Search Results for: construction

Green issues still a core business concern for managers

Green biz

Green issues have become a core business concern amongst managers responsible for the built environment, says the chair of the Green Building Council Andrew Gould in his introduction to a series of essays which highlight the benefits of a sustainable built environment as a driver for growth. Senior executives from 15 major companies, including Atkins, Balfour Beatty and E.ON, have written the pieces which outline the business case for green buildings and infrastructure. Added Gould: “At the start of 2013, with the short-medium term economic forecast only a little improved, the sustainability agenda is actually in rude health.”

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Challenge for Ecobuild is reducing greenwash and white noise

White noiseToday is the first day of Ecobuild, which claims to be the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to sustainable construction and fit-out. Some 1,500 organisations are taking part in the event in East London which last year attracted 58,000 visitors from around the world. While undoubtedly successful, influential, with great intellectual content and a showcase for some truly innovative and effective products, the approach of Ecobuild invariably begs the question: in a world in which every supplier claims to be environmentally friendly, how are their customers expected to make the right choices?

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Liverpool and London regeneration projects get green light

Liverpool Waters

Liverpool Waters

Two huge regeneration projects, one in Liverpool and one in London, have been approved today. The Community Secretary Eric Pickles gave the uncontested go-ahead for the £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme at the same time as London Mayor Boris Johnson green lit the £1.5 billion regeneration of the 23 acre Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, South London. Both will provide a much need fillip to the UK’s moribund construction sector, creating thousands of new jobs as well as thousands of new homes, offices, shops, restaurants and other buildings in rundown areas of the two cities.

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UK building sector contracts again but there may be light at end of tunnel

Canary Wharf buildingsThe UK’s construction sector has continued its recent pattern of contraction according to the latest survey of the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from Markit/CIPS UK. The last month’s index, published earlier today, showed at 46.8, where a figure below 50 indicates a decline in activity, marking the most significant monthly downturn since October 2009. The fall is the fourth consecutive monthly fall although there was a contrast between the commercial sector which endured the biggest drop and residential building which rose slightly.

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Using the office treadmill to fight the flab

Office treadmill

While shopping recently for a new arm chair, I noticed the prevalence of “snuggle chairs”, marketed as wider than average chairs in which two people can sit cosily together. However, judging by some of the customers checking them out, they appeared much more suitable for use by individuals with a wider girth. You don’t have to people-watch in a furniture store or visit the town of Tamworth, which this weekend the Daily Mail branded ‘”the fattest town in Britain” to notice people are getting fatter. Could a new “office treadmill” help address the obesity problem?

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Widespread adoption of BIM moves closer

BIM_3D_prototype_-_Modus

The widespread adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in architecture, design and construction has moved closer with the publication by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) yesterday of the BIM Protocol, a legal framework for BIM projects. The use of BIM as a collaborative way of working that utilises digital technologies for more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining properties has been described as a game-changing ICT and cultural process for the built environment, with the Government’s intention to require collaborative 3D BIM on all its projects by 2016

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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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US Federal government confirms green-building requirements

the_white_house_0

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 →

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 →

Consolidation of state properties boosts London economy by £3.5bn

Whitehall,_LondonAccording to a new report from property consultancy Knight Frank into the impact of the Government’s policy of consolidating and improving the management of the public sector estate in London, the economy has been boosted by as much as £3.5 billion. The study has reviewed the results of the work carried out by the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group at 16 properties in central London including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for International Development, the Land Registry and the Crown Prosecution Service. Many of these sites were seen as dated and have now been redeveloped for use by other organisations. More →

Renewed drive for equality in UK architecture

RIBA

RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) has restated its commitment to tackling inequality in architecture and the broader construction industry with the creation of a new diversity role. Jane Duncan, RIBA Vice President Practice and Profession has been appointed  RIBA Equality and Diversity Champion to lead a programme of renewed activity to investigate the current causes of inequality in the architecture profession and explore best practice with other occupations. Her appointment is aimed at giving senior support to the work already delivered through Architects for Change, the RIBA’s Equality and Diversity Forum. More →

British Land named Carbon Champion at CIBSE awards

British Land

British Land has been named Carbon Champion of Year in the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards 2013. The awards recognise building performance excellence in 12 categories, with other winners including Max Fordham, Norland, Atkins and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The CIBSE awards recognise and celebrate the best performance, innovation and practice in design, commissioning, construction, installation and operation of sustainable buildings and the manufacturers whose technologies enable energy efficiency. More →

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