Search Results for: innovation

Green building design ‘goes mainstream’ in major US cities

Green building design ‘goes mainstream’ in major US cities

Green building design

Minneapolis – the home of US green building design

It’s not just Europe that is experiencing an explosion of interest in green building design. According to a new report from CBRE and Maastricht University, the past ten years have seen a transformation in the way the US corporate real estate market approaches the environmental performance of buildings. According to the National Green Building Adoption Index for 2014, produced by CBRE there has been a remarkable increase in the  application of green building standards in the thirty most important regional commercial property markets in the US. Based on data from the US Green Building Council,  the number of office buildings which are LEED* or Energy Star** certified has surged since 2005. The proportion of LEED certified buildings in America now stands at 5 percent, up from under 0.5 percent over the course of the survey period. The total proportion  of office space which now has some form of green accreditation is just under a fifth.

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Four regional winners named in competition to find world’s best tall building for 2014

best tall buildingThe awards programmes pile up at this time of year and following the announcement of RIBA’s best workplaces for the year, four buildings, from the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates, have been named the best tall building in the world for 2014 in their respective region by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). An overall winner for the “Best Tall Building Worldwide” will be named from the four regional winners, following presentations from the owners and architects of each building, at the CTBUH 13th Annual Awards Symposium, which will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, on November 6. The symposium will be followed by the Awards Ceremony and Dinner in the iconic Crown Hall, designed by Mies van der Rohe. The 10-Year, Urban Habitat, Lifetime Achievement, Building Performance and Innovation awards will be announced in the coming weeks, and will also feature at November’s awards events.

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Virtually Uninspiring, Cautiously Aspirational – award winning offices for the VUCA world.

award winning officesWorld-of-work watchers will be more than aware that we are increasingly being informed that we are living in the VUCA age, which under normal circumstances is an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous but in the context of these RIBA Award Winners for 2014 might be taken in a number of other ways. Commentators and self-styled thought leaders are warning businesses to prepare for seismic changes to the way work gets done, where, how and by whom (or by what, if proponents of automation and robotics have anything to do with it). How lovely then, that RIBA have made awards to seven offices that hark back to more comforting, more halcyon, times. The text of the accompanying feature in Architects Journal is at pains to point out that offices are hard to design and that RIBA awards are hard won. I wouldn’t disagree on the former point but, from the evidence on show, it’s a bit more of a challenge to agree with the later. So I won’t.

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UK businesses have mixed attitudes to flexible working, according to two new studies

Flexible working City of LondonThe mixed attitude of businesses towards flexible working generally – and a new tranche of UK regulation in particular – is evident in two new studies. While a Citrix survey found that under half of small and medium sized business owners support the new flexible working legislation due to come into force at the end of this month with even fewer seeing it as a positive development, another study by recruitment consultants Robert Half found that two-thirds of large financial services firms use flexible working as a way of attracting and retaining employees. According to the report, this is particularly important in The City right now because  many prospective employees are put off by the poor image of the financial services industry and so firms are keen to make themselves more attractive employers so are turning to flexible working and better workplaces to entice high-grade staff.

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Lack of joined up thinking hampers efforts to reduce commercial property energy consumption

SunriseA new report commissioned by the Green Construction Board, Property Industry Alliance and UK Government claims that efforts to tackle energy consumption in commercial property and reduce the associated emissions of greenhouse gases needs a new approach to the way policies are understood, monitored and enforced. The warnings come in a paper produced by Deloitte which suggests that while the associated potential for savings and a wide range of environmental and economic benefits are beyond question and the Government has the will to make them happen, there is a lack of cohesive thinking in current policies and legislation coupled with a shortfall in innovation and investment. When the report was commissioned last year, it was done so on the basis that buildings remain the UK’s largest contributor to carbon emissions, with energy use in non-domestic buildings accounting for 17 per cent of the total.

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England’s technology firms now employ more people than California’s, claims new report

technology firmsAs we reported last week, London and the South East of England remain the UK’s hotspots for new business start-ups and now new research claims that the region now has more people working in the vital technology and information sector than the capital of world tech, California. The report from South Mountain Economics and Bloomberg Philanthropies shows that there are nearly three quarters of a million people working for technology firms in London, the South East and East Anglia compared to 692,000 in California and that there are more firms working in financial technology in London than either Silicon Valley or New York. The report backs up new research from Oxford Economics, commissioned by the Mayor of London to coincide with London Technology Week, which claims that over the next decade, London’s digital tech sector is expected to grow at a rate of 5.1 per cent per annum, creating an additional £12 billion of economic activity and 46,000 new jobs, which in turn is driving change in the commercial property market. More →

The boardroom knows tech is important but leaves IT decisions to others, claims report

BoardroomThere is a recognition within the boardroom of the importance of information and communications technology (ICT), but business leaders see tech as something for technology managers to worry about and many are unable to make effective decisions anyway because they are digitally illiterate (and some are proud of the fact). Those are some of the findings of a new report from Sunguard Availability Services, published in partnership with Professor Joe Peppard of the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin. The study claims that the growing strategic role of technology offers chief information officers (CIOs) a chance to elevate their position and drive the wider business agenda. But also that this can be held back by a lack of engagement, or even the boardroom taking no account of ICT whatsoever, with strategic IT alignment remaining an afterthought for many organisations.

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IFMA & BIFM to discuss work and place at Workplace Strategy Summit

Workplace summit to discuss work and placeLeading academics and experts in the fields of facility management and real estate are meeting to discuss the most innovative concepts to emerge in workplace strategy at the Workplace Strategy Summit, beginning this weekend at the Wokefield Park Conference Centre in Berkshire. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA), British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) and IFMA Foundation will come together from 8-10 June to discuss the themed “Innovation on the Edge.” The editorial team at Workplace Insight has produced a special issue of the Occupiers Journal, Work & Place featuring in depth articles, case studies and comments from some of the key speakers at the event. Paul Carder, publisher of Work & Place said: “As well as the journal’s obvious relevance to the creators and managers of places we were also keen to find subjects which are equally relevant to managers of the “work” process.”

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Design skills cited as one reason why London is the world’s best city

Clerkenwell design weekFor the first time, London is the world’s best city for business, culture and finance, according to the latest edition of PWC’s annual Cities of Opportunity report.  And the city’s reputation as a global leader in design is cited as one of the main reasons. The index of thirty of the world’s most important cities claims that London’s sheer economic clout, technological infrastructure and its design and development skills are just a few of the factors that led to the city usurping New York for the first time. When the survey was last carried out, it was ranked third. London is ranked one of the top three best places for intellectual capital and innovation alongside Paris and San Francisco and has leapt from eighth place last year to joint first place (with Seoul) in terms of its technological readiness.

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UK one of the top global business destinations for sales growth and profitability

Ad Lib detailGlobal manufacturing executives rank the UK as one of the top destinations for future sales growth and profitability, according to KPMG’s latest Global Manufacturing Outlook report published this week. This places the UK ahead of Germany, India and Japan and alongside China, beaten only by the US. The report also notes that the UK is leading the world in the growth of 3D printing. The survey of 460 executives representing business with an annual turnover in excess of $5 billion reveals that the UK is ranked third in terms of those countries in which global companies expect profit growth over the next two years. The focus on new technology and materials in the report reveals that 85 percent of UK manufacturers are already moving to 3D printing to reduce their product development life cycle, as British office furniture maker Senator did in prototyping its Ad-Lib range (pictured).

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European Commission names Munich as continent’s main tech hub

Der Muenchner Christkindlmarkt und das Rathaus strahlen am Montag (28.11.05) waehrend der Blauen Stunde in weihnachtlichem Lichterglanz. Mit der Eroeffnung des zentralen Muenchner Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Marienplatz begann am Freitag (25.11.05) die WeihNever mind the Champion’s League, there is a fascinating battle across Europe’s major cities to win the tech hub crown, or at least wear it for a year before it is snatched away by some other agglomeration of latte-sipping arrivistes. The latest City to be awarded the mantle is, perhaps surprisingly, Munich often seen as something of a laggard even within the borders of Germany, playing second fiddle to Berlin. According to the European Commission report (not so snappily titled Mapping the European ICT Poles of Excellence: The Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe) even London, usually regarded as the continent’s tech heartland, bends the knee to the Bavarian City. According to the report’s authors Munich is particularly strong in research and development, although it loses out to London on other factors including networking and access to finance. Paris was placed third.

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The six most important dimensions of wellbeing in the workplace

B-Free working choiceDesigning an office environment using six key elements of wellbeing will benefit both employers and their staff, leading to a healthier, more productive workplace finds a new report. Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures global research team, which included a psychologist, a designer and an ergonomist conducted an in depth study on existing wellbeing research, surveys, indicators and theories and found that the key to physical and mental wellbeing is the emotional experience, which can be influenced by a person’s surroundings, actions, and way of perceiving the world. The six dimensions of wellbeing that can be impacted by the design of the physical environment are; optimism, mindfulness, authenticity, belonging, meaning and vitality. Together these create what Steelcase refers to as an “interconnected workplace,” that offers employees choice and control over where and how they work.  More →