Search Results for: environment

Artificial intelligence, robots and automation set to transform the office environment

Artificial intelligence, robots and automation set to transform the office environment

In today’s highly digital landscape, tools like AI and machine learning were developed to significantly improve productivity in the workplace. But despite their existence, many companies still trail behind in terms of integrating AI in their office environments. In fact, an article on Workplace Insight previously noted that over a quarter of employers fail to provide staff with digital and flexible tools. Though it is predicted that the next couple of years will see businesses adapt to a human-and-machine environment, organisations still have a lot of catching up to do in terms of digital basics.

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Reimagining the built environment would transform people’s lives, claims Design Council

Reimagining the built environment would transform people’s lives, claims Design Council

The Design Council and Social Change UK has launched its Healthy Placemaking report which highlights the outcomes from their survey of over 600 built environment practitioners across the UK including architects, town planners and urban designers. The aim of the survey was to gain insight and understanding of their experiences across multiple areas on the creation of a healthy built environment. The latest research from Design Council and Social Change UK claims that healthy placemaking can ‘sit outside mainstream UK housing, public health and placemaking policy. It continues to be seen as a cost to local development rather than an investment, and when considered alongside the plethora of local planning priorities and frameworks it often gets overlooked’.

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Property and construction industry calls on government to raise the bar on environmental standards

Property and construction industry calls on government to raise the bar on environmental standards

Over 50 influential business leaders from across the construction and property industry have signed an open letter to ministers urging them to introduce policy that will see all new buildings built to net-zero carbon standards by 2030. As a first step towards the 2030 goal, the group calls on the government to swiftly confirm that from 2020 energy performance standards will be significantly improved. Coordinated by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the letter asks ministers to give the industry medium and long-term policy certainty, to drive significant investment and catalyse innovation.

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Organisations need to create a ‘smart everywhere’ environment finds Smart Summit

Organisations need to create a ‘smart everywhere’ environment finds Smart Summit

Organisations need to create a ‘smart everywhere’ environment finds Smart SummitWork is no longer a place but a set of activities which lead to a set of outcomes that could be delivered anywhere. Or as John Blackwell, Quora Consulting’s Managing Director succinctly described it at the first of the 2018 Quora Smartworking Summit’s held last week, organisations need to create a ‘smart everywhere’ environment. New digital platforms make far it easier for people to work in exactly the way they want.  Research by Quora has revealed that there are 5 million people currently working in the UK gig economy or around 15.6 percent of the total workforce. More people are working post retirement age and want to work in a way that they can control, while there are increasing numbers who simply want more autonomy in their lives in the way that self-employment can offer. More →

Built environment needs to address the talent gap to make the digital transition says WEF

Built environment needs to address the talent gap to make the digital transition says WEF

Built environment needs to address the talent gap to make digital transition says WEFThe construction industry needs new talent and skills to help in the adoption of new technologies to meet the challenges of digital transformation. It must also become more diverse, including increasing the percentage of women in the industry. These are the recommendations of a new report from the World Economic Forum, developed in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Shaping the Future of Construction: An Action Plan to solve the Industry’s Talent Gap. The report argues that the Infrastructure and Urban Development (IU) industry has failed to innovate as quickly as other sectors, resulting in stagnating productivity and negative effects on the economy, society and the environment. An ongoing industry-wide shortage of qualified workers is among the key reasons for this issue. It has undermined project management and execution, adversely affecting cost, timelines and quality. It also has impeded the adoption of new digital technologies, such as building information modelling (BIM), automated equipment and cloud-based collaboration tools, which could improve productivity. The report provides twelve key actions which needs to be implemented to close the structural talent gap of the construction industry.

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Government targets 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases from the built environment

Government targets 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases from the built environment

The UK government has set some ambitious targets for construction and the environmental performance of buildings following the announcement of a Sector Deal for the construction sector. The sector deal was an integral part of the Industrial Strategy White Paper published earlier this week. In a statement, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark revealed more details of the deal supported by £170m of government investment and £250m of match funding from the built environment sector. The announcement sets out ambitious new targets for the built environment and infrastructure including a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gases and a third reduction in the costs of construction and whole life costs of buildings.

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OECD publishes major new work on measuring the quality of the working environment

OECD publishes major new work on measuring the quality of the working environment

The OECD has published a major new report which it claims set out an internationally agreed set of guidelines to measure the quality of the working environment. The document covers a wide range of factors related to working conditions based on existing data and a survey of workers in 20 OECD countries. These characteristics of the working environment include risk factors, work intensity, discretion, autonomy and the opportunity for self-realisation. The guidelines have been produced as part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which was launched in 2011 with the objective of measuring wellbeing. The report then goes on to set out guidelines for analysis based on sets of questions based on 17 workplace factors.

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An environmental psychology perspective on workplace design

An environmental psychology perspective on workplace design

I recently had the pleasure of travelling to Cape Town to present a keynote address at the Dare to Lead conference organised by Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). I had just 20 minutes to speak on a psychologist’s view of health, wellbeing and performance; that’s a huge subject area and pretty much my whole career condensed down to the typical time it takes to boil a pan of potatoes. So, I focused on just three psychological theories: motivation, personality and evolutionary psychology.

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American workers having to put up with difficult and hostile working environment, claims report

American workers having to put up with difficult and hostile working environment, claims report

The American workplace is physically and emotionally demanding, with workers frequently facing unstable work schedules, unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions, and an often hostile working environment, according to a new study. The findings come from research conducted by investigators at the RAND Corporation, Harvard Medical School and UCLA, and are from the American Working Conditions Survey, which claims to be one of the most in-depth surveys ever done to examine conditions in the American workplace. More than one-in-four American workers say they have too little time to do their job, with the complaint being most common among white-collar workers. In addition, workers say the intensity of work frequently spills over into their personal lives, with about one-half of people reporting that they perform some work in their free time in order to meet workplace demands.

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Twenty-first century construction is increasingly environmentally friendly

Twenty-first century construction is increasingly environmentally friendly 0

One thing is clear — within the next 20 years, we will reach our peak capacity in terms of oil consumption as a planet. Although, as demand for oil appears to increase year upon year, the global production of oil appears to decrease. As a result of this growing problem, the construction industry still derives most of its energy sources from oil-based fuels. Throughout the Western world, it is evident that the construction sector is heavily reliant upon crude oils. The reason for this is that without them, the construction process would not be able to function in its current form. This is however, having a detrimental impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Within the UK, 50 percent of carbon emissions are accounted for by the construction industry and machinery within the production process.

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Why using recyclable materials is no longer enough to protect the environment

Why using recyclable materials is no longer enough to protect the environment 0

recyclable materialsA few years ago, the most commonly recognised symbol of humankind’s impact on the environment was the image of a solitary polar bear, adrift on a rapidly shrinking ice floe. Google a term like ‘melting ice caps’ even now, and you’ll still derive a host of variations of the same meme. More recently a new and even more unpleasant series of symbols has emerged for a similarly environmentally catastrophic phenomenon, carried worldwide on the tide of social media. This time, they are not about the way we pollute the atmosphere but also the land and seas, particularly with plastic. Social media feeds are packed with images of the corpses of seabirds, their flesh rotted away to expose the amount of plastic they have consumed. This is the new face of environmental disaster. This is not just an issue that affects birds, however. Barely a day passes when we cannot see a new image of turtles malformed after getting caught up in plastic netting or six pack rings, whales beached after choking on dozens of discarded plastic bags they’ve mistaken for food, clogged waterways and oceans, piles of rubbish and beaches that consist in large part of plastic eroded to the size of sand grains. Most recently Sky ran a heartbreaking documentary about a whale that had died with a stomach full of plastic rubbish.

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Built environment sectors ignoring the potential of smart cities and big data

Built environment sectors ignoring the potential of smart cities and big data 0

There is little or no evidence of the built environment, real estate and construction sectors engaging directly with the smart city agenda, according to a new RICS Research Trust report by University of Reading academics. The research, which examined four case studies (Bristol, Milton Keynes, Amsterdam and Taipei) found that less than a quarter of UK cities had an smart city action plan. Of those that did, the main focus in the smart city case studies is on open data. As a result, city residents are not benefitting from a clear strategy for smart cities according to the report Smart Cities, Big Data and the Built Environment: What’s Required?

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