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Research Focus Issue No. 40 FEBRUARY 2000 PROMOTING THE APPLICATION OF RESEARCH IN BUILDING AND CIVIL ENGINEERING


IN THIS ISSUE Bridges


Monitoring reinforcement corrosion Buildings


Fire test on timber building Heat transfer through windows


Secure design


Coastal engineering Assessing sediment plumes


Construction process Managing geotechnical risk Waste minimisation


Energy


Heat transfer through windows Refrigeration opportunities


Environment Assessing sediment plumes


Environmental performance of concrete Port environmental management Refrigeration opportunities


Waste minimisation


Ground engineering Managing geotechnical risk


Management


Environmental performance of concrete 4 Materials


Monitoring reinforcement corrosion Polymer composites


R&D management UK construction research map


Safety


Fire test on timber building Structures


Modular construction 4 6


7 3


5


7 4 3 8


8 6


2 8


7


4 2


6 7


6 8


Improving office productivity: a practical initiative


As around 50% of business is now office-based, the success of much of the UK’s economy depends on the output of office workers. ‘Knowledge workers’ create an increasing proportion of the added value in a developed, modern society. The office environment can have a significant influence on the performance of staff and so make a key contribution to the success of a business. Creating a productive workplace can thus optimise the use of material and human resources and so contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.


April 1997 to create a better under- standing, by those responsible for the specification, selec- tion and manage- ment of offices, of the interaction between offices and staff productivity. The work has re- sulted in the publi- cation by Longmans of a guide for facili- ties and operational managers titled ‘Im- proving Office Pro- ductivity’.


A The project,


funded through the DETR Partners in Innovation Scheme, was steered by a group of commercial sponsors including Royal & Sun


project was


launched in


Royal & SunAlliance’s Berkely Square global headquarters where the guide was launched in October 1999.


Alliance, Stanhope, Oscar Faber, the Post Of- fice, Interior, ABS Consulting, Thorn Lighting and Troup Bywaters & Anders together with a representative of DETR. The work was led by SBS Business Solutions, with technical input from BRE and Johnson Controls Consulting. The main programme elements were:


• collation of all accessible published re- search, leading to a state of the art review;


• a survey of selected companies’ experi- ence of features of office buildings and services that enhance productivity;


• analysis of this knowledge base to iden- tify key environmental factors and work activities;


• piloting of the draft guide and support- ing software in real working offices.


Research Focus NO. 40 FEBRUARY 2000


The guide provides managers with a sim- ple system for assessing their own office, identifying specific priorities and identifying relevant advice on best practice and possible actions. A practical cost/benefit tool is also included to help build an investment case for the actions selected.


Copies of Improving Office Productivity are available from Longmans (01279 623928; www.pearson-ema.com; fax: 01279414130).


For further information on this work and on the new Office Productivity Network PII project, please contact Paul Bartlett at SBS Business Solutions, Waterloo House, Stanwell Green, Thorndon, Suffolk IP23 7JL (tel/fax: 01379 678899; E-mail:


pbbartlett@psilink.co.uk). 1


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