See no evil, hear no evil, smell no evil

See no evil, hear no evil, smell no evil

The more I talk to people about the integration of buildings and humans, the clearer it becomes to me that we have moved dangerously beyond our original design remit.  For anyone who has heard me speak on this, you will already know that I usually open with a slide showing a Neanderthal family preparing their shelters and food on an open fire.  This is a reminder of the stark reality: we did not evolve in the environment in which we now live. 

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Air quality and why we didn't (used to) care

Air quality and why we didn't (used to) care

In a pre-industrialised world, there were many things we didn’t need to worry about: food additives, sugary drinks, car accidents and – other than in exceptional cases – air quality. The human being comes equipped with an excellent array of safety warning features: visual aids to sense danger in advance, aural sensors alerting us to unusual sounds such as the approach of predators outside the cave, and a highly sensitive olfactory system which allows us to detect a range of toxic substances. Highly-evolved in our (natural) surroundings, the combination of these sensors was critical to our health and survival.

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To certify or not to certify, that is the question?

To certify or not to certify, that is the question?

We seem to find ourselves in a situation where every building in sight has some kind of certification.  Surely this is a good thing?  It gives the man in the street an accessible, simple means to identify which buildings are performing (in the category of your choice) better than others.  They provide some market standardisation across the property market and for occupiers – remember them? – give an independent marker that the building meets their own environmental requirements.  Some of us even hoped that they would lead to segmentation in the market, allowing ‘better’ buildings to attract higher rents, and thus better investment returns. 

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Don't ask, don't get.

Don't ask, don't get.

Back in the mists of time when GRESB was a spreadsheet-based survey, the idea of full consumption data was proposed.  Imagine the screams as the suggestion was made that even single tenant, or FRI leaseholders might, one day, give their private consumption data to their Landlord.  It assumed, to start with, that the Tenant even knew who their Landlord was and how to contact them (or vice versa).

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