January 2013 remained at 7.8 per cent, unchanged from August to October 2012. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also show that while pay rose by 1.2 per cent during the same period, with inflation measuring 2.7 per cent between January 2012 and January 2013, there continues to be a cut in the real value of pay. more…
March 18, 2013
The Cabinet Office has unveiled a new centralised system that it claims will make it easier and cheaper for suppliers to compete for government and public sector work because they will only have to register once to have access to a range of contracts. Currently, suppliers to government and the public sector have to register on several systems to be able to view, access and tender for business opportunities. The Cabinet Office believes the new system will be particularly attractive for SMEs who found the current system too onerous. The system will replace an existing system which serves over 80,000 registered suppliers and the same number of customers
March 18, 2013
Plans for two buildings on the site of the failed Lumiere mixed use skyscraper project in Leeds have won planning approval. The new Central Square scheme in the city centre will deliver 262,000 sq.ft. of office space in two new buildings, one consisting of 89,000 sq.ft. over eight floors and a larger 11 storey building with 173,000 sq.ft of space. The new plans replace those for the landmark Lumiere tower Lumiere originally intended to be completed in 2010 but put on hold in 2008 and finally cancelled two years later. The new scheme has been designed by Aedas. (Forgive the Franglais in the title.)
March 15, 2013
Leading environmental and building construction bodies are calling on the Government to help grow the built environment in next week’s budget. The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) is urging the Chancellor to use the Budget 2013 to demonstrate the Coalition’s commitment to energy efficiency as a key driver of green growth and provide a boost to the construction sector. And in a list of requests, RICS asks the government to visibly promote public sector construction contracts, meaning smaller firms across the UK are aware of projects and able to directly bid for work.
March 14, 2013
Serviced office provider Regus has claimed that it has launched the world’s first city-wide network of flexible working hubs in 70 Shell service stations across Berlin. The facilities available for the Regus Card toting road warriors at the ‘Regus Express’ hubs include wifi (surely a given these days), docking stations, business lounges and meeting rooms. It is the most extensive use yet of the Regus approach to ‘third spaces’ which has so far also included the provision of facilities on Shell service station on the autoroutes around Paris, trains on the Dutch rail network and certain UK branches of Staples.
March 13, 2013
Shifting occupier dynamics, a limited supply pool, and a flurry of west to east relocations is redefining the boundaries of London’s West End office market. Sue Foxley, head of research, Cluttons, explained: “Corporate occupiers recognise the importance of securing high quality space within key markets in order to attract and retain the best possible staff, however, it is inevitable that the increasingly restricted supply pool is continuing to hamper relocation options. Businesses, regardless of sector, certainly are not looking for ‘budget’ rental options, but they are becoming increasingly aware that opportunities to secure quality space is scarce and not limited to prime areas.”
March 13, 2013
The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has claimed that central Government departments in the UK have now raised more than £1 billion by selling unused property since 2010. He also claimed that government departments have saved an additional £168 million with the termination of leases on unwanted buildings. The landmark figure was reached with the sale of St. Dunstan’s House (above), formerly home to the Ministry of Justice to Taylor Wimpey who will be converting the site into – what else? – a residential project of 76 apartments designed by David Walker Architects.
March 11, 2013
A new report from property consultants Savills based on the total cost of setting up in business in the world’s major cities has today revealed that Hong Kong is the most expensive of the ten cities in which to locate, with London in second place and New York a close third. The total real estate cost of setting up business in all three cities is now almost three times that in the best priced world capitals, Shanghai and Mumbai. The report will be published in full on the 20th March as The World Cities Review and includes measures of headline rent, tax and other charges.