Building Performance Insights - July 2018

john o'brien lcmb

Welcome to July's Building Performance Insights and phew what a scorcher!

The Met Office has quite rightly issued an amber heatwave warning, advising us to stay cool and out of the sun. Are you enjoying the heat? Or has it been too hot for too long, and you'd prefer our UK summer to get back to normal? Are you sweltering in the office, or are you able to stay cool and productive?

This heat clearly impairs our body's ability to function and this month we ask:

What do we know about how the environment impact us?

What are the optimal workplace conditions, and how can you recreate them so your staff are at their most productive? Scroll down for more on our Five Steps to Productivity Heaven.

What happens when we push ourselves to the limits of our capability in extreme conditions? Read about my recent escapade running 100k in the sweltering heat.

We also look at the knotty problem of value in construction, and we're excited to introduce Shane Nel, our most recent addition to our team. 
I hope you find our newsletter and ideas helpful. Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss how we can help you improve the performance and productivity of your buildings and estates.

John O'Brien
Founder and MD
t: 01295 722823


Five Steps To Productivity Heaven

Five steps to productivity heaven

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and its effect on wellbeing and productivity

For the last three years we've been researching how Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) affects worker productivity, absenteeism and staff turnover. 

Simply put, we were shocked at how much people's performance suffers in suboptimal conditions.

Temperature, humidity, light, space, noise, CO2 and VOCs (among other factors) have a huge impact on people’s motivation, cognitive capability, productivity and wellbeing.

Many studies show us what the optimal levels are. For instance, The World Green Building Council’s Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices report quantifies the effect of light, ventilation and outdoor views on productivity, finding that staff experience:

  • 23% increase in productivity from better lighting
  • 11% increase in productivity from better ventilation
  • 10 to 25% improvement in mental functioning when they have views to outside.

And alarmingly, when we assessed UK workplaces, we found a profusion of offices that fell well short of optimum levels for human performance.

Armed with this evidence, we created a straightforward five step process that enables companies to measure and improve the working environment for their people. Read on here.


Clients deserve their contractors

Our tips on how to get the best from your contractors

Every so often, the debate about “value in construction” rears its head once more across the industry. 

It normally happens at the beginning, or middle stages of a period of growth when demand exceeds supply. And when this happens, clients’ procurement routes often end up competing for limited capacity, in order to deliver their projects.

But stop! It can be a trap!

Do this incorrectly, and your supplier chains will deliver far less value for your money. So we think it's very timely that the Construction Industry Council (CIC) published their report Procuring for Value earlier this month.

Read on for the key takeaways from the report, and our own guiding principles of procuring construction services.


In the News

BSI offers wellbeing code of practice

The business standards company has launched a new code of practice for organisations to help tackle what it describes as a crisis in the mental health and wellbeing of Britain's workforce.

137m working days were lost to sick leave in the UK in 2016, BSI notes, with organisations spending £9bn each year on sick pay and associated costs. The cost of ‘presenteeism’ – where employees attend work whilst ill and do not work efficiently – has also risen sharply in recent years, it says.

Read the i-FM article here and our take on improving workplace conditions here


41% of Brits unable to concentrate at work during the heatwave

Often, a brief for a building will be out of date as soon as it’s been defined.

By the time the building is in use, the needs of your business and the building’s users are likely to differ from what was originally intended during design. For this reason, we suggest you interrogate the fundamental reasoning behind the investment drivers for the new building or refurbishment and think about how those drivers may change in the future.
This will allow you to consider how you could cost effectively build flexibility, resilience and


Tata Technologies

How TATA Technologies set their FM strategy, procurement and project mobilisation.

Tata Technologies is a global engineering consultancy with core specialisation in automotive and aerospace.

In 2016, Tata commenced construction of a brand new £20m European Technology Headquarters. They asked LCMB to review and define Tata’s approach to delivering essential FM services for this brand new building.

Read on about how TATA set FM standards that reflect their corporate vision and commitment.

England Golf 

How England Golf formulated a Facilities Strategy to make golf appeal to a wider audience.

Golf is the fifth largest sport in England and approximately 1.15m people play golf at least once a month.

England Golf, the governing body for golf in England, supports clubs to encourage membership and promote accessibility. The sport has recognised that it needs to diversify in order to appeal to a wider audience.

To support …Read more


Welcome Shane Nel

We're thrilled to welcome Shane, who has joined LCMB as a senior consultant. He has over ten years experience in facilities management, most recently as Head of Technical Services for SERCO Hertfordshire County Council. Prior to moving into FM Shane has decades of design and construction expertise.

Shane said:
“I’m delighted to be offered the amazing opportunity of working with LCMB. I’m joining a thriving team at a growing business with wonderful opportunities. 
I am looking forward to working alongside the 
team to use my expertise, to deliver great value to our clients.”

John O’Brien, MD and founder of LCMB said:
“We’re really pleased to have Shane join us. His construction and FM knowledge and experience will help us deliver more value and insight to our clients. I look forward to introducing him to our clients.”

Read more about Shane and the rest of the LCMB team.


My 100k run

Earlier this year, clearly in a moment of madness, I agreed to run the 100k Race to the Stones, in one go, with an ultra-running friend of mine. I properly committed to the task in February when my Father passed away from the effects of an ataxia, or neurological dis-order and I saw the opportunity to raise awareness of this disease and to raise money to help other suffers. 

100k is starting to get close to the edge of what’s possible for most runners, so where does one start in understanding how to tackle 21/2marathons in one go?.

Read on for the lessons I learnt. 


Last month's most popular blog

LCMB blogs cover a range of building performance and related issues. 

Our most popular blog in June was How to future proof your estate


LCMB Workplace Optimisation

Whole Life Performance Plus (WLP+) is a LCMB innovation to improve workplace productivity by 10% and reduce energy use by 30% by optimising ventilation, light, noise and other indoor environmental factors.

LCMB are proud to work with partners Innovate UK, EPSRC, Argent, King’s College London, Emcor UK, British Council for Office, Constructing Excellence, Oxford Brookes University to develop an indoor environmental quality model to maximise worker productivity. Contact Tom Cudmore, Senior Consultant on t: 01295 722823 e: or visit to find out more.

LCMB's accelerated ROI audit

Too many organisations spend large sums of money on the wrong initiatives that generate a poor return or even a loss.

This is why we created the LCMB accelerated ROI audit. It cuts through the noise and quickly, clearly identifies the untapped performance improvement areas within your buildings.

The audit uncovers operational inefficiencies such as under-utilised space and facilities, as well as cost and energy reduction opportunities, and then provides a clear plan for realising potential.

By implementing the plan, we guarantee the audit pays for itself within 6 months and thereafter generates a positive return.

Contact John O’Brien on t: 01295 722823, e: to discuss how the LCMB accelerated ROI audit can improve your organisation performance and return on investment.

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