Search Results for: economy

UK commercial property lease lengths shorten to ten year low, claims report

let-signLease lengths for commercial property fell to an historic low in the year to June 2013, while income, lost due to tenants going bust, hit an all time high, according to a new report from IPD. The IPD Lease Events Review measures over 93,000 leases, and 3,500 lease events across the UK. The 2013 edition found that over 80 percent of UK leases signed in the year to June 2013 were under five years in length, the highest level since measurement began and up from 55 percent over the last ten years. The average length of commercial property leases is now 5.8 years, down from 7.8 years in 2003, lower even than the 6.0 years in 2009 at the lowest point of the recession. Landlords have struggled to maintain cash flow and lost over 6 percent of their income due to a record numbers of defaults and insolvencies last year.

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RIBA heralds dawn of a ‘smart’ era that revolutionises the way we shape our cities

HeronTower537x315A new report that explores the massive potential role that data could have in the planning and design of our buildings and cities has been launched by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and ARUP. The report ‘Designing with data: Shaping our future cities’ identifies the main approaches to working with data for those involved in designing and planning cities. Better data can offer a deep insight into people’s needs and has the potential to transform the way architects and urban planners design our built environments. This could result in cheaper experimentation and testing of designs before construction begins. It also promises the chance for greater consultation with potential users – speeding up the process, saving time and money and resulting in better and more affordable design. More →

RICS’ new FM Guidance Note aims to improve business performance

RICS launches guidance note to improve business performanceThe Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has launched a global guidance note which can help facilities and estates managers increase efficiency and drive up profits across business. The Global Strategic Facilities Management (FM) Guidance Note is aimed at facilities managers and corporate real estate professionals overseeing the running of commercial property worldwide, providing recommendations on developing, implementing and evaluating a strategic plan for the running and servicing of individual buildings and property portfolios. The note is also accessible for clients and consultants by providing them with a clear picture of the best practice methods that should be implemented in the running of buildings in order to boost organisational performance. More →

New report identifies the ten key trends set to transform US commercial property

Navel gazingAccording to a new report from Deloitte, the recent upturn in the US commercial real estate sector is set to continue unabated into next year. Which is great news but according to the property consultancy, the market that emerges from the ashes of the downturn will be very different to the one from which they were formed. Deloitte’s 15th annual Commercial Real Estate Outlook report has identified what it considers the top ten trends that will reshape the emerging market based on a mixture of original research, subjective insights and the firm’s experience with clients. These trends are dominated by structural and financial issues and the only nods towards external socio-economic factors are mentions for the aging workforce within the market (so much for the transformational potential of GenY) and increases in single family households (can’t see the link with commercial property).

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Major injuries at work have reached an all-time low says HSE

There has been an 11 per cent drop in major injuries at work compared to 2011/12, according to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics – though construction remains one of the most dangerous sectors. Meanwhile, figures compiled by health and safety expert ELAS shows the HSE has fined UK firms more than £5.5 million for health and safety failings under its ‘Fees for Intervention’ scheme (FFI) since its launch one year ago. Under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, companies that break health and safety laws are liable for fines to cover HSE related costs, including call-outs, inspections, investigations, and taking enforcement action. Businesses were fined a total of £5,532,565 for such breaches by the watchdog since October 2012. These can range from slips, trips and falls, right down to not providing enough toilets or washing facilities. More →

Global urbanisation trends present UK cities with new opportunities

Country_Mouse1There is a great deal of talk about the growing urbanisation of the world right now, and its effects on societies, economies and individuals. The numbers of people involved are daunting, especially in the developing world.  As a  result, many countries are currently experiencing the sort of upheaval we in Britain experienced nearly 300 years ago, and they are doing so in a very compressed time span compared to the 150 years it took in Britain. But the changing nature of cities is also apparent in the UK where it is having an effect not only in the country’s only megacity but in regional centres too.  For places such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow the challenges presented by a new generation of initiatives focussed on urbanisation can be profound and mark an opportunity to shift at least some of the UK’s economic focus away from London.

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Latest Insight newsletter is now available to view online

RICS Award Winner - 1 Angel SquareIn the latest issue of the Insight newsletter; despite predictions of “epic policy failure” following Yahoo’s ban on employees working at home, its gamble has paid off; why the most demonised symbol of corporate alienation – the cubicle – is back on the scene; and as the economy recovers, employers must find new and improved ways to attract and retain employees. Simon Heath sees a clear disconnect between what happens inside the designer or architect’s MacBook and its effect on the physical spaces in which we interact; John Sacks says the Germans prove that long hours and productivity are often two completely different things; and Pam Loch wonders if employers are dangerously unaware about the nature and extent of sexual harassment in their workplace.

Economic recovery, the changing psychological contract and the future of the office

display_img_01There has always been a link of one sort or another between the labour market and office design. So, as the UK’s unemployment statistics continue to fall, they remain moderately high and there continue to be structural changes in the nature of work, typified by this year’s debate about the growing use of zero hours contracts. You have to wonder what impact structural changes,  levels of unemployment and redundancy (around 4 million in the UK since 2008) have had on the way we manage and design our workplaces. There is no doubt that the downturn combined with the structural changes in the way we work have had an effect on demand for commercial property, but what will it all mean in the longer term?

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Labour demand growing, but many employers prefer to increase hours not people

Employment experts give cautious welcome to job increase figuresThere was a fall in unemployment of 18,000 to 2.49 million from March to May of this year according to the latest figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Between June and August 2013 the unemployment rate dropped from 7.8 per cent to 7.7 per cent, with a slight rise in total pay of 0.7 per cent. Although the news was welcomed by employment experts, Nigel Meager, Director of the Institute for Employment Studies pointed out that while employment increased by 0.9 per cent in the last year, the number of hours worked in the economy grew faster; and CIPD Chief Economist Mark Beatson commented that there is no sign yet that increased demand for staff were leading to higher wages. More →

New Smart City Forum to capitalise on $400 billion global sector

Infographic  Smarter Cities. Turning Big Data into Insight

IBM Infographic

London, Dublin, Barcelona, Boston and Bristol have something in common – they’re smart cities that use intelligent technology to monitor their urban infrastructure. The data is used in a variety of ways; to save money, minimise waste, measure water usage and manage transport routes. Solutions range from utilising IBM’s ‘Big Data’ to analyse traffic congestion on Dublin’s public transport network, to monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from Boston’s buildings. The smart cities industry has been valued at more than $400 billion globally by 2020, with the UK expected to gain a 10 per cent share ($40 billion). Now the government has announced it is to set up a new Smart Cities Forum, chaired by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts and Cities Minister Greg Clark, with representatives from cities, business, and scientists. More →

Open source talent could rewrite the meaning of the term workforce

Open source talent could rewrite the meaning of the term workforce

The digital revolution has changed the definition of the “workplace”, from a physical building where employees go to perform the tasks for which they get paid – to a more flexible model that allows staff to perform and deliver work from a variety of locations. But the employers’ role, i.e. managing the talent wherever they are based, has remained the same. Not for much longer – suggest analysts from Deloitte in a new paper, The Open Talent Economy, which describes the evolving workforce as a mixture of full-time employees, contractors and freelancers and – increasingly – people with no formal ties to a business at all. What’s more, in the future this “open source talent” will ultimately rewrite what the term “workforce” actually means. More →

IPCC climate report: built environment has major role to play in cutting carbon

built environment has major role to play in cutting carbon

The built environment has one of the biggest roles to play in tackling global warming, said the UK Green Building Council following the publication of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which confirms that there is at least 95 per cent certainty that human activities are its principal cause. The Summary of the Report for Policy Makers; prepared by 259 climate experts from 39 countries, warns atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years, while CO2 concentrations have increased by 40 per cent since pre-industrial times. It advises that containing these changes will require “substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions”. More →