Search Results for: construction

Public sector property initiatives have proved successful but work still needed

Gorilla-in-a-hat1There was a time, not so long ago, when nobody worried too much about the shape of the rooms that led off the corridors of power. But the pressure on UK finances has politicised the design of the UK’s public buildings. The latest example of this was the recent  announcement  in Parliament of a report that, amongst other things, called for a new approach in the way facilities are designed to deliver better services in a more cost effective way. The report Restarting Britain 2: Design and Public Services was the result of an eight-month investigation led by the Design Commission along with politicians, designers and civil servants.

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Dutch Embassy to move to South Bank development

Embassy Gardens

The Dutch Embassy in London is to move from its current location at Hyde Park Gate to a 50,000 sq ft site as part of the Embassy Gardens development on the South Bank of the Thames. The Embassy, which will move in 2017, will sit adjacent to the new US Embassy, already under construction and due for completion during the same year. Embassy Gardens is part of the Nine Elms development on the South Bank and is masterplanned by architect Sir Terry Farrell to encompass a kilometre-long Linear Park – starting in Vauxhall and moving through Embassy Gardens on the way to Battersea Power Station. More →

UK commercial property investors shift focus to the regions

Leeds skylineInvestors in the commercial office market are increasingly being drawn towards the UK regions, according to a new report by Deloitte Real Estate. The UK Key Cities publication explores the trend that regional offices are emerging as a focus for savvy investors seeking higher returns. At the same time, individual cities are recognising the need to stand apart from competing locations and bridge the gap between themselves and London. These cities are being bolstered by factors such as improved connectivity through large planned infrastructure projects, devolution of power, and investment into the retail and leisure markets.

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SBID International Design Awards 2013 open for entries

Entries are now open for the SBID (Society of British Interior Design) third International Design Awards, which recognises design excellence across the built environment, ranging from super luxury projects, to innovative design and new talent on limited budgets. The fourteen categories include residential and contract sectors, entertainment space, transport, product and public space, visualisation (3d renderings) and interior design project under £50,000. Previous finalists and winners have included: Candy & Candy’s Candyscape II and Number One Hyde Park; Bentley Motors Head Office in Crewe by FutureBrand [pictured]; Mercedes Showroom in Washington by Studio Lux; The Hyundai Business Centre in Korea by Hyundai Construction and Engineering; Viking Cruises by Integration.

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Survey reveals rising confidence of UK workers

JobsCompetitive pay and benefits are the most important requirements of a new employer, before job security, according to new research from recruiter Randstad. In 2012, 27 per cent of people said long-term job security was the most important factor in choosing to work for a specific company – more than any other issue, but this has now fallen to 16 per cent, the lowest it has been in three years. Mark Bull, Randstad’s UK CEO, said: “The UK’s workforce appears much more bullish. In 2011 and 2012 the number one priority for people was job security – now it is salaries and benefits.”

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BIM task force group to represent built environment

BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is of as much importance to those tasked with using and managing buildings as those involved in their design and construction and has led to the formation of the BIM4FM group, which represents institutes, trade associations and professional bodies within the built environment. Supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit, the BIM4FM group will provide input into the on going development of BIM and work being developed through the Government Property Unit and BIM Task Group. Geoff Prudence, Chair of the BIM4FM group said: “Although BIM has long been discussed at the construction end of the supply chain it has only recently and repeatedly started to raise its profile with those operating and using buildings.” More →

HSE swoops to take action against fifth of refurb sites

Hard hatsThe UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has taken enforcement action against a fifth of the refurbishment sites it visited as part of a month long programme of inspections. HSE inspectors visited 2,363 sites where refurbishment work was taking place and served 631 enforcement notices at 433 sites.A total of 451 notices were served that ordered work stop immediately until appropriate action was taken to minimise risks to workers and members of the public.  The inspections took place between 18 February and the 15 March as HSE officials made unannounced visits to constructions across the UK to check on measures taken to counter high risk situations such as working at height and other circumstances such as the use of PPE equipment.

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The best Swedish workplaces for 2013 are announced

Stockholm

Stockholm

The Great Place to Work Institute has named its list of Sweden’s Best Workplaces for 2013. The list of 122 companies features some well known multinationals such as McDonald’s and Microsoft as well as many local business in the three categories for large, medium and small businesses. Construction industry supplies firm Hilti, which came in second in the large business category behind Microsoft, was identified as the firm which had climbed the most in the rankings.  The survey claims  to draw attention to those organisations which work actively for an exemplary workplace culture.

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Muted response from built environment sector to Budget 2013

BudgetThere’s been a muted reaction by the building and construction sector to the Budget announcement of a boast to infrastructure investment and relief that revised energy management regulations are likely to be pushed through. CIBSE has welcomed the news that the Government will be giving a detailed response to last year’s Consultation on changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, which covers energy efficiency, by May 2013. The body which represents building services engineers had raised concerns that delays in changes to Part L of Building Regulations in England should not hold up much needed, cost beneficial changes to Part L for the non-domestic market.

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Building Information Modelling is unstoppable finds survey

BIMNearly three quarters (71 per cent) of building design and construction experts agree that BIM (Building Information Modelling) represents “the future of project information” and 39 per cent confirmed that they are already using it. But the annual industry-wide BIM survey, undertaken by NBS, reveals a lack of clarity around the subject which could prove an obstacle to its more rapid adoption. 74 per cent of those polled agreed that the industry is “not clear enough on what BIM is yet” and only around one-third claim to be “very” or “quite” confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.

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Rise in jobless figures puts pressure on Chancellor

The Treasury

There is more pressure on Chancellor George Osborne ahead of today’s budget with the news that uemployment rose by 7,000 to 2.52 million between November and January. However the overall unemployment rate for November 2012 to January 2013 remained at 7.8 per cent, unchanged from August to October 2012. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also show that while pay rose by 1.2 per cent during the same period, with inflation measuring 2.7 per cent between January 2012 and January 2013, there continues to be a cut in the real value of pay. More →

Economic benefits of green buildings highlighted

worldInHands

Green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to conventional buildings, with investments recouped through operational cost savings and, with the right design features, create a more productive workplace, says the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). A new report, which looked at the benefits from green buildings received by different stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a building, “synthesizes credible evidence from around the world on green buildings into one collective resource, and the evidence presented highlights that sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense,” said Jane Henley, CEO of WorldGBC. More →

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