Search Results for: london

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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The Great Gatsby and the rehabilitation of the office cubicle

The Great Gatsby and the rehabilitation of the office cubicle

The finest closing sentence of any novel in my opinion is that in The Great Gatsby. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”  It is a reference to the futility of our attempts to escape the past, even as we look to the future, dreaming of how “tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther”. F Scott Fitzgerald was referring to people when he wrote it, and Jay Gatsby in particular, but it’s a passage that resonates in a number of ways, especially in those areas of our lives that deal most intimately with what it means to be human. And one of these is self-evidently the workplace, where any articular attempt to define the ideal office for a particular time, including the future, is complicated by the fact that we must always meet the needs of the beasts that inhabit it. Regardless of the tools we have at our disposal with which to work more effectively, or just plain ‘more’ we remain fundamentally the same animals we were thousands of years ago.

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Mixed use scheme’s sustainable power supply gets vice-presidential seal of approval

Quadrant 3 at Regent Street boasts space technology The Quadrant 3 redevelopment of offices, retail, residential, restaurant and hotel space in the Regent Street Quadrant in London has become the first in the UK to install an efficient and sustainable fuel cell that draws its power from the same technology used to provide energy to space shuttles during flights. It’s so impressed former US Vice President Al Gore he’s headquartered his sustainable investment firm, Generation Investment Management at Quadrant 3. The building’s sustainable design was an important factor in the firm’s decision to move to the scheme with Mr Gore commenting that the developer, The Crown Estate demonstrated a “sophisticated commitment to sustainability”. More →

Germans prove that long hours and productivity are often two completely different things

german-flagEarlier this year, Insight published the results of a survey which showed that the World’s hardest workers, contrary to what Jeremy Clarkson might say, are Mexican. But that poll told half the story because it only measured the number of hours people work. When it comes to productivity measured by output against time spent working, it turns out that it’s the Germans who are the undisputed champions according to research from the PEW Trust. This won’t come as a surprise if you believe the Teutonic stereotype, as many people assuredly do. The survey also found that, when asked which nation had the most productive workers, respondents in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany itself all believe that Germans are Europe’s hardest workers.

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Co-op’s One Angel Square in Manchester wins RICS’ Project of the Year

RICS Award Winner - 1 Angel Square

One Angel Square in Manchester has been awarded Project of the Year in the RICS Awards that celebrate the built and natural environment. More than 600 building projects entered the awards which also saw category awards presented for building conservation, community benefit, design and innovation, and regeneration. The overall winning project – a £100 million new headquarters for The Co-operative Group – is the largest commercial office building in Manchester and has also achieved the highest scoring BREEAM ‘outstanding’ office rating in the country, setting a new national benchmark in sustainable design in the commercial sector. RICS judges said every aspect of the building has been constructed with sustainability at heart. More →

The latest issue of Insight is now available to view online

Chaplin (Modern Times)The new issue of the Insight newsletter is now available to view online here. This week, we look at the growth in demand for offices in the UK’s regions, the growth of interest in flexible working. Mark Eltringham argues for a more honest debate about workplace productivity, while Dave Coplin of Microsoft and one of the speakers at this year’s London Worktech argues we need to reimagine work completely. Workplace Week offers you a chance to visit some of the public sector’s most innovative workplaces including the HQ of the Department for Education. And we have news of a new task force which has been launched to define what zero carbon actually means with regard to domestic buildings. And if all that isn’t enough, it’s only meant to give a summary of the great things that have been on Insight this last week.

Video: reimagining work to help people become happier and more productive

Video: reimagining work to help people become happier and more productive

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Most companies are engaged in an attempt to help employees become happier, more productive and – yes –fitter at work. Firms do this because they are nice people or in the commercial interest of the business, or both. The problem is they are not doing it with a fixed set of criteria. Not only do they have to cope with changing commercial and economic conditions and legislation, they have to do it while the very nature of work evolves rapidly and in very different ways for different organisations. This is not so much like somebody moving the goal posts as it is like one of those games on It’s A Knockout where a contestant tries to do something while other people are shaking the platform they are standing on, squirting them with water, running into them, hitting them with things and yanking them back with ropes.

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Demand in UK regional office markets beginning to outstrip supply

GlasgowThe latest report from property consultancy Savill’s looking at trends in the UK’s commercial property market paints a now very familiar picture of an increasingly healthy market driven by a number of sectors in general and the tech and media industries in particular, but also of growing confidence outside of London. It also highlights a marked shift away from public sector to private sector employment. Although the upsurge in demand is putting pressure on the supply of appropriate office space in certain parts of the country, a new report published today by KPMG also highlights the growing order books of UK construction firms and an increase in confidence amongst builders.

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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 →

AHMM chosen for new Met Police headquarters project

New New Scotland Yard

Courtesy of Simon Heath

The firm of architects chosen for Google’s enormous new North London headquarters project as well as the redevelopment of the BBC’s Television Centre has been chosen to design the new home of the Metropolitan Police in Whitehall. The decision to award the job to Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) was announced by the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) is selling New Scotland Yard, and moving to modern offices at the iconic Curtis Green building on the Victoria Embankment in 2015. This new building will then revert to being called Scotland Yard.

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Latest Insight newsletter is now available to view online

2.Insight_twitter_logo smIn the latest issue of the Insight newsletter, available to view online; the mammoth problem for facilities managers in focusing on all of the facets that go into defining the workplace; details on the Workplace Week event taking place on 5 November at PricewaterhouseCoopers More London building, including a discounted ticket offer for Insight readers; how the design of an office can encourage people to enjoy their working day; and outmoded Display Screen Equipment regulations do not take into account the habits of BYOD users. In other news; corruption in the construction sector is widespread finds the CIOB; increasing occupier confidence leads to the highest take up of regional office space for five years and leading European employers launch a new initiative to combat mental ill health at work.

Planning approval granted for major new South Bank development

New Blackfriars developmentA 1.4 million sq ft mixed used development scheme next to Blackfriars Bridge at London’s South Bank has been granted approval by Southwark Council’s planning committee. Nine buildings, including a 48 storey tower are being planned to include 450,000 sq ft of office space, which it is promised, will almost double the number of permanent jobs in the area to over 3,700. The scheme, which also comprises 25,000 sq ft of retail space, nearly 500 residential apartments and the creation of 35,000 sq ft of new pubic open spaces, is being delivered by asset management firm Carlyle. Two existing buildings on the site, which were acquired by Carlyle along with four other nearby buildings for £671m in 2010, will be demolished according to the designs drawn up by PLP Architecture. More →