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Land Securities £260m development confirms City office confidence

Land Securities announcement today of a £260 million development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate, EC4, a speculative mixed-use development in the City of London confirms a growing confidence in the City office market. The 379,000 sq ft scheme occupies an island site near St Paul’s Cathedral and comprises two distinct buildings united by a new public piazza, which together aim to offer 346,000 sq ft of office accommodation set around open and green spaces. Colette O’Shea, Head of Development, London said: “Our decision to commence the speculative development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate reflects our confidence both in the City office market, where we believe supply of new space will be constrained in 2015, and in the quality of the attractive and highly efficient office space we are creating.” More →

Consultation opens on facilities management to ‘enhance organisational performance’

Consultation opens on 'managing facilities to enhance organisational performance’

Facilities and property managers worldwide are being asked to help shape a ‘Strategic Facilities Management Guidance Note’. Once established, the note – spearheaded by a RICS-led working group – aims to help drive professionalism and enable benchmarking across the sector by creating greater consistency in the delivery of FM services. The guidance forms a key part of RICS’ wider campaign to improve understanding and recognition from businesses for the performance efficiencies that strategic FM can deliver. The call for global feedback follows RICS’ initial UK consultation last year which has resulted in the publication of the draft guidance, ‘Managing facilities to enhance organisational performance’.

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Facebook shares details of New York office design by Frank Gehry

Facebook has announced details of its new headquarters in New York.  The social media giant has signed a ten year lease on a 100,00 sq. ft. space over two floors of a building on Broadway. The office design will be carried out by no less a figure than Frank Gehry who is already masterminding the development of the company’s global HQ in California. From next year, the new building will be home to Facebook’s regional engineering, design, sales and marketing functions who will move from the current office on Madison Avenue to the new site which is reportedly on the fringes of Manhattan’s ‘Silicon Alley’. The new building dates from 1906 when it was designed as a department store.  It is already home to AOL and the Huffington Post.

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Law firm Shoosmiths moves into new Birmingham office

Law firm Shoosmiths has taken possession of its new Birmingham office. The Shoosmiths’ team completed the move to Two Colmore Square over the May bank holiday weekend.  This involved the movement of all 180 legal advisers and support staff to Two Colmore Square with immediate effect from its former office at 125 Colmore Row. The 40,000 sq ft office is part of Nurton Developments’ successful Grade A office scheme in Birmingham and offers the largest floor plate in the city. The 21 week programme of office design and fit-out work was carried out by Claremont Group Interiors. The work on behalf of Nurton Developments included Cat A works, interior design, Cat B fit-out, furniture and audio-visual technologies.

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UK public sector leading the way in procurement and sustainable building

Nottingham City Council's Loxley Building

Nottingham City Council’s Loxley Building

Over the last few years, the UK Government has grown increasingly interested in finding ways of making its £30 billion property portfolio more efficient. Both the last Labour government and the current Coalition administration have been driven by the opportunities offered them with the advent of new technology, new ways of working and new procurement models. They’ve pursued these issues to cut costs by reducing and changing the way property is designed and managed but have also found how that can also help to establish best practice in sustainable building. What is increasingly apparent, especially given recent news from the Major Projects Authority about cost savings in procurement is that the public sector is now leading the way as models of good practice.

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Why facilities managers deserve a seat at the design table


For a long time there has been a distant relationship between facilities management (FM) and design, with FM treated as a post occupancy issue rather than a valuable consideration during the design process. The truth is that effective collaboration between facilities managers and designers can yield innovation and even better product design, be that in relation to a new head office building, or the systems and furniture that are housed within it. The compartmentalised view that design occurs and then facilities managers come along to operate and maintain is inaccurate and outdated.

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CBRE WorkShop concept is interesting, but is it workable?


I’d like to deal in this article with the arrival yesterday of the long-awaited white paper from CBRE’s thought leadership exercise, The CBRE Workshop. However, I should declare an interest for the sake of transparency. Until June 2012 I was employed by CBRE and reported directly to a couple of the people who are heavily involved in The Workshop idea. I would reassure readers that I am not a disgruntled former employee. I have a huge amount of respect and warm regard towards my erstwhile colleagues and nobody will be happier than me to see them do well.

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Survey into UK culture of overwork highlights need for better worklife balance

UK culture of overwork highlights need for better worklife balance

A new study is published today which reveals how the UK’s long hour-culture is damaging family life, causing high stress levels, cutting time spent with loved ones and creating an inability to switch off from work. A survey of more than 1,000 working parents throughout the UK, commissioned by health cash plan provider Medicash, found that 83 per cent of working parents feel guilty about the amount of time they spend working, with 50 per cent saying it has a negative impact on relationships with their children, and almost half (45.9%), saying it caused problems in their relationship with their partner and caused them to neglect friends (25%).

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Over 90 percent of UK staff afflicted with bad case of presenteeism

Clocking inWe’ve always known that many of us have a tendency to come into work when ill even though we would  be better off staying at home, but the problem of people turfing up in the office when they should be in bed or a GP’s queue is worsening according to a new report from insurance company Canada Life. Knocking into a cocked hat all the various surveys which detail the UK’s ‘working days lost’ due to stress?snow/The World Cup/hangovers and idleness, the survey claims that as many as 93 per cent of UK employees have hauled their diseased carcass into the workplace when they really shouldn’t, threatening their own health and the wellbeing of those around them.

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BIM provides opportunities for the built environment finds report

BIM provides built environment with opportunities for growth

Building Information Modelling (BIM) will raise productivity, provide better buildings, faster and cheaper and represents opportunities for the built environment to become a powerful international player. This is according to a major new report, Growth through BIM produced by Richard Saxon, the UK Government’s BIM Ambassador for Growth who concludes: “No wonder it has been mandated as government policy“. The Built Environment sector, for the purposes of his report, is defined as Property, Construction and Facilities Management, which accounts for about 15 per cent of GDP, and which he describes as: “an enabling sector, facilitating the performance of most other sectors”. More →

UK underemployment rates more accurate measure say economists

 Underemployment in the UK heightened by a fall real wages say economists

The current economic downturn differs from previous recessions in that unemployment rates haven’t been quite as devastating, with employers opting to freeze pay rates and offer flexible working and reduced hours in order to retain staff. But according to a white paper published today this has led to an important new phenomenon – underemployment. In the latest issue of the National Institute Economic Review, economists David Bell and David Blanchflower of the University of Stirling and Dartmouth College describe workers who are underemployed when they are willing to supply more hours of work than their employers are prepared to offer. More →

UK Green Building Council sets out its plans for the built environment

UK Green Building Council sets out future plans for sustainable future

The built environment is an engine for green growth and UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) intends to demonstrate how, says the sustainable buildings campaigner today as it outlines specific areas of focus to promote green building over the next 12 months. This follows the publication of its Impact Report earlier this week which reflected on some of its key initiatives over the past year, including the launch of Pinpoint, a new search engine for information on green building, the publication of a plan for growth strategy and its work to influence  government policy regarding the built environment.

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