November 28, 2018
A new report has been published which argues that FM has the power, and responsibility to contribute towards social, economic and political betterment, but to do so the sector needs to be more explicit in the value it offers. Sustainability in facilities management: A Holistic View’ from Active Workplace Solutions claims to explore sustainability within the built environment, analyses how the facilities management (FM) sector can impact wider environmental, social and economic goals and build a holistic strategic picture of sustainability. more…
November 26, 2018
A decrease in commuting times in the UK will reduce levels of carbon dioxide by 7.8 million tonnes per year by 2030, according to a new study by Regus. The economic study, carried out by independent researchers, found that if the growth in flexible workspace continues to increase, commuters in the country could save 115 million hours of commuting time per annum by 2030 from a turn to flexible working. Meanwhile, the nation which would see the largest annual carbon emission saving by 2030 is the United States. It is predicted to save nearly 960 million hours in commuting time, and with US commuters relying heavily on cars, this time saved translates to over 100 million tonnes of CO2.
October 23, 2018
You’re probably aware of the experiment performed by Stanley Milgram in which volunteers were asked by men in white coats to administer what they believed to be electric shocks to another person, who they could not see, but could hear, from behind a screen. Around two-thirds of the volunteers agreed to deliver what they were told to be potentially fatal shocks to the subject, who they could hear screaming and begging for them to stop. What they didn’t know was the person they were agreeing to inflict this on was in fact an actor. Milgram’s experiment stands as the most famous example of a series of studies that have attempted to highlight the willingness of humans to bow to authority figures and comply with group norms irrespective of what their own morals might tell them.
September 17, 2018
The Crown Estate has announced that it has been awarded WELL Certification at the Platinum Level for its head office at No 1 St James’s Market, London by the International WELL Building Institute. The Crown Estate earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance—air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind—and achieved a Platinum level rating.
September 5, 2018
UK based building research body BRE has announced plans for a new research centre building at its campus in Hertfordshire. The new Open Innovation Hub will be built on the current site of a redundant and soon to be demolished 1960’s office block, known as Building 4, at the organisation’s Garston base. BRE says the new building, designed by architects AHMM will create a national and international centre for research and innovation in emerging sectors such as digital, connected and smart built environment. The four-floor 35,000 sq ft building will offer high-quality incubation and SME acceleration space to facilitate collaboration between the research base, large firms and knowledge-intensive SMEs. BRE aims to see the £10m build project achieve a BREEAM outstanding environmental accreditation. Once finished it will create 150 jobs and BRE also hopes to attract as many as 25 new firms to its Enterprise Zone.
August 29, 2018
London has joined 18 other cities around the world, including Paris, New York and Tokyo, in a landmark commitment to make all new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030. Regulations and planning policy will also target existing buildings to make them net-zero carbon by 2050. Net zero carbon buildings are buildings which reduce all energy use as far as technically possible, with remaining demand met through renewables. The commitment has been orchestrated by C40 cities, a global group of major cities committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level. As city authorities do not have direct control over all the buildings in their area, the commitment includes a pledge to work together with the private sector as well as state and regional governments to drive the transformation. This pledge from cities is part of the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment for businesses, cities, states and regions.
July 3, 2018
Built environment organisations are calling for urgent action on issues such as consumption, innovation and infrastructure to prevent the UK slipping behind other nations on poverty, equality and the environment as a new report released today (3 July 2018) highlights the UK’s inadequate performance against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those for the built environment. The report, Measuring up, from the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), is the first comprehensive assessment of the UK’s performance against all 17 SDGs and highlights a significant danger that quality of life in the UK will worsen if action is not taken. Just some of the findings of the report include; that the UK is performing well (green) on only 24 percent of its targets; no industry, innovation and infrastructure targets have achieved a ‘good’ performance rating, with gaps in policy coverage and inadequate or deteriorating performance and large scale, sustained investment in replacing ageing infrastructure and creating additional resilient and low carbon infrastructure of all kinds is required.
June 19, 2018
There is a critical need for to simplify the regulatory framework designed to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings finds a recent report from the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) Carbon Management & Sustainable Buildings Working Group. It also suggests that Brexit could act as a spur to rethink the right combination of policies to reform enforcement systems. The report, Improving non-domestic energy efficiency after Brexit, one of a series EIC is publishing setting out its members’ views on the impact of Brexit on environmental policy and how policy should evolve after the UK leaves the EU, covers the breadth of energy efficiency policy for non-domestic buildings. As part of its research, EIC surveyed England’s local authorities, who have responsibility for trading standards, finding that out of those that responded (122 out of 149), no local authorities have been issuing fines for failing to display Energy Performance Certificates or Display Energy Certificates.
June 18, 2018
The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has launched its new Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment as part of Building Lasting Change 2018 with WorldGBC Congress Canada in Toronto, and called on market leaders in the sector to join as signatories. The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenges businesses and organisations across the world to take advanced climate action by setting ambitious targets to eliminate operational carbon emissions from their building portfolios by 2030 in order to meet the Paris Agreement ambition of below 2 degrees of global warming.
May 18, 2018
In today’s society there is far more awareness and concern around additives in food and drink, vehicle emissions and the pollutants from factories. There is, however, a remarkable lack of knowledge when it comes to the air quality of our working environment, beyond air conditioning systems and whether printers emit anything ‘nasty’. The truth is that most of the contents of our offices are emitting substances; invisibly polluting the air we breathe for most of the day. And not least the furniture that surrounds us. Chemicals play a big part in the manufacturing of furniture, from glues to lacquers, fabric treatments to flame retardants. Chemicals are not all bad though. We need chemicals for almost everything we do. They enable us to create products that are long lasting, good looking and comfortable. Progress has much to thank chemicals for. The key is knowing what chemicals to use and what to avoid.
April 25, 2018
Major metropolitan office markets across the globe are seeing a significant increase in the adoption of green building certification programmes, according to the inaugural International Green Building Adoption Index (IGBAI) – a study by CBRE and Maastricht University. The study reports that 18.6 percent of space in 10 markets across Australia, Canada and Europe is now certified green versus just 6.4 percent in 2007. Canadian cities set the pace, with 51.6 percent of the space in Vancouver (pictured) and 51.0 percent in Toronto holding green certifications. This is particularly notable for Vancouver, as the city has a formal initiative and action plan – “Greenest City 2020” – toward becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. In Vancouver and Toronto, green buildings trends will continue to drive both new development and redevelopment of office product. In Vancouver, more than half of the 1.5 million-square feet of product under development is being built to high green certification standards, while much of Toronto’s existing class A product is undergoing intensive capital improvement projects that include upgrades aimed at earning green certifications as well.
April 25, 2018
The World Green Building Council has launched a new report highlighting what it suggests are the tangible economic benefits of green buildings and the improved levels of occupant satisfaction when companies implement new health, wellbeing and productivity features in existing green structures. Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Wellbeing in Green Building presents case studies of 11 facilities around the globe that have one or more green certifications including LEED, Green Star and BREEAM. The report evaluates health and wellbeing features that were integrated into the facilities, such as enhanced fresh air ventilation, acoustic privacy, increase of daylight penetration and use of biophilic design elements such as green walls and extensive indoor plants.