Building Performance Insights - June 2018

john o'brien lcmb

Welcome to June's Building Performance Insights.

I hope you are enjoying our recent fantastic weather, it’s great to have bright days and sunshine, it certainly puts a smile on my face.
This weather is a reminder that we've almost reached the middle of 2018, half-time, if you like. It's a great time to pause and reflect if you're getting the best from your organisation's investment in your workplaces, buildings and estates. Scroll down for a simple structure to quickly undertake a half-time review and to help you identify where to make a performance difference in the second half of the year.  

Looking ahead, we suggest steps you can take to future proof your real estate.

We're excited to launch our ultimate guide to the productive workplace next month. Scroll down for our prequel.
Hermione Crease of Purrmetrix is this month's guest writer. She describes how the Internet of Things (IoT) technology can improve workplace performance.
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


Burning Issues - Its a wrap

At the start of 2018, we surveyed our clients, colleagues and industry leaders about Burning Issues Keeping You Awake At Night. Here are the top 5 issues, and our tips on how to deal with them:

1. Money - see January's Building Performance Insights.
2. Compliance - see February's Building Performance Insights.
3. Managing large functions with lots of moving parts - see March's Building Performance Insights.
4. Delivering Results - see April's Building Performance Insights.
5. Adding Value and Innovating - see May's Building Performance Insights.

2018 mid year review - your half-time estates checklist

Now is a great time to pause and reflect. Are you getting the best from your organisation’s investment in your workplaces, buildings and estates?
We've created a 12-point estates checklist - it's a quick mid-year litmus test for your estate (and comes as part of our free Ultimate Guides for businesses and education). For each question, score yourself on a scale of one to five by feel, intuition, or hard metrics if you have them to hand.
Your scores should shed light on how to improve your performance, impact, efficiency and costs, in the second half of the year. Read on for the 12-point estates checklist.

Coming soon - Our Ultimate Guide to the Productive Workplace

UK companies are unproductive and it’s an urgent problem
The average UK worker is 26% less productive than a German worker, and 23% less so than a US worker. Not only are UK workers less productive, but they are less engaged: UK companies lose 10% of working days a year to absenteeism and presenteeism.

Gross domestic product per hour worked, G7 countries
(source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Eurostat and Office for National Statistics calculations)









But there’s a simple way to increase productivity

You can increase people’s mental functioning and productivity by up to 25% simply by improving the working environment - including temperature, humidity, CO2, VOCs, light, noise and space - to recommended levels. 

You may think your office already provides a good environment for your staff to be as productive as possible, but the majority of offices we surveyed actually undermine people’s productivity

We believe the opportunity to improve worker performance simply cannot be ignored by businesses and the government.
We advocate a straightforward 5 step plan to improve the office environment in a cost-effective manner with the aim of creating a deep impact on staff health, engagement and productivity. We'd like to share our findings with Business Leaders, HR, Finance, Senior Managers, Team Leaders, Facilities and Estates Professionals, in fact, anyone interested in improving business results and productivity in offices.  Read on for more on this.

How to Future Proof your estate

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 adaptability into the building, and the way it’s serviced Read on for more on this.


Guest Feature by Hermoine Crease, Purrmetrix

Build your own ventilation system; using CO2 data and Raspberry Pis

This is cool: the team at LCMB have been using Purrmetrix to go beyond data gathering and get into some home brewed building control. 
LCMB have been monitoring the environment in a university facility for several months using Purrmetrix CO2 and temperature sensors to look at the relationship between comfort and productivity. One space in particular caught the attention of LCMB and the university estates team: an office area which had obvious ventilation problems. With a lot of people using the space the building systems were struggling to keep up with the ventilation needed, especially in winter, when opening windows was unattractive.  Read more here.


WLP+ Report Launch

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

The final report and findings from the WLP+ Innovate UK project will be presented on the 29th November in London.

Presentations from LCMB, Oxford Brookes University and other consortium partners will uncover what has been found during the 2 year research project looking at the relationship between indoor environmental quality and productivity.

Stay tuned for registration details.  

For more information about WLP+, please contact Tom Cudmore, Senior Consultant on t: 01295 722823 e: or visit

In the news


Why the cracks are showing in Britain’s construction industry

Construction projects have multiple layers of sub-contractors operating on thin or negative margins. The current outsourcing system risks lack of responsibility for ‘disasters like Grenfell’.

Read the FT article here

A lesson for us all - the unintended consequences of poorly thought through plans..

National Audit Office slams universal credit

The UK government’s rollout of universal credit benefits may cost more than the system it is replacing and officials will “never be able to measure” whether the reforms have increased employment, the government’s auditors have warned.

Read the FT article here
Read the piece from the Institute of Government about how Universal Credit has plunged people already on low incomes into rent arrears and debt and in some cases homelessness. In others cases, it has caused job losses - the very opposite of what Universal Credit is intended to achieve.


How Birmingham Airport achieved a step change in energy consumption



Birmingham Airport (BHX) is one of the UK’s busiest airports, catering for over 13 million passengers per year.
Energy is one of their largest controllable costs and the airport wanted to bring about a step change in the way that energy was managed, with a particular focus on behaviour change.  Birmingham Airport achieved a £785k saving in year one, and a year 2 energy saving of circa 66 MWh, with a further 170 MWh in the pipeline through behaviour change alone.

Read how they did it here

Last month's most popular blog

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

Our most popular blog in May was How to Turbocharge Value for your Organisation.

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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