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September 4, 2017

Workplace lifts use 36% more energy than expected

31 May 2016 | James Richards Workplace lifts are burning 36 per cent more energy within office buildings than predicted by manufacturers and standards, according to a study.  The report, Smarter Buildings: Real-world energy use of lifts/elevators in contemporary office buildings, released on Monday, was complied by lift consultants SVM

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RICS: July house price growth at three year low

RICS: July house price growth at three year low The latest data from RICS has shown that house price growth continued to slow in the UK in July while key indicators covering price expectations, buyer enquiries, agreed sales and new instructions all remained firmly negative. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist,

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New rules to ‘outlaw’ business rates appeals

20 August 2016 – by Jess Harrold Businesses could be forced to pay up to 20% higher business rates than they should, without any right of appeal, under new government proposals. As a result the biggest ratepayers could be tens of millions of pounds out of pocket. The plans

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Drop in the Amount of Houses Being Built in London

Over the last 12 months there has been a significant reduction in the amount of housebuilding that took place in London. The Housing & Finance Institute has revealed that they for the first time in five years there has been more homes constructed in the home counties that in the

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Kier Commit to 1% Pledge in Attempts to reduce Skills Shortfall

Kier Group plc is a leading supplier of property residential and construction services. The group has announced that they will be pledging 1% of their workforce, who will be acting as career ambassadors. As part of this scheme the ambassadors will work in schools and colleges over the course of

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Debbie White Starts as Chief Executive of Interserve

The new Chief Executive has started work for Interserve. In the middle of November 2016 it was announced that Adrian Ringrose, Chief Executive at the time, was handing in his notice. Adrian worked until the end of the day on the 31st August 2017 in order to ensure that the

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

September 4, 2017

Workplace lifts use 36% more energy than expected

31 May 2016 | James Richards Workplace lifts are burning 36 per cent more energy within office buildings than predicted by manufacturers and standards, according to a study.  The report, Smarter Buildings: Real-world energy use of lifts/elevators in contemporary office buildings, released on Monday, was complied by lift consultants SVM associates and StepJockey, a corporate wellness business which encourages exercise in the workplace as well as reducing carbon emissions.  According to the findings, lifts use significantly more energy than predicted by standards. Geared traction lifts are cited as being the worst offenders, with these systems using 36 per cent more than expected.  The report says commercial buildings account for half of the UK’s energy consumption, and that lifts make up 8 per cent of an office building’s energy use, meaning “excess energy cost and associated carbon emissions is potentially enormous.” But the research does not suggest that lift manufacturers are manipulating data. Instead, “the problem seems to sit with international standards which use ideal rather than real-world lift/elevator traffic scenarios to estimate total energy use.” The report also speculates that changes in work patterns, such as flexible working, hot-desking, and a proliferation of breakout areas has also contribute to inflated energy consumption. This is because more inter-floor journeys are putting more pressure on lift provision and contributing to longer waiting times.  Employees should be encouraged to take the stairs, which the report says would contribute to health and wellbeing.  Source link

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RICS: July house price growth at three year low

RICS: July house price growth at three year low The latest data from RICS has shown that house price growth continued to slow in the UK in July while key indicators covering price expectations, buyer enquiries, agreed sales and new instructions all remained firmly negative. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, comments on the latest findings from the Residential Market Survey: “UK house price growth posted the lowest survey reading in three years in July.  Just 5% more respondents nationally saw a rise rather than fall in prices, a downward trend that is evident across the UK. The London price indicator remains more downbeat (net balance of -33%) which is broadly consistent with an outright drop in prices in the capital. As price growth slows for now, near term price expectations across the UK were negative for the third month in succession with 12% more respondents predicting a decline in house prices over the next three months. As activity falters, interest from new buyers in the UK also continues to wane, with the results showing a fourth consecutive month of falling demand (net balance of -27).   The need for more houses Lack of stock in the housing market continues to cause ripples, with new instructions falling again in the month of July.  33% more respondents to the survey have seen a fall in new instructions and supply is at or around record lows in most parts of the UK.  In line with the dip in demand and the worsening supply position, sales declined sharply. Across the UK, 34% more respondents reported a fall in transactions, with the monthly pace of decline in both July and June at the fastest since 2008. This reflects a continuation of a trend that started back in April following the implementation of the tax surcharge on investment purchases. Anecdotal reports provided by contributors to the survey suggest both the tax change and the ongoing fall-out from the EU referendum are contributing to the current mood in the market. However, looking into the comments left by members suggests conditions vary markedly between agents. A large portion of respondents note, after an initial wobble, activity has returned to normal, while others feel Brexit has only had a very modest or negligible impact. Year ahead Significantly looking a little further out, key RICS indicators are up in July from June and show both sales and price expectations at the 12-month time horizon returning to positive territory, albeit relatively modestly so and well down on the numbers recorded through 2015 and the early part of this year. The housing market is currently balancing a raft of somewhat mixed economic news alongside the latest policy measures announced by the Bank of England, which have already begun to lower cost of mortgage finance. Against this backdrop, it is not altogether surprising that near term activity measures remain relatively flat. However the rebound in the key twelve month indicators in the July survey suggest that confidence remains more resilient than might have been anticipated. Critically, it is hard to escape the stark message regarding supply that is evident in the latest set of results with RICS data showing inventories on agents books around historic lows on average. This is a long running story that may have been exacerbated by recent events but clearly needs urgent action from the new government.” Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments: “Today’s figures are one of the first indicators of the industry’s perspective following the Brexit decision and, although there has been a significant fall in activity in the past three months, the decline is one of smaller proportions than many were expecting. After the sharp initial fall in the midst of the Brexit vote, July’s survey shows that interest in the property market has continued to decline for the fourth consecutive month. However there is light at the end of the tunnel, and such doom and gloom in the sector could be coming to an end. Looking forward, the Bank of England’s rate cut last week will come as positive news to the market as current and potential homeowners will look to benefit from the attractive mortgage deals available. We anticipate the industry will start feeling this impact in the months ahead and we may even see a small surge in property transactions, especially as stability begins to return to the political system providing a more certain, investible future for consumers. This being said, in the short to mid-term, it is likely that housebuilders will slow down output of new homes in the wake of Brexit uncertainty, forcing supply and demand figures even further apart. The knock-on impact of this could have much more profound long-term implications for the market than the monthly rise and fall in transactions.” Randeesh Sandhu, CEO of Urban Exposure, said: “Today’s RICS Residential Market Survey backs up other recent evidence that the UK housing market is bearing some of the brunt of the Brexit vote in the immediate term. But looking further down the line, the survey also suggests agents have confidence that conditions will improve in the medium term, with twelve month price and sales projections edging back into positive territory.” Reassuring comments in today’s survey from some agents that activity has either picked up after an initial wobble or that they have only felt a modest or even negligible impact thus far further underlines how the picture is not all gloomy as some commentators would have us believe, but in fact mixed. Market weakness may persist alongside continued uncertainty during the autumn selling season as the first major indicators of the impact of the EU referendum vote emerge. We retain a positive overall view on UK housing. The survey results show inventory on agents books around historic lows on average further exacerbating the long term issues around supply and demand. This will require urgent government action to turn around, though will serve to underpin market fundamentals over the medium to longer term alongside the historically low interest

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New rules to ‘outlaw’ business rates appeals

20 August 2016 – by Jess Harrold Businesses could be forced to pay up to 20% higher business rates than they should, without any right of appeal, under new government proposals. As a result the biggest ratepayers could be tens of millions of pounds out of pocket. The plans were contained in draft regulations for England put forward by the Department for Communities and Local Government this week. They propose that when considering an appeal, the Valuation Tribunal should order a change in the rateable value only where the original valuation is “outside the bounds of reasonable professional judgement”. That margin of error can be defined by courts as between 10% and 15%, but can be as high as 20%. Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve, said the move could, in effect, outlaw business rates appeals. He said: “Businesses will be fuming that these proposed changes could in effect end the appeals process, all but removing the opportunity for firms to reduce their rates bills. Appeals could fall on deaf ears, with many dismissed because the Valuation Office Agency’s assessments were ‘within the bounds of reasonable professional judgement’.” All the content from this weekís magazine, including this article, is available in the new app. BCSC chief executive Edward Cooke said: “Despite numerous calls from business organisations for earlier and more open provision of the evidence used to determine this significant tax, government seems intent on making challenging rating decisions as hard as possible.” On its website, the DCLG said: “The government is committed to delivering an improved business rates appeals system. There is widespread agreement that the current system is broken and in need of reform. By the end of March 2016 the VOA had cleared nearly 666,000 appeals on the 2010 rating list. “While further progress will be made as VOA resources are transferred from revaluation 2017 to resolving appeals, too many appeals remain held up for too long, creating costs and uncertainty for businesses and for local authorities.” Click here to find out how it might work Source link

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RIBA President responds to DCLG announcement on Starter Homes boost for first time buyers

Browser does not support script. Contact us Speaking in response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) announcement on a starter home boost to first-time buyers, RIBA President Stephen Hodder said: “The RIBA welcomes this first step towards increasing the availability of new homes for first-time buyers. “The Government must work with architects, developers and local communities to ensure that these new homes meet high standards of design and remain affordable. “It’s vital that a desire to sell at below market rate doesn’t lead to small, poor quality homes in areas without sufficient infrastructure, that’s why we believe it’s imperative that the new national space standard – which come into effect in October – is applied to all new-build homes.” – ends – Posted on Thursday 13th August 2015 Source link

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London Design Festival Taking Place From the 16th to the 24th September

The London Design Festival will be taking place from the 16th to the 24th September. This event looks to showcase what makes London one of the design capitals of the world. The Festival is in its 15th year and will be held in a number of different locations across the city in in September in order to display some of the top names in design. There will be a wide variety of things on offer during the jam packed 9 days of the festival, meaning that there will be something to suit everyone. With a range of product launches taking place as well as activities and exhibitions to look around, the London Design Festival is the ideal place to see the latest trends and best designs created this year. The Festival seeks to celebrate the broadest scope of design, from the local to the international. Alessi the Italian Design Factory, will be unveiling their Autumn/Winter products at their flagship store in Mayfair. Dedar will be at the Decorex International 2017, with a display of their latest wall coverings and Chinese lacquerware which has been designed to be perfect for use in the hospitality sector. Visitors to Decorex will also see the textile manufacturers, Vanderhurd who will be holding a launch for their new rug collection. Vispring will also be involved with the London Design Festival this year, showing visitors their exclusive and limited edition collection of beds at Decorex 2017. For those wanting something more immersive, Lema, the Italian furniture brand will be holding an exhibition which has been called ‘Matter of Scale’. The exhibition will take place at their showroom in King’s Road. The exhibition will feature photographs by Santi Caleca, of architectural models. At the Smallbone of Devizes: ‘Meet the Maker’, Guests will have the opportunity to meet the joiners working at the Wiltshire workshop who will also be offering amazing artisanal wood and leather workshops.

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Drop in the Amount of Houses Being Built in London

Over the last 12 months there has been a significant reduction in the amount of housebuilding that took place in London. The Housing & Finance Institute has revealed that they for the first time in five years there has been more homes constructed in the home counties that in the capital city. It is thought that this drop in building work is part of a wider issue that has seen London dropping out of favor, with potential homebuyers looking to other parts of the country. The research that has been carried out by the Housing & Finance Institute shows that preferences for other parts of the country is the main reason behind the dip, and not Brexit, as is seen as a significant player in so many activity drops across a range of different industries. The analysis carried out by the organisation also shows that the focus put on Housing in London by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is the right move in this climate, although there could be a way to go before the previous house building momentum is reached. According to the figures, approximately 16,800 new homes were started in London in the year to March 2017. This figure is a big reduction from nearly 23,000 homes started the year before. Alongside this, more than 24,300 new homes were constructed in the Home Counties in the year to March 2017, which is an increase from 21,500 the year before. In England as a whole the amount of residential construction projects started has increased, with the figures sitting at 163,000 in comparison to 143,000 recorded in the previous year. The Housing & Finance Institute believes that a series of special measures should be implemented in London in order to stop the city from falling even further behind, as well as seeking greater powers in order to assist the South East and other regional areas in order to make sure that the homes required by the country continue to be delivered.

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Kier Commit to 1% Pledge in Attempts to reduce Skills Shortfall

Kier Group plc is a leading supplier of property residential and construction services. The group has announced that they will be pledging 1% of their workforce, who will be acting as career ambassadors. As part of this scheme the ambassadors will work in schools and colleges over the course of the next y12 months in order to try and increase the amount of people considering a career in the industry. A new report has been published recently which shows that parents have shown a significant level of concerns about the quality of careers advice which is made available to secondary schools. The concerns are heightened as GCSE results decline. Kier, the FTSE 250 construction and services group commissioned the report which included 2,000 parents, teachers and careers advisors of children who are aged between 12 and 18 and in the UK state education sector. The survey revealed that two thirds of the teacher and careers advisors involved had a negative view of the construction industry and the potential career routes on offer. Over 80% of the parents involved in the survey weren’t aware that it was possible for big construction companies to pay for university degree courses. And 90% of teachers across the UK didn’t know about the recruitment shortfall that is being experienced in the construction industry. As a result of this survey, Kier have pledged a minimum of 15 of their workforce for the role of Career Ambassadors in order to establish a better relationship with schools and colleges across the UK. Through this scheme, Kier hope to engage with at least 10,000 pupils over the course of the next 12 months. If every company in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 followed this 1% pledge in order to commit to the improvement of employment and skills, a powerful and influential network could be created that would be able to work to inform and inspire the next generation.

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Debbie White Starts as Chief Executive of Interserve

The new Chief Executive has started work for Interserve. In the middle of November 2016 it was announced that Adrian Ringrose, Chief Executive at the time, was handing in his notice. Adrian worked until the end of the day on the 31st August 2017 in order to ensure that the transition to the new Chief Executive went as smoothly as possible. The newly appointed Debbie White started in her new role on the 1st of September 2017. Debbie has joined the team at Interserve after working for 13 years at the support service company Sodexo. In her previous role Debbie White was the CEO of Global Healthcare and Government. Debbie will be an asset to the company and will help to develop Interserve further and their boost facilities management services. In her new role it is thought that Debbie White will be guiding Interserve through a transitional phase, as the company turn their focus to their facilities management, catering and cleaning services as opposed to their construction and civil engineering divisions that have been at the forefront of their business for so long. Debbie’s work will continue on this path following an announcement that was made recently claiming that the business will no longer be competing on construction contracts that exceed £10 million. Interserve is known for being a multi-national support services and construction company that is based in the UK. The business focuses offering advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management as well as supplying a range of frontline public services. Debbie White’s Predecessor meanwhile, worked longer than his nine months’ notice period, and will leave Interserve with an exit payment which is said to be £325,593. This payment has been calculated in respect of the basic pay which will stretch until the 7th of March, and when Adrian’s notice period ends.

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