Building Performance Insights - October 2018

john o'brien lcmb


Welcome to October's Building Performance Insights.

Our focus remains on productivity and how building environments affect people's performance and output. This month you can read about engaging your stakeholders in order to build a case for improving staff productivity through buildings.

Onto climate change - we simply can't ignore the IPCC climate change report, what it could mean for you, and why "apocalypse fatigue" may account for the muted response in the press. You can read about ways you can reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption at your organisations.

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 people, buildings and estates.


John O'Brien
Founder and MD
t: 01295 722823


The need for Productive Workplaces


The UK's Productivity gap

Worker productivity is fundamental for our economic health. Sadly, UK's productivity is 35% less than the Germans, and 30% less than the US. The French could produce the average British worker’s weekly output, and still take Friday off. (source - ONS)

This productivity gap is a barrier to UK’s prosperity and efforts to close this gap have failed so far. Productivity is a complex, nuanced problem with many influencing factors.

Nevertheless, there is clear evidence that Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) has a big effect on productivity. Improve conditions, and wellbeing and productivity improves - measurably.

We've spent three years researching buildings, wellbeing and productivity, and written a straightforward step by step process for companies to measure and improve the working environment for their people.

For the next five months, we're serialising these steps. To get all the steps immediately, download the full guide for free here, otherwise, read on below.


Five steps to productivity heaven

Five steps to productivity heaven

Our five step process is the outcome of our research and work with clients.

Our steps should enable you to foster internal support and see ideas through to action. It should help teams traditionally driven by cost, to expand focus into raising performance and standards. For estates teams already working with a performance focus, it will help align activity to the wider business goals and increase recognition and reputation for your contribution.

Here is a summary of the five steps.

1. Engage stakeholders
Meet with representatives from finance, IT and senior management to define the benefits, then plan and agree the approach. For more on this, read below.

 2. Collect data
Collect data to provide insight into your building performance including indoor environmental quality, usage profiles and feedback from staff and management. Covered in November.

3. Analyse and Plan
Compare your results to industry standards, identify performance opportunities and biggest wins, and develop a performance strategy. Covered in December.

4. Run projects
Deliver projects, engage with staff and communicate with your stakeholders. Covered in January.

5. Monitor, evaluate and improve
Monitor and validate new projects, continue live data analysis of building performance, and initiate continuous improvement cycle. Covered in February.


Productivity Heaven Series 

Step 1: Engage Stakeholders

We suggest you start by talking with your stakeholders to better understand what productivity actually means for your business. This will help you to engage appropriately with the relevant internal stakeholders and get their support when you come back to them with proposed measures.
a. Identify key stakeholders
Start by ranking your stakeholders according to how much influence they have and the importance of staff wellbeing and productivity for here to read on or download the complete guide here.


The productive workplace seminar

British Council for Offices seminar, Thursday 29th November, London 

Would you like to find out more about the impact of Indoor Environmental Quality on productivity in real world environment? In that case, please join us on 29 Nov 2017, 08:30 - 12:00 for a seminar and discussion in central London. We will cover the findings of our research, including:

1) defining a productive workplace

2) measuring productivity

3) improving performance

4) real-world interventions in three commercial case study buildings

Please email me if you'd like to find out more about attending this event.


In the news 

Climate change report calls for urgent action, but greeted with global silence.

This month, we simply can't ignore the IPCC report on climate change.

On October 8th the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report concluding that if Earth warms beyond 1.5°C, then humans and other species are in serious danger.

Alarmingly, temperatures are actually on track fo rise by more than 3°C. Of course there are huge uncertainties inherent in climate science, but whichever way you look at it, it's bleak. The IPCC report does provide small hope that it's still possible to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C, by following a 12 year "survival plan".

Click here for the IPCC report, and read commentary from The Economist (and here), and the FT's article about the muted global reaction.

Ideas to overcome climate change "apocalypse fatigue"

We've been served the starkest warning ever.. and yet the passive response betrays how powerless we feel. 

Doomsday predictions of flooding coastlines, destructive storms and fires, and devastating species extinctions—repeated over and over in the press—can lead to “apocalypse fatigue.” In the face of these overwhelming messages,  people may avoid conversations around seeking solutions.

The University of California, Berkeley, explores how to reframe discussions of climate change so that we feel inspired to act now. Some of the tips include reframing the issue so it affects us in the short term:

  • health - for instance no one wants respiratory disease from breathing bad air
  • risk management - climate change triggers catastrophes that ruin businesses, lives and communities
  • opportunities for smarter buildings, cities and supply chains
  • comparing yourself with your peers - how much energy and carbon does your company use per staff member or per £ of profit? How does this compare to your peers?

Read the article here.


Zero Carbon's Coming

Over the last few months we’ve been thinking about the UK’s recently announced zero carbon aims, in particular what it means for the country, and for UK organisations.

For some organisations zero carbon is already within their sights. We’ve already worked for a number of our forward-thinking clients to define the next stage of carbon reduction and energy efficiency programmes, beyond their 2012 planning horizon.

A summary of recent events
Recent events suggest the UK government may adopt zero carbon targets. In September, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed ... read our article.



Approaches to reduce carbon, emissions and energy consumption

We thought some some short case studies may trigger some ideas to implement at your own organisation. Do get in touch if you'd like our input on your initiatives. t: 01295 722823. e:

Accelerating carbon savings at Nottingham Trent University
Click here for the case study.

King's College London Delivering Major Estates ImprovementsKing’s College London
Click for the case study on Gaining Energy Savings from PFI Contracts.
Read our case study about Green ICT


Birmingham Airport 
How we implemented "Energy Champions" – a Behaviour Change Programme, & on the Step Change Energy Saving Programme.



Read about how we developed UCLH's Facilities Management & Sustainability Strategy




Reducing food waste for Oxfordshire County Council

Read the case study here.

Last month's most popular blog

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

Our most popular blog in September was: 2018 Mid year review your half time estates checklist.



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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