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JLL’s CEO new Chairman of the UK Green Building Council

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Andrew Gould has succeeded Dan Labbad, Group CEO of Lend Lease, as Chairman of the UK Green Building Council. He takes up the position at a time when business leaders are increasingly focused on the need to show leadership on climate change and recognise the opportunities for green growth in the UK. The UK Green Building Council is an industry-led campaign group, part of a global network of Councils that are active in over 90 countries worldwide. More →

Appetite for long leases presents challenges

The news from the weekend that Axa Real Estate is looking to raise around £1bn  to invest in buildings with very long leases has resparked the debate into what sort of lease represents the best value for investors and tenants in these uncertain times. The new fund will target commercial properties with minimum twenty year leases even though investors have to pay a premium for such properties and the majority of occupiers don’t want them. More →

Regional slump responsible for overall UK property fall

Canary-Wharf_1

The New Year starts with news from Chicago based property broker Jones Lang LaSalle that investors spent some £ 30 billion on  income generating property in the U.K. during 2012, about 9 percent less than in 2011. However there was a marked disparity between the London market and the rest of the UK. London deals totaled £18 billion in 2012, the highest figure for four years, while purchases outside the capital reached 12 billion pounds, the lowest amount over the same period. More →

Global office market to stabilise during 2013

JakartaA new report from consultants Cushman and Wakefield has predicted that the global commercial real estate market will stabilise over the next twelve months and, in some areas of the world, may enjoy a degree of growth.  While acknowledging wide regional variations, the report claims that there are some clear global themes that can be identified, not least in the ongoing growth of markets in Asia. Significant growth is not expected in the majority of regions until 2014 and beyond.

Lab rats – how the UK life sciences sector is struggling to find space to work

Lab rats – how the UK life sciences sector is struggling to find space to work

The UK wants to build on its already successful position as a globally important player in the life sciences and pharma sectors. Yet it is struggling to create enough space for growth in the right places and having to rethink wher research and innovation takes place In November 2023, plans to turn part of a golf course next to a motorway into a £340 million science park were refused by South Oxfordshire District Council. Although now classified as greenbelt, the location was the site of a landfill as recently as the 1990s and is just a stone’s throw from both the A40 trunk road and M40 motorway. The developers are expected to appeal. Whatever the details of this story, it is an example of how challenging it can be to meet demand for lab and life sciences space in the so-called Golden Triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge in the South of England. This lack of supply is acting as a brake on the UK Government’s dream of making the country a “science superpower”. More →

BCO Awards dominated by South East offices yet again but Glasgow office takes top spot

BCO Awards dominated by South East offices yet again but Glasgow office takes top spot

Barclays’ Glasgow campus was celebrated as the Best of the Best at the British Council for Offices BCO AwardsBarclays’ Glasgow campus (pictured) was celebrated as the Best of the Best at the British Council for Offices (BCO) National Awards last night, also taking home the prize for Corporate Workplace. Seven further winners of BCO Awards were recognised as leading examples of excellence in workplace design in the UK. There were no winners in any category in the Midlands or North of England, Northern Ireland or Wales, although two offices in Manchester and Widnes were commended and the President’s Award went to HMRC for its ongoing national estate management programme. More →

Smart technology needs to start with people if it wants to get smarter

Smart technology needs to start with people if it wants to get smarter

A wood carving of a blank, slumped person sitting at a desk with a laptop to depict the dehumanization potential of smart technology“My engineering students had come to class with technology on their minds.” So says artist and design researcher Sara Hendren, author of What a Body Can Do: How we Meet the Built World. It’s a fascinating book in which she consciously pushes back against the prevailing narrative that so-called smart technology has a fix for every problem. As a professor teaching design for disability at Olin College of Engineering, Massachusetts, Hendren draws attention to the assumptions that drive normative behaviours to define what is a ‘problem’ in the first place. More →

Google opens new Bay View campus in California – image gallery and video

Google opens new Bay View campus in California – image gallery and video

Google Bay View CampusGoogle has announced the opening of its new Bay View campus in Silicon Valley, representing the company’s first time developing its own major campus.  The Bay View campus was designed by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studio, as well as Google’s design and engineering teams, and spans 42 acres adjacent to the NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. It totals 1.1 million square feet, with 20 acres of open space, two office buildings, an 1,000-person event centre, and 240 short-term employee accommodation units. More →

Bereaved employees feel added pressure of job insecurity

Bereaved employees feel added pressure of job insecurity

bereaved employeesEmpathy, a platform helping families navigate the journey they face after losing a loved one, today released the first edition of its annual Cost of Dying Report (registration). The report reveals results from a new survey exploring the real cost of dying in the US and the impact on bereaved employees. The report includes a foreword from Goldman Sachs, as well as reflections from experts in the end-of-life space including David Kessler, Chief Empathy Officer at Empathy & Grief Expert, BJ Miller, MD, Compassion Advisor at Empathy & Co-Founder of Mettle Health, and Shoshanna Ungerleider, MD, Founder of the End Well Foundation. More →

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

What do we need offices for anyway? The Greeks had a word for it

offices - what is going onThe Greek word anagnorisis describes the sense of having just caught up with a truth that was always waiting for you. It’s a common literary and artistic device found in the plots of everything from Oedipus Rex to Macbeth, Star Wars and Fight Club, but it’s also a word that conveys a useful, complex idea that does not have an adequate English version. The mot juste, if you like. And it’s a useful idea when it comes to framing the current conversation we are having about offices and work more generally. More →

Is the time right for office furniture as a service?

Is the time right for office furniture as a service?

office furniture financingThe focus on creating a more sustainable workplace is increasing. Many designers, specifiers, manufacturers, suppliers and, of course, users are pledging their allegiance to the cause. Some are driven by a genuine recognition of the climate crisis whilst others are appreciating that commercially, it’s an essential direction.  ‘Zero to landfill’ has been given ‘green bragging rights’ for some time. In reality, due to the significantly lower cost of incineration versus recycling, most material isn’t reclaimed, it is burnt. Whilst ‘energy from waste’ might alleviate some guilt, it is still contributing to pollution. More →