Thursday, 31 March 2016

Tour Focus: AZKONobel Centre

In January 2016, the employees of AkzoNobel moved into their new office. The work environment, with approximately 700 work stations, was designed to optimally facilitate ‘New Working’.
The 10-story AkzoNobel Centre is characterized by transparency and a richly layered fa├žade, which combines a glass climate wall with finished wood structural elements. The use of durable high-quality coatings in subtly blended colours is a direct reference to AkzoNobel’s core business: coatings, paints and lacquers.
The public platform on the ground floor provides a natural transition from the adjacent plaza and gives the Zuidas a lively public area. A total of 1,300 sq meters of the ground floor will be used as a museum/art gallery with free entrance for both personnel, visitors and anybody else interested to have a look at the art collection.
This tour at the BCO Annual Conference 2016 brings you to the newest eye-catcher on the Amsterdam Zuidas and will be presented by AkzoNobel’s real estate director Roland Huitink and architect Folkert van Hagen.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Does where and how we work affect productivity?

As bosses seek to boost output and drive business growth, the productivity of office workers is under more scrutiny than ever.

So what role does the format of the workplace have to play? For most, the open-plan office is now the norm, while improvements in the capability and availability of technology mean that more and more of us are choosing to abandon a permanent desk altogether and work wherever and whenever we want.

But is this way of working fostering greater collaboration and boosting productivity - or are we inadvertently creating a distracted and inefficient workforce?

In her talk, Katrina will look at the relationship between where – and how – we work, and how productive we are. Analysing the requirements and expectations of differing employee demographics, she will explore the building blocks needed to create a productive workspace – and what this means for those seeking to create an efficient work environment.

With three decades in commercial development and workplace design, and with an 'inside-out' architectural philosophy that puts the individual first, Katrina is uniquely qualified to comment on this topical issue.

Katrina Kostic Samen will be part of our panel session discussing office design on Thursday 12 May at the BCO Annual Conference 2016

Friday, 18 March 2016

WWF Headquarters - Living Proof

Living Proof, written by Richard Byatt for FM World, considers the art and science of user briefings with a look at the WWF-UK's award-winning Living Planet Centre.  By any measure, the Woking headquarters of international conservation charity WWF is a successful building, having won multiple awards, including the BCO's 2015 National Innovation Award. The entrenched passion for nature that WWF holds can now be practiced as well as preached through their sustainable building, brought to life by Hopkins Architects and AMA Alexi Marmot Associates.
AMA's Alexi Marmot, explains that one of the key aspects as to just how the Living Planet Centre has been such a successful building and workplace lies in understanding how an organisation ticks; using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research and immersive staff engagement.
Having the right people in place is also vitally important, as is space planning; and so armed with appropriate research, Hopkins Architects were able to deliver three different scenarios for WWF-UK to choose from: BAU, Mild Green and Deep Green. WWF of course opted for the Deep Green scenario, which came with high sustainability and a large space for the visitor centre and educational suite.
Wholly,  the fundamental component to a successful workplace transition seems to be communication, communication and more communication. That there were minimal changes from the early designs during the project phase and that very few people have left WWF because of either the new location or the changes work environment, demonstrates the positive effect of all the planning, briefing and communication.
Click here to read Richard's full article. To see this inspiring project for yourself, why not join us at the BCO talk and tour of the Living Planet Centre on 12th April. Click here to book your place. 




Monday, 29 February 2016

10 tips and tricks for wellbeing in your workplace

Wellbeing in the workplace is the current hot topic in office design and often feels like it is a difficult concept to define and complex to put into practice.

Joe Huddleston, senior project designer at Overbury and a member of the BCO NextGen Midlands and East Anglia committee, has published a helpful guide to wellbeing and how it can be easily incorporated within the office.

The 10 key areas that can most easily be influenced by employers include; artwork and colour to stimulate creative thinking, innovation and concentration depending on the wavelength of colours; giving staff a choice of work settings with differing lighting levels, noise levels and textures; promoting the physical and mental health of employees through exercise by providing changing rooms, showers and for those on two wheels, bike storage. 

Joe’s ideas give a basic outline and platform for organisations to start from and tailor the implementation of wellbeing in the workplace to their individual needs.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

NEW! CPD opportunities from the BCO


BCO Annual Conference 2016
We are delighted to announce that for the first time, the BCO Annual Conference will be CPD accredited in 2016. Earn up to 11 CPD hours while hearing from top speakers, touring some of the world's best office space and networking with your colleagues and peers from across the UK, all in one amazing city.

Online Learning
Based on the BCO Guide to Specification, this new online learning course provides participants with learning materials on the office development and occupation processes. 
It provides information on sustainability, engineering, building form, acoustics, fit out and finishes in the office sector.

What you will gain from studying with the BCO:

  • An improved depth and breadth of knowledge on innovations in the office sector in recent years.
  • The ability to speak the same language as office developers, owners and investors when it comes to the technical aspects of offices.
  • Access to the wealth of knowledge from over 90 professionals within the BCO who contributed to the writing of the BCO Guide to Specification.
  • A recognised certificate from the leading organisation within the office sector and the leading distance learning provider within the real estate and construction sector, the College of Estate Management.
  • 10 hours of CPD training for everyone who successfully completes the course.
  • Access to the digital edition of the Guide to Specification for one year. 

Tour Focus: RAI Amtrium

With recent flooding throughout much of the UK, designing and constructing office space to withstand the weather is higher on the agenda than ever.

Buildings such as BCO Award winner, Bonding Warehouse, York, are meeting the needs of occupiers for businesses to function as normal in adverse conditions. The Bonding Warehouse is a fine example of a recycled workspace, where flood defence measures have been sensitively integrated.

But where do you start when designing and building from scratch?
Much can be learnt from the approach of the developer BAM, in the design and construction of their projects in Amsterdam. Most buildings foundations are below the water table and built on soil too soft to support itself, which poses a unique challenge to those responsible for many aspects of the infrastructure of the city.
This is your opportunity to hear presentations directly from BAM about how they ensure structural stability in this environment, and to ask your questions about the sustainable methods used to achieve an 'Excellent' BREEAM rating for RAI Amtrium.
Developers, architects and anyone with an interest in building below the waterline will want to make attending this tour top of their conference agenda.
Tours to RAI Amtrium will take place on Thursday 12 May, 13:45 - 17:30 and Friday 13 May 09:00 - 12:00

 BCO Annual Conference 2016, Amsterdam, 11-13 May 2016. Book Now

Spotlight on Julian Treasure

View Julian’s popular TED Talk, Why architects need to use their ears.

Julian’s vision is to make the world sound beautiful.

By helping companies to discover that good sound is also good business, Julian’s work has proved that sound can increase retail sales, customer satisfaction and brand value and The Sound Agency is now the undisputed world leader in assessing and transforming sound in shopping malls.

Widely featured as a sound and communication expert in the world’s leading media, including TIME Magazine and The Economist, Julian will apply the same logic to the sound of office space and help answer John Forrester’s burning questions;
  • Is designing and delivering ever more efficient buildings for open plan supporting or destroying workforce output and productivity?
  • Is hot desking to save a little rent creating a workforce of drifting corporate refugees or generating closer team working?
  • Is the office industry simply not answering the exam question - how to get the most from the occupier's biggest investment, its people?

Julian is speaking in plenary session 1, Open Plan or Open Prison. Have We Unwittingly Created a Monster - The Under-Productive Workspace?, on Thursday 12 May 2016, 09:00-10:30. 

 BCO Annual Conference 2016, Amsterdam, 11-13 May 2016. Book Now