Search Results for: commercial

Will the Great Trade Association Merger have any impact on office design?

Ceci n'est pas un bureauAnybody who has been working in and around the facilities management sector for any length of time will know that the FM profession/discipline (delete as appropriate) regularly undergoes protracted periods of existential angst about its role. It strikes me however that this is actually quite an easy question to deal with because the answer is the same as it is for similarly amorphous professions such as marketing. It all seems to depend on who you are and what you are trying to do. That’s the twist. The average facilities manager, like the Urban Spaceman, doesn’t exist. I might think that but it won’t stop the associations and institutes currently working together to establish a new super-body for FM in the UK having to continue the debate.

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Green Office Week kicks off with a focus on individual behaviour

elephant-in-the-roomThis week is Green Office Week. Obviously it’s corporate sponsored, self-designated and arbitrarily timed with all the ways that leaves it open to criticism. It also offers pretty standard advice for the most part and many people and organisations will be well aware of it.  What is interesting is that so much of the advice is about individual behaviour, across the daily themed topics. In some ways this is a welcome reminder that the solution to environmental issues is as much about personal behaviour and management as it is  technology. The answer to needlessly burning lights should be somebody remembering to turn them off, rather than a movement sensor. Or it should be both. In practice, people don’t meet their own stated commitments to the environment and there are some pretty good reasons for this.

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Office rental sector benefits from office to home exemption

Office rental sector benefits from office to home exemption says RICS

The office rental sector has benefited from the prospect of reduced supply, stemming from the recent announcement by the government to relax the need for permission to change use from commercial to residential, according to RICS’ property and construction experts. Although the first quarter results of the 2013 RICS UK Commercial Market Survey reveals how the retail side of the commercial market continues to suffer, other areas of the commercial property market – such as office and industrial space have seen demand for premises strengthen slightly with no major increases in empty floor space and rising levels of tenant demand for office premises. More →

The biggest challenge is building flexibility into an office design

Flexible pencilThe design of offices and the furniture that fills them matters because of what they tell us about how we work, how organisations function and even what is happening in the economy. If you want to know what’s going on, take a look at the places we work and the things with which we surround ourselves and how they change over time. Because the way we work changes so quickly, buildings need to have flexibility built into them so that they meet our needs today but anticipate what we will need tomorrow.In his book How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand outlines the process whereby buildings evolve over time to meet the changing needs of their occupants.

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Planning consent given for Tower Bridge Business Complex

london aerialWorkspace Group has announced that it has received planning consent for the mixed–use redevelopment of its property at the Tower Bridge Business Complex in South East London. The final development will offer 270,000 sq ft of existing business space and 60,000 sq ft of new business accommodation as well as 800 new residential units and a public park.  Jamie Hopkins, chief executive officer said: “There is strong demand for tailored business space in the area and it is our firm intention to increase the number of jobs on site in order to benefit the local community.  The development also provides a significant boost to both the capital value and rental income of the site.”

UK Green Building Council sets out its plans for the built environment

UK Green Building Council sets out future plans for sustainable future

The built environment is an engine for green growth and UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) intends to demonstrate how, says the sustainable buildings campaigner today as it outlines specific areas of focus to promote green building over the next 12 months. This follows the publication of its Impact Report earlier this week which reflected on some of its key initiatives over the past year, including the launch of Pinpoint, a new search engine for information on green building, the publication of a plan for growth strategy and its work to influence  government policy regarding the built environment.

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Global coalition to create universal standard of property measurement

Global coalition to create universal standard of property measurement

The world’s leading property institutions meet today to create a universal method of measuring property assets. At present, the way property assets – such as an office development is measured, varies widely from country to country. With so many different methods of measurement available, it makes it difficult for those looking to invest in these developments to compare like with like. This confusion can affect property values, lead to errors in financial reporting and, consequentially, undermine market confidence. Headed by RICS, this initial meeting of the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC) is the first step to delivering this consistency.

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Balfour Beatty profits warning cites challenging construction sector

Balfour Beatty construction

Building and infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty has issued its second profits warning in six months, with the announcement that its UK construction business is expected to deliver significantly lower profits than expected this year.  The company said the UK construction market has been a challenging environment in which to win and execute work, adding: “Market conditions which deteriorated significantly in the second half of 2012 continue to be difficult. Change in procurement trends, which we have previously highlighted have persisted, allowing customers to impose increasingly stringent conditions onto contractors.”

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Shortlist for green business awards published on Earth Day

Earth day celebrations

Green charities, consultancies and a range of businesses that have helped to promote and facilitate environmental progress within the corporate community over the past year have been nominated for a BusinessGreen Leaders’ Award. The shortlist for the green business awards, which celebrate leading businesses and individuals’ contributions to the green economy is published today on Earth Day, when it’s expected that over one billion people in approximately 192 countries will be taking action to protect the environment. The day is being marked in Seattle by the formal opening of the “greenest commercial building in the world,” the Bullitt center by one of Earth’s day’s founders, the environmental activist Denis Hayes. More →

Female-friendly employers named as progress of women in boardrooms stalls

Top 50 Employers for Women named

In an interview this week on BBC’s Newsnight, Facebook’s CFO Sheryl Sandberg, revealed how she’d come to notice a growing gender imbalance as she moved up the corporate ladder. As her new book Lean in, points out, 30 years after women became 50 per cent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions. This is just one of many reasons why the publication this week of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women list of the UK organisations that are leading the way in gender equality in the workplace is to be welcomed.

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Abu Dhabi continues to create new offices, despite current oversupply

Abu DhabiA new report from Jones Lang LaSalle into the property market in Abu Dhabi claims that although the Emirate is committed to investing in the development of new commercial property, there is already a serious oversupply of offices in the region. Vacancy rates already stand at over a third (37 per cent) with increases expected as new developments become available. Around 1 million sq. m. of new office space is set to be developed in Abu Dhabi between now and 2015, increasing the total commercial building stock by a quarter. The JLL report claims that this oversupply is suppressing rents. Grade A properties now yield about 40 per cent of what they did at their peak in the final quarter of 20008 while Grade B space also continues to see falls in its yield.

Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

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Dave Coplin, the ‘Chief Envisioning Officer’ at Microsoft, explores with the RSA how we might apply technology in new ways to transform the way we work. He starts with a look at how we are constrained by the past, with the example of the QWERTY keyboard which was originally developed to slow typists down to stop keys jamming but is still the de facto input method for typists over a century later. Obviously there are very good commercial reasons why technology companies need to ‘envision’ this new world of flexible working but it’s an engaging presentation and honest enough when he argues against our obsession with specific aspects of work such as email at the expense of others.