FM Report 195 - Thursday 19th April 2007
19 April 2007
The latest FM news direct to your desktop.
NAO criticises lack of sustainability in government estate
The majority of government departments and agencies are failing to meet targets to make new and refurbished buildings sustainable, says its National Audit office in a report - Building for the Future - published this week. The report says only 35% carried out or planned environmental assessments on new builds and only 18% on refurbishments in 2005-6, and of these only 38% and 44%, respectively, achieved 'very good' ratings. About £3bn each year is spent on new build and refurbishment and, NAO's Sir John Bourne says, "If sustainability is well handled and addressed at the very beginning of construction projects, it can and should provide better value for money in the long term."
Older buildings cheaper to run says TOCS
The 10th Total Office Costs Survey (TOCS) from Actium Consult reveals that the cost of providing workstations ranges from £14,778 in London's West End to just £4,682 in Preston - the UK average is £6,422. Twenty-year old buildings are 14% cheaper to run and have rents 32% less than new buildings. Overall costs are reducing due to more efficient use of space and energy costs have reduced from the last report from £33 per/sqm to £28 per/sqm.
Asbestos warning from HSE
From last week, Control of Asbestos regulations were further strengthened to require that anyone who certifies premises to be safe to be reoccupied following asbestos removal work must be accredited. Earlier this month, the HSE had also warned local authorities, schools and contractors about the dangers of disturbing asbestos following its successful prosecution of Briggs and Forrester (Electrical) of Northampton who were fined £60,000 and costs of £30,000 following contamination during the removal of asbestos ceiling tiles at a Kettering school.
GSH JV for reducing energy use
GSH Group has entered into a JV with Perpetual Energy Ltd, called GSH Perpetual Energy, to work with clients to reduce energy consumption and replace conventional energy sources with alternatives including CHP, PV, wind turbine and biomass systems.
Pay as you go recycling for SMEs in London
A service to ease recycling in multi-tenanted offices in Central London has been launched this week. The Big Bin recycling service operated by The Laundry, a not-for-profit recycling collector, provides additional on-site environmental management for tenants with contract-free pay-as-you-go collections of paper, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles and IT equipment. Each business buys it own recycling sacks and stickers (for cardboard) and places its material in a free lockable Big Bin for off street storage.
M&S guarding in UK to MITIE
MITIE has been appointed exclusive retail guarding supplier to Marks & Spencer's UK stores. In total MITIE will manage annually over 750,000 hours of manned security annually and support M&S' loss prevention activities.
Potential employees want to work in 'green' organisations
Sustainable Futures, a new report on the future of sustainable businesses launched this week by InterfaceFLOR and the Work Foundation, says companies that focus on sustainability will be more attractive to prospective employees, particularly knowledge workers (about 42% of the workforce) who are more motivated to align an organisation's values with their own.
Businesses must act now on climate change
The longer British businesses wait to act on climate change, the more dramatic - and draconian - the decarbonisation of the economy will have to be. That was the message this week from an npower Low Carbon Economy Forum held at the London Stock Exchange - and the key message of a new white paper "Making sense of the low carbon economy" published by npower Business and Forum for the Future. "Our aim in commissioning the white paper is to provide an insight into the scientific and governmental drivers behind the low carbon economy and the implications of the transition to this new way of working," says Gordon Parsons, MD of npower business. The white paper can be downloaded free.
Warming up for summer
Following the record temperatures experienced over the Easter weekend, The Met Office is forecasting a warmer than average summer. Earlier this year it forecast global mean temperatures would make 2007 the warmest year on record (since 1850) with periods of very hot weather which could have implications for the health of the vulnerable elderly and very young.