Search Results for: environment

Building designers should pay more heed to what users need

The future for London's skyline

The future for London’s skyline

These past two weeks have seen me playing and working in what I believe is fondly referred to as “That London” by those who live and work in the rest of the United Kingdom. Whilst resisting the temptations of the capital’s fleshpots, I’ve had the time to reflect on the design of public spaces and wonder at the architectural munificence that gave us, within a single square mile or so; The Shard, The Gherkin, St Pauls Cathedral and the engineering marvel of Tower Bridge (I also had the chance to sample Japanese octopus balls, but that, as the saying goes, is another story altogether).

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Psychrometry is key to holistic energy efficiency

KS20 Psychrometry

A holistic energy efficiency strategy is needed to ensure a balance between efforts to make buildings more airtight and the need to increase ventilation. This is why an understanding of psychrometry is an increasingly important issue for the built environment. Psychrometry is used to prevent environments being created which are detrimental to health, either through too dry an atmosphere or conditions where damp and mould can flourish says the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) which has issued new guidance.

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Companies must develop a social purpose to survive

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Company reputations could collapse in minutes and more firms will develop an explicit ‘social purpose’ according to a new report from Global corporate responsibility consultancy Corporate Citizenship. “Future Business: the four mega trends that every company needs to prepare for” identifies four mega-trends that it says are likely to shape the nature of business over the coming decade. According to the consultancy, over the last year the proportion of S&P 500 companies that report on sustainability performance has grown from one in five to over half and the over the coming decades, it expects at least as much change again.

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Employee burnout commonplace in third of UK companies

Burnout

Employee burnout is endemic within a third of UK organisations. According to new research from recruitment specialist Robert Half UK three out of ten (30 per cent) UK HR directors reported high levels of employee burnout, which rises to more than a third (35 per cent) for those in London and the South East and publicly listed companies. Two thirds (67 per cent) of UK HR directors cite “workload” as the primary reason for employee burnout, although this figure rises to three quarters (75 per cent) for large and 73 per cent for public sector companies. More →

Tips for small businesses on their first office search

search buttonFinding a great office can be a hugely important step on the road to success for a small business. Business can not only outgrow their existing space, but even for those who want to remain small, escaping the distractions of a home-working environment by moving into a space specifically designed for working can give a real boost to productivity and provide a great sense of identity. Of course, when you’re searching it’s essential for small business owners to do all the most common-sense things: including shopping around, getting out to view properties and so on. But it’s also worth bearing in mind a few of the following pointers:

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US Federal government confirms green-building requirements

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A new study prepared for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) by the National Research Council has given the seal of approval on the importance of green-building certification programs as tools to reduce energy use and other operational costs. “This reaffirmed what we’ve been saying all along – that LEED makes good economic sense,” said Fleming Roberts, Associate, Policy & Advocacy at the US Building Council. “The report recommended that the Department of Defense should require its new buildings or major renovations to be designed to achieve at least LEED Silver certification.” More →

Brussels to challenge the UK in court on Green Deal VAT

Office at nightThe European Commission has confirmed intends to take the UK Government to court to force the Treasury to impose the full rate of VAT on energy-saving goods which are a key element of the flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme. The Green Deal is designed not only to improve the UK’s environmental performance but also boost the economy. The commission issued a statement yesterday confirming it would refer the UK to the EU Court of Justice over the practice of imposing reduced VAT rates on green goods which it claims break EU law and won’t deliver the aims of the government’s flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.

“Groundbreaking” guidance on drivers for social change

Network for business sustainability

Businesses can play a key role in driving social change according to a groundbreaking new report. Whether through product labelling, supply chain management, employee volunteerism and partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs), companies have the power to help people get active, eat healthy foods, use less energy and live more sustainable lives. Now a new guide based on a review of 123 studies from the last 20 years, released by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) provides the evidence for any business interested in cause marketing, social innovation or responsible consumption. More →

Greenbiz publishes latest State of Green Business report

Green Biz_0000Greenbiz has published its sixth annual State of Green Business report, setting out what it claims are the ten key environmental trends for organisations to look out for in 2013. Many focus on the overlap between pure business goals and corporate social responsibility, for example in terms of managing supply chains to reduce risk, making more efficient use of resources, the impact of new technology and working practices and the role of creating value through a healthy working environment.

A third of companies make no checks on their suppliers

Broken chainThe ongoing European horsemeat scandal may be the most high profile example of what happens when companies lose sight of what is going on in their supply chain, but according to a new report from Ernst & Young, ignorance of the ethical standards and activities of suppliers in the UK is endemic. Over half of UK businesses do not carry out due diligence on their suppliers and 30 percent admit to carrying out no checks at all. In turn, this inevitably throws doubts on the ethical standards of the same companies as well as any environmental or other aspects of corporate social responsibility.   More →

Arup publishes its vision of the 2050 building

Itsailvereport218x281Arup has published a new report called It’s Alive, which aims to describe how buildings in our cities could look and function in 2050. The study has been produced by Arup’s Foresight + Innovation team and predicts that “structures will be fully integrated into the fabric of the city, responsive to changes in the external environment, and designed for continuous adaptability, according to real-time needs and demands of its users.” The report includes a series of artist’s impressions, to illustrate how building features such as photovoltaic surfaces and algae-producing biofuel pods might enable buildings to produce food, energy and resources. More →

Model new site announced for BIM aficionados

BIM

The UK’s BIM (Building Information Modelling) Task Group is launching a Digital Plans of Work site on February 28. The latest phase in the government’s plans to make the UK the world leader in BIM, the site will enable users to keep an online version of their work. BIM is also attracting support worldwide. Today, US construction giant ZMG Construction threw its weight behind the technology saying: “New technological developments continue to revolutionize the construction and design industries — and building information modelling, or BIM, is foremost on the list of these major technological advances.” More →

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