Search Results for: one public sector estate

If you are moving to new offices, make sure you can get rid of the old ones first

Building 1000 - seemed like a good idea at the time

Building 1000 – seemed like a good idea at the time

One of the most common reasons for large organisations to move to new offices is a consolidation of an extensive and disparate estate that has developed over a long period of time. But what happens when the benefits of the move are scuppered because the organisation finds it impossible to get rid of its old buildings? That is the question facing Newham Borough Council as it emerges that it may have to quit the controversially swanky £110 million offices it moved to in 2010 and back into some of the 26 properties it left at the time and has struggled to unburden itself of since.

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Wellness in Real Estate resolution passed for U.S. built environment

The influential U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has voted unanimously to pass a Wellness in Real Estate Resolution which commits to promoting buildings that “use a combination of criteria and features that will enhance the well-being of occupants and address growing preventable health concerns and costs.” The resolution is one of ten new sustainability resolutions for the U.S. built environment commended by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which praised the USCM for “showing courage and leadership by embracing a strong sustainability and green building policy agenda”. More →

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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UK civil service signs up to hybrid working deal

UK civil service signs up to hybrid working deal

The UK civil service is set to pioneer a widespread hybrid working strategy with the announcement of a new deal with serviced office provider IWG. The details of the deal, reported first in The Telegraph newspaper (paywall), will include the creation of a nationwide network of ten coworking spaces for the use of civil servants when they are not in London. The report suggests that up to 430,000 employees could now have a better chance of adopting a hybrid working culture.  More →

Insight weekly: Obsession with data + People subvert design + Engaged workplace

Insight weekly: Obsession with data + People subvert design + Engaged workplace 0

big-dataIn this week’s Newsletter; Jess Brook says beware of the latest data dressed up as pseudo-science; Serena Borghero on ways workplace design can boost engagement levels; and Mark Eltringham says how workplaces are utilised are subject to the vagaries of human behaviour.  Staff allegedly spend just 38 percent of their time performing their primary job duties; collaborative spaces are replacing the traditional office boardroom; and 30 percent of corporate real estate portfolios will incorporate flexible workspaces by 2030. Research suggests office design makes the most significant difference to employee happiness levels; over a quarter (28 percent) of employees are reluctant to ask for flexible work; digital tech within many workplaces is not up to spec; and extension announced of the One Public Sector Estate scheme. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Latest Work&Place + Performance management + Design and people 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2This week’s Newsletter features the latest issue of Work&Place, which presents a truly global perspective on the forces redefining our relationship with work. In news, the Government extends the One Public Sector Estate scheme and London’s commercial property sector is unaffected by the Brexit jitters. The three day working week is the ideal scenario for the over 40s; current performance management practices discount the digital workplace; and employees spend too much time checking work emails at home. Mark Eltringham says design what you like but don’t discount the impact of adding human beings to the mix; how people have been writing guides to good ergonomics at least since the early seventeenth Century; and that Charles Eames came to have mixed feelings towards his most famous chair. Download our Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, on the boundless office; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Groundbreaking office sharing scheme rolled out to over 100 UK councils

Groundbreaking office sharing scheme rolled out to over 100 UK councils 0

Manchester_town_hallOne of the most intriguing and yet least talked about developments in the UK’s workplace design and management scene over the past couple of years has been the roll out of the One Public Sector Estate scheme, which encourages local authorities to share and divest parts of their vast, messy and under-utilised estate. The Cabinet Office, the central government department behind the scheme, claims that the current programme involving 32 local authorities will yield around £129 million in property sales and savings of £77 million in running costs over a period of five years. Now, more than 100 councils are set to join the scheme including several that are set to acquire greater autonomy through the Government’s plans for devolution. The new regions set to sign up to the programme include Greater Manchester, the City of Liverpool, West Midlands and Sheffield as part of 24 new ‘partnerships’.

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England’s local authorities acting like property developers, claims report

property developersEngland’s local authorities are responding to the country’s ongoing austerity measures by behaving more like property developers as they seek to redevelop property and land valued at £13.5 billion by 2019, according to a new report from local government think tank Localis in conjunction with developer Cathedral Group. Rather than simply selling off assets, the research claims that councils are increasingly looking to develop property to provide them with revenue streams as a way of shoring up their shrinking budgets. The report claims that the proportion of projects slated for redevelopment is currently a third of all disposals but will make up the majority in five years time. The report has received cross party support and links to other high profile public sector initiatives, especially the One Public Sector Estate scheme. The Cabinet Office recently reported that the UK public sector estate had shrunk by 2 m. sq. ft. since 2010.

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Audit commission urges UK councils to make better use of property

real estateUK local authorities should make better use of their £170 billion estate, including divesting or reusing around £2.5 billion worth of surplus assets, according to a new report from the Audit Commission. The report acknowledges that the estate has already shrunk by a third over the last decade but says there is still scope for councils to be more proactive in the way they manage property, not least when it comes to decisions about the use of idle or underused buildings and land. As the local government estate continues to shrink due to spending cuts and a range of Central Government initiatives such as the One Public Sector estate scheme, it was vital councils understood the properties in their portfolio and regularly reviewed them, according to the report’s authors.

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The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year ahead

The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year aheadThere were a number of workplace issues that wouldn’t go away during 2013. And there’s no reason to believe we will resolve many of them during 2014 either. We can try to explain the recalcitrance of such things by referring to the enveloping fog that emanates from the commercial interests who promote problems to their customers so they can provide the solutions, but many are more deep-rooted. Technology and its constant radicalising effects is almost invariably the major driver of change, but it is only one thread in a complex web of social, professional, demographic, cultural and commercial changes. So here, in no particular order, are the issues we expect to spend the most time talking about on Insight over the next year. More →

UK Government encourages £1 billion council property sale to fund services

The parlous state of local authority finance in the UK is encouraging councils to behave in new ways and many are making them unpopular. From the greater use of bailiffs to attempts to increase income from local car parks, much of the current thinking on revenue generation has focussed on quick fixes as councils seek to preserve front line services. Whitehall is currently carrying out a technical consultation as it seeks to cut its funding for front line services by 21 percent over the next two years as part of the now annual debate about finding the money to do all the things Central Government expects local authorities to do. One potential solution is the sale of property according to a report that councils may be allowed to sell off buildings and reinvest the proceeds in their operations.

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Getting back to the future of work

Getting back to the future of work

future of workQuoting George Orwell is the kind of thing that people who haven’t read George Orwell do. I have read Orwell, and even have a  drunken story about Paul Shane signing my copy of the Collected Essays, which was the only autograph-able material I had on me at the time I met him in a pub in about 1990. For another time. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell describes Winston Smith’s realisation that the best books are those that tell you what you already know. This is an ancient profundity, and one that is sort of useful during times of significant, rapid change, when we are obliged to confront old truths in a new context. History doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes, as they say. More →

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