Property and Construction
February 26, 2013
A holistic energy efficiency strategy is needed to ensure a balance between efforts to make buildings more airtight and the need to increase ventilation. This is why an understanding of psychrometry is an increasingly important issue for the built environment. Psychrometry is used to prevent environments being created which are detrimental to health, either through too dry an atmosphere or conditions where damp and mould can flourish says the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) which has issued new guidance.
February 26, 2013
The full impact of high levels of government spending as well as private sector and foreign investment in infrastructure and development in the Gulf is evident in a new report from analysts RNCOS which claims that the construction sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to grow from its current size of $39.4bn at the end of 2012 by a compound rate of 9.5% a year until 2016. The report breaks the market down into four major areas of development; retail, residential, office and hospitality. The follow on effects for firms offering products and services will, of course, also be substantial.
February 25, 2013
Earlier, we reported that London’s Mayor Boris Johnson openly believes that London’s key business districts should be exempt from proposals to allow offices to be turned into homes without planning permission. Now a report emerges from CBRE that all but a handful of London’s boroughs are to seek to make themselves exempt from the rules. According to the research, only Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Croydon and Kingston are unlikely to seek an exemption. Four other boroughs are discussing plans with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the remaining 25 are set to apply to make themselves exempt.
February 24, 2013
Finding a great office can be a hugely important step on the road to success for a small business. Business can not only outgrow their existing space, but even for those who want to remain small, escaping the distractions of a home-working environment by moving into a space specifically designed for working can give a real boost to productivity and provide a great sense of identity. Of course, when you’re searching it’s essential for small business owners to do all the most common-sense things: including shopping around, getting out to view properties and so on. But it’s also worth bearing in mind a few of the following pointers:
February 22, 2013
A new study prepared for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) by the National Research Council has given the seal of approval on the importance of green-building certification programs as tools to reduce energy use and other operational costs. “This reaffirmed what we’ve been saying all along – that LEED makes good economic sense,” said Fleming Roberts, Associate, Policy & Advocacy at the US Building Council. “The report recommended that the Department of Defense should require its new buildings or major renovations to be designed to achieve at least LEED Silver certification.” more…
February 19, 2013
A new report from Cushman and Wakefield has confirmed the results of an earlier study from DTZ that London’s West End is the world’s most expensive office location. According to the property services firm the West End has overtaken Hong Kong’s central business district for the first time since 2008 because of rent increases of 2 per cent fuelled by a shortage of appropriate space. According to the report occupiers now pay as much as £169 per square foot to occupy the best West End office space including rent, service charges and taxes. rents went up around the world by an average of 3 per cent, driven by rapidly growing markets, especially in South America.
February 18, 2013
The UK’s BIM (Building Information Modelling) Task Group is launching a Digital Plans of Work site on February 28. The latest phase in the government’s plans to make the UK the world leader in BIM, the site will enable users to keep an online version of their work. BIM is also attracting support worldwide. Today, US construction giant ZMG Construction threw its weight behind the technology saying: “New technological developments continue to revolutionize the construction and design industries — and building information modelling, or BIM, is foremost on the list of these major technological advances.” more…
February 17, 2013
Just as we were getting used to the idea of the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah relieving the Burj Khalifa of its short-lived crown as the World’s tallest building, news emerges that Abu Dhabi Group is planning to top them both as part of an investment of some $45 billion in several Pakistani cities. The proposed projects include ghastly sounding replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World along with a huge tower in the city of Karachi. Whether all of the mooted projects see the light of day is one to debate given the parlous state of the World’s finances. more…
February 16, 2013
Two architectural practice have been appointed to carry out masterplanning for the $20 billion Kingdom City project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Kingdom Holdings, the firm owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has appointed US-based Calthorpe Associates as lead masterplanner for the 5.3 million square metre development, while Gulf based Godwin Austen Johnson has been named urban architect. Kingdom City is a vast mixed use development which will also be home to the world’s tallest building the Kingdom Tower. The project will be completed in three-phases with Kingdom Tower be built in phase-one, infrastructure to be created in phase-two, and details of phase-three yet to be revealed.
February 15, 2013
New guidelines aimed at ensuring the consistency and quality of advice offered by design review panels across the UK have been published by the Cabe team at the Design Council in collaboration with the Landscape Institute, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA). Welcoming the launch of the revised guidance; ‘Design Review, Principles and Practice’ RIBA President Angela Brady said: “Design review is a hugely valuable tool, which has had a proven track record of improving the quality of schemes.”
February 15, 2013
The UK Treasury yesterday announced new rules that would mean that it can ban firms who avoid tax illegally from winning public sector contracts. The new system will come into force as early as April 1 of this year, leaving little time for consultation and are outlined in draft guidance published for consultation by the Government. It will require potential suppliers to notify contracting departments of their recent tax compliance history and to tell the department if any tax return has recently been found to be incorrect and if they have been convicted for tax related offences or subject to a penalty for civil fraud or evasion. Departments will be able to disqualify any bidder meeting these criteria from the procurement process.
February 14, 2013
The controversial and long-awaited plans for the redevelopment of the derelict sections of Smithfield in London have been submitted by Henederson Global Investors. While the existing meat market will remain untouched, the £160m plan for the rest of the site includes the refurbishment of the former General Market, Fish Market and Red House Buildings, as well as the original engine house. Originally built between 1886 and 1883 by the architect of Tower Bridge Horace Jones, the historic site has been the subject of previous proposals including a controversial scheme by architects KPF which was thrown out after a 4 year battle in 2008. more…
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