Search Results for: environmental

Scalpel achieves excellent rating under new BREEAM environmental standard

BREEAM environmental standardThe first building to achieve an excellent rating under the new BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 standard is Kohn Kohn Pedersen Fox’s design of the Scalpel tower in the City of London. The £500 million building at 52 Lime Street is a 190m tall 35-floor office tower which is set to open in 2017. The new building was granted planning consent in early 2013 and will offer around 500,000 sq. ft. of commercial space in the City. Andrew Reynolds, managing director of developers WRBC Development, said he was “delighted” the scheme had received such a high rating under the new BREEAM environmental standard. Our team is determined to deliver a high performance building that is not only architecturally superb but creates a pleasant and productive environment for those who will be working there.” Gavin Dunn, director of BREEAM, said: “this achievement demonstrates a genuine commitment by the project team to deliver a high-quality development that will benefit the building owners and occupiers into the future.”

New BREEAM environmental standard launched for UK office refurbishment and fit-outs

Office refurbishmentThe Building Research Establishment (BRE) has launched the latest addition to its flagship sustainability accreditation scheme. Launched fully at MIPIM UK, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Refurbishment and Fit-Out 2014 standard has been in development for around  two years, a period which has included consultations with some of the UK’s largest commercial property occupiers, end users as well as a full assessment of a pilot project at BRE’s base near Watford. It joins existing BREEAM standards as a way of assessing the sustainability of office refurbishment and fit-out projects in the UK and overseas. The standards were tested on a simulated refurbishment project at the BRE site and achieved, in the words of the organisation,  “significant savings as well as many other positive learning outcomes”. Firms which took part in the two year development and consultation period included Lloyds, Boots, Legal & General and The Green Investment Bank.

More →

Homeworking has environmental benefits, says Carbon Trust

Environmental and cost benefits of homeworking

There have been some doubts cast recently on the environmental benefits of flexible working. At the recent ThinkFM conference, Lord Rupert Redesdale, the CEO Energy Managers Association said that keeping buildings open for longer to accommodate flexible workers could become unfeasible for many businesses. But what if you simply increase the numbers of home workers instead? Homeworking reduces employee commuting, resulting in carbon, money and time savings. If office space is properly rationalised to reflect this, homeworking can also significantly reduce office energy consumption and rental costs. This is according to new research from the Carbon Trust, which found that if adopted and encouraged by employers across the country, homeworking could result in annual savings of over 3 million tonnes of carbon and cut costs by £3 billion.

More →

Average office temperatures set too high say environmental experts

office temperatures set too high

The publication this week of the report Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability by the UN’s science panel that argues that the world is “ill-prepared” for risks from a changing climate, but that opportunities to respond to such risks still exist, proves more than ever that the built environment can play a vital role in helping to curb global warming. The most obvious place to start is by turning down the temperature of the office, which according to researchers from Lancaster University’s DEMAND Research Centre, has become warmer in recent years. As reported by Clickgreen, the researchers from Lancaster University say the average office temperature of 22 degrees C is way too high, and by simply turning down the thermostat and asking occupants to don another layer could do much to address global warming. More →

Green Building Council slams PM’s plans to slash environmental guidance

Plans to slash environmental guidance

The UK Green Building Council has condemned Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to scrap realms of environmental guidance. In a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses earlier this week, the Prime Minister said that by March 2015 Defra will have slashed 80,000 pages of environmental guidance, saving businesses around £100 million per year; “to make it vastly easier and cheaper for businesses to meet environmental obligations.” However Paul King, Chief Executive at the UK Green Building Council, branded the move utterly reprehensible. He said: “The Prime Minister’s boasts of ‘slashing 80,000 pages’ of environmental guidance is. It is the same poisonous political rhetoric from Number 10, devaluing environmental regulation in a slash and burn manner. These words are not only damaging and irresponsible, but misrepresent the wishes of so many modern businesses, both large and small.”  More →

UK’s leading political parties criticised for a lack of environmental leadership

UK's leading political parties criticised for a lack of environmental leadership Britain’s leading political parties are failing to provide visible and consistent green leadership, threatening two decades of steady environmental policy progress in the UK, warns an influential group of charities today. In The Green Standard 2013, seven leading charities, including WWF, the Green Alliance, Greenpeace and Campaign for Better Transport, assess the green performance of coalition ministers and Labour shadow ministers since the last general election, reviewing the parties on four key areas: the economy, communities, nature and international leadership. The report concludes that none of the parties has a coherent environmental programme and there is no consistent public leadership on the environment from any of the party leaders. More →

Office environmentalists experiencing “green rage” over apathetic colleagues

new Green rage afflictionFacilities managers engaged in efforts to convince apathetic colleagues to adopt greener office working practices may relate to the news of a new workplace affliction – “green rage”. Dr Rebecca Whittle of Lancaster University told delegates at the recent annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society in London that there is a lot of silent conflict at work between people trying to do the right thing environmentally, and those who don’t care. She said that a light being left on in an unoccupied office or a recyclable item put in the wrong bin can provoke emotions as strong as guilt, rage or despair. More →

The war against environmental cynicism puts an onus on suppliers to be honest

Roller Painting House Siding GreenGreenwash is one of those terms that has gone from needing an explanation to being in common usage in the space of a few years. The reason for that is quite simply that it is the perfect description of a particular form of marketing bullshit that we all recognise. However, while a degree of scepticism about what you hear from marketers is always healthy, but I fear the point has been reached where some people find it easy to dismiss real environmental claims as greenwash. The war against cynicism can partly be helped if more manufacturers and suppliers could get better at demonstrating the validity of their claims.

More →

EU opens consultation on reducing the environmental impact of buildings

Report urges EU and members states to use design for public good

The European Commission is gathering views on how to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings. The consultation will focus on resources such as materials (including waste), water and embedded energy and aims to address resource use and related environmental impacts throughout the life-cycle of buildings, from the extraction of building materials to demolition and recycling of materials. James Drinkwater, Senior Policy Advisor for the Europe Regional Network of the World Green Building Council, welcomed the move: “It is incredibly important that the green building movement gets behind this evolution in building policy, and engages with the Commission on what the right strategic direction is going forward.” More →

Green Building Council Awards recognise European environmental leadership

Awards open for European Green leadership initiatives

The UK Green Building Council is accepting nominations for the first-ever European Regional Leadership Awards, part of the World Green Building Council Leadership Awards 2013, which recognise international best practice in city-level government policy for green building initiatives. The regional awards are for best practice in green building initiatives, projects, and policies that are supporting healthier and more sustainable communities within the European Region. “The awards promote leadership and inspire governments to replicate best practices in green building policy,” said the WorldGBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Jane Henley. “Buildings represent an unrivalled opportunity to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, and cities play an increasingly critical role in seizing this opportunity.”

More →

Book review: Workspace Made Easy

Book review: Workspace Made Easy

Workspace Made Easy by Kursty Groves and Neil Usher offers a step-by- step-guide through the complexities of creating and implement a workplace strategy from first principles through to occupying a space and changing it over timeThere’s a dog-eared, yellowing paperback on my bookshelf called Understanding Offices. Written by Joanna Eley and Alexi Marmot, it dates from 1995. It is a handbook for everybody who needed to know how to develop a workplace strategy during the infant phase of the digital and cultural revolution of the late 20th Century. I used to refer to it all the time, but now it serves mainly as a reminder of how much has changed over the past thirty years, and also how little. More →

How AI will transform the way we design and manage the places we work

How AI will transform the way we design and manage the places we work

The future of work is here. It's AI-powered, human-centered, and brimming with possibility. Are you ready to shape it?The integration of Artificial Intelligence into the workplace is not just a technological shift; it’s a fundamental reimagining of how we work, interact, and manage our professional environments. As AI capabilities rapidly evolve, they promise to transform every aspect of workplace design and management, from physical layouts to organizational structures and employee experiences. More →