Property and Construction
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…
February 13, 2013
Net-zero commercial buildings, i.e. those that produce at least as much energy as they consume should be the long-term aim of corporate energy strategies, says a CoreNet Global statement. “Smart and responsible energy policies and practices reduce corporate carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, (and) we encourage our members’ companies to drive energy efficiency to optimal levels with net-zero buildings as a top measure of long-term success.” The global real estate association calls on governments around the world to incentivise building owners, investors and occupiers who proactively reduce their carbon footprints. more…
February 13, 2013
Amazing time lapse footage of the internal destruction of the 140m tall Grand Prince Hotel in Akasaka, Japan. While not as exciting and crowd pleasing as the traditional method of blowing the building up, the company responsible, Taisei Corporation, claims the new method decreases dust by up to 90 percent and reduces noise by around 20 decibels and can be used on a wide range of building types and structures.
February 12, 2013
Tech and media companies continue to shape the world’s cities and local property markets according to a recent report from BNP Paribas. While this is a global phenomenon, some of the most dramatic developments will take place in London, not least a shift of tech firms in the city away from their heartland towards Kings Cross following Google’s $1bn purchase of 2.4 acres of land within a major new development in the area. The new development may become a hothouse for technology companies in spite of the UK Government’s focus on promoting Tech City and surrounding areas in East London. more…
February 11, 2013
The EU Commissioner for Climate Action has today launched a low-carbon contest, calling on creative and innovative ideas from across the EU. The World You Like Challenge is part of the European Commission’s climate action campaign: A world you like, launched at London City Hall [pictured] in October 2012. Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “The Challenge is a great opportunity to move beyond mere talking about climate change. By submitting your project, you help us show that building a world we like with a climate we like is both feasible and affordable.” more…