Search Results for: refurbishment

Public sector property initiatives have proved successful but work still needed

Gorilla-in-a-hat1There was a time, not so long ago, when nobody worried too much about the shape of the rooms that led off the corridors of power. But the pressure on UK finances has politicised the design of the UK’s public buildings. The latest example of this was the recent  announcement  in Parliament of a report that, amongst other things, called for a new approach in the way facilities are designed to deliver better services in a more cost effective way. The report Restarting Britain 2: Design and Public Services was the result of an eight-month investigation led by the Design Commission along with politicians, designers and civil servants.

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UK commercial property investors shift focus to the regions

Leeds skylineInvestors in the commercial office market are increasingly being drawn towards the UK regions, according to a new report by Deloitte Real Estate. The UK Key Cities publication explores the trend that regional offices are emerging as a focus for savvy investors seeking higher returns. At the same time, individual cities are recognising the need to stand apart from competing locations and bridge the gap between themselves and London. These cities are being bolstered by factors such as improved connectivity through large planned infrastructure projects, devolution of power, and investment into the retail and leisure markets.

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HSE swoops to take action against fifth of refurb sites

Hard hatsThe UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has taken enforcement action against a fifth of the refurbishment sites it visited as part of a month long programme of inspections. HSE inspectors visited 2,363 sites where refurbishment work was taking place and served 631 enforcement notices at 433 sites.A total of 451 notices were served that ordered work stop immediately until appropriate action was taken to minimise risks to workers and members of the public.  The inspections took place between 18 February and the 15 March as HSE officials made unannounced visits to constructions across the UK to check on measures taken to counter high risk situations such as working at height and other circumstances such as the use of PPE equipment.

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Why office furniture leasing is not necessarily a great option

leaseIt seems like a perfect idea. The business needs new desks, chairs and cupboards and that refurbishment is long overdue. Or perhaps it’s time to move and the old furniture won’t make it in one piece. The furniture supplier wants to make the sale. Business has been slow and it’s the end of the month and sales targets need to be met. The company is making profits and the order book is pretty full, but cash is tight and the Finance Director begrudges every penny spent. So why not arrange for the furniture to be leased? It’s a question people in the office furniture supply business have now been asking for a number of years.

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$16m revamp of High Commission in London to showcase Canada’s identity

Canada HouseAs part of the Canadian government’s consolidation of its diplomatic mission in the UK, it has put up for sale MacDonald House in Grosvenor Square in London and will look to develop its other main building Canada House in Trafalgar Square. MacDonald House was formerly the American Embassy until 1961 and the Canadian Government has been looking to consolidate its operations for a number of years. As well as moving its functions under one roof, the Government has earmarked $16 million for a revamp of Canada House which will also be designed to showcase Canadian values and know-how.

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London’s West End office market shifting boundaries


Shifting occupier dynamics, a limited supply pool, and a flurry of west to east relocations is redefining the boundaries of London’s West End office market. Sue Foxley, head of research, Cluttons, explained: “Corporate occupiers recognise the importance of securing high quality space within key markets in order to attract and retain the best possible staff, however, it is inevitable that the increasingly restricted supply pool is continuing to hamper relocation options. Businesses, regardless of sector, certainly are not looking for ‘budget’ rental options, but they are becoming increasingly aware that opportunities to secure quality space is scarce and not limited to prime areas.”

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Landmark buildings can lead to an identity crisis for tenants

A new generation of landmarks

A new generation of landmarks

Companies want to brand themselves in lots of ways and for lots of reasons. There are all the usual reasons to do with marketing but when companies talk about brand and how it is integrated with architecture and the design of their offices they are equally likely to be concerned with attracting staff and making what they think are the right statements about their business. The problem is that while nearly everybody wants to brand their workplace, the design solutions can become overly literal. There’s nothing inherently wrong with logos in the carpet but successful design will be about far more than that. It usually has to be rather less literal and rather more intelligent.

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Plans unveiled to transform Southbank Centre Festival Wing


London’s Southbank Centre, the UK’s largest arts centre, has unveiled plans to transform the Festival Wing – the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex. The proposals, by FCBStudios, include the refurbishment and renewal of the existing 1960s buildings and the creation of major new arts spaces including a new glass pavilion, a new central foyer and a new liner building to create, together with the successful Royal Festival Hall refurbishment, a world-class cultural centre for the 21st century, providing more art for more people in better spaces. More →

Long awaited plans submitted for Smithfield development

SmithfieldThe 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 →

New property market research highlights UK’s regional differences

A new report from Knight Frank has highlighted the marked regional differences in the UK’s commercial property market. On a positive note, there is a clear indication that while market conditions remain undoubtedly tough, the level of activity for 2012 indicates a level of resilience.  Overall take-up for 2012 totalled 4,930,430 sq ft, around 4 per cent down on 2011 and 11 per cent down over the last decade. However, a number of markets enjoyed stronger conditions including Edinburgh (+47%), Glasgow (+15%), Aberdeen (+14%), Manchester (+10%) and Leeds (+3%). More →

BBC unveils plans for development of Television Centre site

BBC_Television_CentreFollowing last year’s sale of its iconic Grade II listed West London Television Centre to developer Stanhope, the BBC has announced details of the future direction of the 14 acre site. The announcement comes as the BBC continues its programme of relocating staff and functions to Media City in Salford and the new Broadcasting House in Central London. Work will start in 2015 on a mixed use development which will include residual office and studio space for the BBC, offices, hotels, leisure facilities, some 1,000 new homes, parks and a hotel. However the listed buildings on the site, originally opened in 1960, will be retained. More →

Better Buildings challenge for sustainable innovation


A competition to find green solutions that help to improve the performance of commercial buildings has been launched by the Institute for Sustainability, in partnership with the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC) and the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) – a collaboration of leading London commercial property owners and investors. Because energy efficiency improvement works have focused primarily on mechanical and electrical control upgrades and plant replacement, the competition focuses on innovations which could help improve the environmental performance of the building envelope. More →

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