This triggered a thought on whether there were some parallels developing in real estate markets.The CBRE European Occupier Survey published earlier in the year suggests there may well be. Occupiers are supplementing their cost-based performance metrics with ones that measure the quality of life of their staff. In other words, the welfare and wellbeing of staff are being recognised as having an important impact on company performance.The report states this is a significant shift from what was found 12 months previously. Reducing costs was nevertheless still important. One feature of the CBRE report that is interesting reading for landlords is that 72% of respondents cite lease renegotiations as their favoured means of cost reduction. This suggests to me that many tenants see this as money for old rope as rent reductions or capital receipts in exchange for committing to a property that suits them is not a difficult decision to take. As a consequence, I believe that fund managers are much too quick to utilise the lease rejig as a value protection or creation tool. The desire to prove active management credentials and generate a quarterly valuation uplift are understandable, but if the tenant is likely to renew in any event why sacrifice rent or capital when the sands of time erode the lease length and value that you have paid to create?If you have a good, well-managed property, the chances are you may get the renewal for nothing. This is where short-termism may be destroying value.I believe investment managers should sit up and note what occupiers are trying to achieve for their staff in these new developing workplace strategies. The asset manager’s goal should be to create the optimum conditions for the tenant to renew by enhancing the workplace strategy and creating an environment that the tenant employees value and do not want to give up. This in the long term should deliver a more resilient cashflow and a sustainable creation of value. AECOM, in a publication called See Further, focuses on the pursuit of happiness and how it influences productivity. The author suggests measures of happiness in the workplace should be about value and innovation. Unhappy work places are disengaged, have high staff turnover and levels of sickness, loss of motivation and poor performance. Happy workplaces are the opposite, with engaged staff, laughter, an active social side, high levels of staff retention and an environment where work and play is blurred. If the landlord can measure its contribution to tenant productivity improvements it would be a very useful marketing tool.The best proponent to date that I have seen of asset management based on happiness is Chiswick Park. Having conceived this project with Stanhope some 15 years ago I may be biased! However, the original concept of Enjoy Work has stood the test of time and maybe all the more relevant in 2014 than at the end of the 1990s.The management ethos is based on looking after the employees on the park (the guests) with the principle that if you can create an environment where employees enjoy work they will do better work. If they do better work the tenants will have better businesses. If tenants have better businesses they will not want to leave. In a recent Stanhope-sponsored survey of 1,000 employees on the park there is a clear takeaway for all landlords: the physical aspects of the workplace, supplemented by a programme of events and activities, have a major influence on employee wellbeing and levels of performance.I am not suggesting that doing the basics of asset management well, which now includes all the green-related issues, is not important in the context of changing occupier workplace strategies. However, a greater focus on looking at how the building owner can enhance tenant employee wellbeing and happiness may pay considerable dividends.I am going to steal a concept I heard articulated by students to describe the social aspects of sustainability at Reading University – a blue strategy. Landlords should therefore not just think green, but also blue.William Hill is director of Mayfair Capital Investment Management
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Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Subscribe now for unlimited access
Civil claimants despairing at Part 36 costs rules have a ray of hope following a court’s decision to swing the pendulum their way again. In Holmes v West London Mental Health NHS Trust the High Court ruled last week that a defendant party who waited 15 months to accept a Part 36 offer must pay indemnity costs covering the period of delay.His Honour Judge Gore QC said that the defendant’s conduct took the case ‘out of the norm’.The trust faced a clinical negligence claim over the prescribing of the drug lithium, which left the patient in intensive care for 19 days.The assigned master at the case management conference described the defendant’s case as ‘worse than hopeless’, while HHJ Gore said it was ‘a little difficult to characterise the conduct of the defendant as reasonable pursuit of a defence when it eventually capitulates’.The decision came a week after the Court of Appeal opted not to impose indemnity costs against a slow-moving party, saying the conduct had not triggered an ‘exceptional circumstances’ provision set out in Civil Procedure Rules.In Holmes the claimant made a Part 36 offer in February 2017 to settle at 95% of the full liability value of the claim. It was not effectively accepted until May 2018.In the meantime, the judge noted with ‘utter dismay’ that the trial window was set for between October 2018 and April 2019. Preparation for this trial ‘dawdled along’, with witness statements exchanged late and agendas for expert discussions never even agreed.Claimant solicitors had to chase the defendants throughout, the judge said, with the NHS trust not responding to repeated invitations to engage in ADR.The judge dismissed the defendant’s contention about the strength of its defence, which was inconsistent with the trust ‘drip feeding’ settlement offers before the ‘capitulation’ after 15 months. He insisted that the defendant’s letter accepting the claimant’s 95% offer could not be construed as a Part 36 offer of its own. As a result, the claimant was entitled to invite the court to order costs on the indemnity basis from the date by which the Part 36 offer fell to be accepted.He said this was a case where the court had a wide discretion as to costs, and the burden of proof should shift so the defendant pays indemnity costs. Jeremy Hyam QC, instructed by Leigh Day, appeared for the claimant. Matthew Barnes, instructed by Bevan Brittan, appeared for the defendant.
UKRAINIANRailways has completed the refurbishment of Kyiv Central station, which dates from 1927. The eight-month Hr500m project involved four contractors and 5000 workers from over 70 construction companies. In addition to the repair work carried out by Ukrzaliznytsya, a new aluminium and glass-fronted terminal building has been built by Kyivmisklbud, linked to the older station by an elevated concourse. Mosaics depicting Ukrainian history have been installed, with escalators, pedestrian subways, CCTV cameras, air-conditioning and modern clocks. There is a post office in the new building, and further retail developments are anticipated. A waiting room has been built, charging Hr5 for admission, and a VIP lounge is provided in the old station building. The station remained in use throughout the construction work.
122 Views one comment Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Share LocalNews Dominica joins project to assist breast & ovarian cancer patients by: – September 29, 2012 A multi-national research project to evaluate the genetic risk in Caribbean women with breast and or ovarian cancer has begun in Dominica.It involves women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian cancer or both in the United States, Canada, Barbados, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Dominica.Two Dominican doctors have been working with a United States doctor in facilitating this research which has the potential to impact the method of detection and treatment of breast and ovarian cancers.University of Miami based hematologist Dr Judith Hurley is the principle investigator of the research project, and she will be assisted by Dominicans; geneticist Dr Sophia George and general practitioner Dr. Hedda Dyer who has a special interest in breast cancer patients. Dr Hedda Dyer, who delivered the featured address at the 4th annual Dominica Cancer Society’s annual general meeting on Saturday, explained that the project, upon completion will be of tremendous benefit to Dominica.“The aim of the project is to determine whether there is a genetic predisposition of females of African descent to develop these sort of cancers [breast and ovarian]. We are doing this project so that we can get a more appropriate genetic profile of the breast cancers in the Caribbean”.They are seeking to establish a genetic panel of genes that will be unique to Caribbean women and use that panel to determine whether they can treat the cancers affecting these women. It will further assist in targeting screenings to women who have the propensity to develop these cancers. A saliva sample will be extracted from the participants and a counselor will also accompany be available to “counsel them as to why we’re doing this, what are the implications of the findings, what a genetic profile entails and what do we do with the results”.According to Dr Dyer, research indicates that women of Caribbean and African origin in the USA and Canada have been developing a “more aggressive kind of cancer” and this research “is important to help us cater treatment specifically” to them.“When we get that information we will be able to use it to get treatment, plan our oncology services and our screening programs; probably we need to screen a little earlier or a little later, but we will have statistics and data to back up what we need to do, and the therapy and probably get appropriate medication for that”.The research will also “empower women at high risk of developing breast cancer to undertake prophylactic measure; that is treating something before it develops…If there is a way that we can treat these women prophylactically before these cancers start to spread or even before they develop a lump then we can do that”. She noted that Dominica will “certainly benefit” from this research particularly with regard to early detection which will in turn “save the government, country and the productivity sector’.Breast cancers affect women between the ages of 25 to 44.The team will arrive in Dominica on October 10th for a period of four days.“We want to be able to recruit participants in this worthwhile endeavor and I see a future where this will be the norm,” Dr. Dyer noted.She also commended the Dominica Cancer Society who will be partnering with them on the project for “being at the cutting edge, for having the vision to realize that even though we are a small developing island, we can contribute to certain research projects as long as they are ethically approved and they are not going to harm or affect anyone negatively”. The project which was approved by the Human Research Ethics of the government of Dominica is being funded by the Susan G Komen Foundation based in the United States of America.It commenced on August 24th, 2012 and will run through to August 24th, 2013.Dr Sophia George hails from Goodwill.Dominica Vibes News
Share 924 Views 3 comments Share LocalNews PM announces birth of third child by: Dominica Vibes News – October 30, 2015 Prime Minister Skerrit and Family at 2014 National ParadePrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and his wife Melissa Skerrit have welcomed their second child – a baby girl.A press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on Friday 30 October 2015 at 5:37am indicates that the baby was born on Thursday evening.It does not indicate the baby girl’s name.Their first son Dmitry was born in November 2013. Prime Minister Skerrit’s first son is Malik.The release adds that Prime Minister will return on island this weekend as the country celebrates 37 years of Independence. Tweet Sharing is caring! Share