Building Performance Insights - September 2018

john o'brien lcmb

Welcome to September's Building Performance Insights. This month we focus on productivity - specifically - how building environments affect our

performance and output.

We're delighted to publish Our ultimate guide to the productive workplace - the result of our in-depth, three year research programme with a consortium of leading experts. In this guide we explain how to measure and improve your workplace environment and supercharge your people's productivity and organisation's return on investment (ROI). You can download your complimentary copy here

We're thrilled that consortium members The British Council for Offices (BCO) and Constructing Excellence will host a thought provoking half day debate and discussion: The Productive Office, on Thursday 29th November in central London, showcasing the results of our consortiums research. If you'd like to attend the event, please email me.

In other news.. We're in print! If you work in Higher Education, please scroll down to get hold of the printed edition of Our ultimate guide to improving higher education performance.

We also look at what millennials want from their employer and workplace, and the reasons behind the global trend in converting industrial premises to offices.

Finally we learn why my colleague Mike Kenny will wear his finest clothes and sit astride his old motorbike at the end of the month.
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


Our ultimate guide to the productive workplace

“How is human performance and productivity influenced by buildings?”

Our team at LCMB is motivated to make buildings perform at their best. We think the ultimate measure of a well performing building is improved productivity and wellbeing of the building's users - at an affordable cost.

So together with Innovate UK and a consortium of industry partners, we spent the last three years researching these issues.

We crunched lots of data to discover how Indoor Environmental Quality factors including temperature, humidity, light, noise, CO2 and VOCs alter people’s motivation, cognitive capability, productivity and wellbeing.

We established the optimum levels, and found that alarmingly, most workplaces fall well short of these levels, which means that people's productivity and output suffers.

Armed with this evidence, we created a straightforward five step process for companies to improve the working environment for their people. By following our process, your organisation should benefit from:

                          Improved staff performance

                          Reduced risk of human error in mission critical situations

                          Enhanced wellbeing

                          Improved staff recruitment

                          Better staff retention and avoidance of recruitment and training

                          costs due to staff attrition

If you are interested in learning more, download the guide here.


British Council for Offices and Constructing Excellence event - productivity in offices

Please join us on 29 Nov 2018, 08:30 - 12:00 in central London, to examine how the physical design and management of offices influences individual and organisational productivity.

There is substantial evidence that both the design and the environmental quality of an office impacts on the productivity of its occupants. This event will report the findings of our WLP+ research of the impact of Indoor Environmental Quality on productivity in real world environments.

This event covers:

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.


Our ultimate guide to improving higher education performance - now in print

Universities face more competition than ever before in the battle to attract students, staff and, crucially, funding. These pressures are forcing their estates to work much harder and budgets to stretch much further.

We've written a guide for HE leaders which provides an estates management and transformation framework to help UK universities tackle these challenges.



Our guide can be downloaded from our website or if you'd like a printed copy drop me your contact details to and we'll send you a hard copy.

In the news

Spotlight on millennials

This year the youngest millennials (born in 2000) turn 18, so most of them are now of working age. To attract and retain the best millennials, companies should understand what makes them tick.

Forbes says millennials aren't too different to the previous generation - they want satisfying careers and opportunities to advance - but there are crucial distinctions:

1. They emphasise work-life balance

2. They are happy to move jobs

3. And they are more motivated by purpose


To find out more about millennials' attitudes, you'll find a superb set of infographics from Goldman Sachs here.


A new workplace metric: volume to floor area.

Refurbished industrial sheds are the future of the workplace, according to a new study by Hawkins\Brown and JLL.

The study explores the global trend for companies in the knowledge economy to seek out large-span buildings because they support creative working, are able to accommodate rapid growth and deliver high quality, good value accommodation.

Hawkins\Brown and JLL analysed 30 conversion projects and found that the key characteristics of these buildings can be summarised by the "Three Vs": Volume, Versatility and Value.

The study proposed that a new metric of cubic metres per usable area will become an important benchmark for evaluating space as it comes to market, with higher ratios suggesting better suitability for creative work and a more robust environment for businesses in the medium to long term. 


Mike Kenny joins The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

On Sunday the 30th of September, LCMB team member Mike Kenny is wearing his finest attire and joining The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise awareness for prostate cancer and men's mental health.

Prostate cancer affects more men than any other cancer, taking the lives of close to 307,000 men each year. A number surpassed by 500,000 men dying from suicide. That's 807,000 men every year. 

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. Mark Hawwa the founder decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, whilst connecting niche motorcycle communities together. 

Mike says:
"I bought the bike specifically to take part. It was in a sad state and a non-runner. I've spent the last 6 months getting my little cafe racer on the road. I'm proud to be taking part and look forward to your support."

You can sponsor Mike here


Last month's most popular blog

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

Our most popular blog in August was: Five steps to productivity heaven


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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