Search Results for: innovation

New projects to research green building solutions

The BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials

Two major new projects to further the development of sustainable building solutions have been launched. The BRE (Building Research Establishment) National Solar Centre, aimed at providing a research based, independent platform in the use of solar energy in the UK was officially opened in Cornwall today, and a £1m ground-breaking building called the HIVE funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and led by Dr Mike Lawrence from the University of Bath’s BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, is to be built at a dedicated research park in Swindon.

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Winners announced for 2013 real estate thought leadership

CoreNet Global 2013 Awards for Industry Excellence, Economic Development and Sustainable Leadership:

An organisation that helps businesses set up or expand their offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and Google’s campaign to source more sustainable building materials are amongst the initiatives which have been recognized in CoreNet’s awards for Industry Excellence, Economic Development and Sustainable Leadership. Fidelity, Panasonic, Google, the Brick City Development Corporation and the San Francisco Center for Economic Development are all named as winners for three annual best practices awards by the corporate real estate (CRE) and workplace association. The awards are presented each year to industry leaders who demonstrate best-in-class practices in advancing corporate real estate thought leadership. More →

Project awarded for design and build of new Kuwaiti Ministry

 Kuwait General Department of the Information System.

The competition to design and build the future General Department of the Information System (GDIS), in Kuwait has been won by AGi architects, in collaboration with Bonyan Design. The aesthetics of the building, which will encompass a total gross area of 135,482 sqm is shaped by the superposition of two contrasting layers: a massive stone plinth at the lower level, and lighter glass structures on the upper floors. At ground floor level there will be a plaza conceived as an inner urban space that will be the core of flows and circulations and will provide access to all four departments included in the building More →

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 →

U.S. employers plan penalties to boost wellness participation

U.S. wellness

Following on from the revelation that wellness programmes are only as good as the willingness of staff to participate, comes a study from the U.S. which highlights the role incentives can play in employers’ efforts to improve workforce health and performance. Aon Hewitt’s survey of nearly 800 large and mid-size U.S. employers representing more than 7 million U.S. employees found that 83 per cent now offer employees incentives for participating in programmes, while 58 per cent plan to impose consequences on participants who do not take appropriate actions for improving their health.

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London calling for Green Sky Thinking events

GST13-ButtonIf you’re looking for some practical guidance on sustainability check out a free London-wide event, Green Sky Thinking, a week-long series of free sustainability-focused events showcasing innovative and practical solutions to greening London’s built environment, which runs across London from 15-19 April. Ranging from onsite project talks, round-table discussions, pecha kuchas and seminars, it offers attendees the inside view from top experts, industry leaders and collaborative teams to understand innovations and what works in practice. Victoria Thornton, Founding Director of Open City, said: “The value of Green Sky Thinking Week is offering the solution of ‘how’ to make London’s built environment  sustainable.” More →

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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What Alan Bennett can teach us about taste

Alan BennettThe idea of taste is a strange one, not least when we’re surrounded by people guiding our tastes in everything from cars to wine, food, clothes, house design, office design, restaurants, holidays, language, art, music, books and film. The problem with an acceptance of what we mean by ‘good taste’ is that it acts as a brake on change and innovation. Alan Bennett once made the point in typical style. ‘Taste is timorous, conservative and fearful,’ he wrote. ‘It is a handicap. It stunts. Olivier was unhampered by taste and was often vulgar; Dickens similarly. Both could fail and failure is a sort of vulgarity; but it’s better than a timorous toeing of the line. Taste abuts on self preservation. It is the audience that polices taste. Only if you can forget your audience can you escape.’

Japan’s Toyo Ito wins 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Toyo ItoThe 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered architecture’s highest accolade is to go to Toyo Ito, a 71 year old Japanese architect whose work includes the Sendai Mediatheque library in Sendai City, Japan, which withstood the 2011 earthquake, Tokyo’s Tama Art University Library, and London’s 2002 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Ito, whose architectural practice is based in Tokyo, said of the award: “Architecture is bound by various social constraints. I have been designing architecture bearing in mind that it would be possible to realize more comfortable spaces if we are freed from all the restrictions even for a little bit.”

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‘Internet of everything’ for most firms within 3 years

Cisco techwatch

Next generation workspaces will be a reality for three quarters (76 per cent) of businesses by 2016 says a new Cisco report, as organisations pave the way for greater connectivity by investing in IT infrastructure and collaboration technologies. “Whilst cost-cutting and reducing complexity is important, creating an environment where IT can support – or indeed drive – innovation within the business is paramount said Ian Foddering, CTO Cisco UKI. “Three key pillars emerge: ‘Simplify’, ‘Protect’ and ‘Change & Grow’. Get the first two right, and you pave the way for innovation, greater connectivity, next generation workspaces and ultimately a shift towards the ‘Internet of Everything’.”

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Staff development still tops European employers’ priorities

Image credit: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/photo_10259161_portrait-of-successful-young-businessman-showing-presentation-in-a-meeting-at-office.html'>logos / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

European employers are still maintaining ambitious staff development plans, despite the gloomier macro-economic climate. According to a study by Aon Hewitt, the proportion of companies that expect to add new jobs in 2012 has increased to 47 per cent, overtaking the number of companies foreseeing a reduction of their workforce (31 per cent). Explained Leonardo Sforza, chair of the European Club for human resources Scientific Committee: “The slow and painful road to economic recovery is not discouraging successful multinationals from continuing to invest in their human capital and from demonstrating the belief that their people remain the most powerful engine for sustainable growth and innovation.” More →

Google and Yahoo office strategies teach us the value of the velvet glove

Velvet gloveIt’s a week now since the whole Yahoo-ha kicked off and since that time everybody has had their say on the matter including – refreshingly – those in the mainstream media. The story has followed its own narrative arc, from the initial gasps of horror at Yahoo’s audacious challenge to a cherished piece of contemporary received wisdom (coupled with the reminder that Yahoo still exists) to something more thoughtful and circumspect as we learned more about the thinking behind the decision.What has become apparent is that Yahoo’s actions were based on a tacit understanding that people work better on certain tasks when they are together.

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