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THE SQUEEZED ISSUE Affordability special report 12 / Shrinking offices 22 / Are dense cities good cities? 26

Knowledge | Product | Service

Water Management Water Management Knowledge | Product | Service


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S MAGAZ S MAGAZ at more closely “One of the solutions that weDUshould be looking DU is the idea of a big city that has different villages within it – places where you can work as well as live”





06 DIFFERENCE OF OPINION What should city leaders be doing to improve air quality for their citizens? We hear two points of view 07-09 NEWS IN BRIEF Industry news, advice and information for RICS professionals 08 THINKING: JONN ELLEDGE Discussions about key workers fail to address the real issue of why our cities are so expensive, argues the CityMetric editor 11 PRESIDENT’S COLUMN John Hughes FRICS reflects on what the profession’s responsibility to act for the public’s advantage means in today’s world







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12 AFFORDABILITY: A SPECIAL REPORT What can two of Asia’s most expensive cities teach us about high-density housing; has New York’s affordable homes plan benefited those who really need it; and which policies do the experts think would actually help? 22 THAT SHRINKING FEELING Modern occupier demands for smaller offices are leaving landlords with a big problem 26 THE DENSE CITY QUESTION What’s the best way for our urban planners to do more with less … space?

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36-37 CAREERS Mastering the art of persuasion; CBRE Romania’s Diana Nanu MRICS 38 BUSINESS Developing and retaining young talent 39 LEGAL 101 What’s in store for renewable energy? 40 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Taking the first step to self-employment 41 SURVEYED The latest products for professionals

32 HEART IS IN THE GROOVE Berlin’s booming TMT sector is pushing demand for offices – and rents – sky high

58 MIND MAP Durham University’s Charlotte Adams on how disused mines could heat our homes

34 GLOWING PANES Why was the Maggie’s Centre at London’s Barts hospital such a difficult patient?

PLUS 42 Benefits 43 Events

44-45 Obituaries + Conduct 46 Recruitment

Views expressed in Modus are those of the named author and are not necessarily those of RICS or the publisher. The contents of this magazine are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without the prior permission of the publisher. All information correct at time of going to press. All rights reserved. The publisher cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. RICS does not accept responsibility for loss, injury or damage or costs that result from, or are connected in any way to, the use of products or services advertised. All editions of Modus are printed on paper sourced from sustainable, properly managed forests. This magazine can be recycled for use in newspapers and packaging. Please dispose of it at your local collection point. The polythene and paper in this pack are recyclable. The polythene wrap can be recycled at carrier bag recycling points.

M AY 2018_MODUS 03

When the project matters





USEFUL RICS NUMBERS CONTACT CENTRE +44 (0)24 7686 8555 Enquiries / APC guidance / Subscriptions / Passwords / Library / Bookshop REGULATION HELPLINE +44 (0)20 7695 1670 CONFIDENTIAL HELPLINE +44 (0)20 7334 3867 DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES +44 (0)20 7334 3806 SWITCHBOARD +44 (0)20 7222 7000 LIONHEART +44 (0)24 7646 6696



Do you have a comment about this issue of Modus? Email, or tweet us using #RICSmodus FRAMING ERROR Sir, I recently received a letter from a framework consultant advising me that they were unable to take on an instruction following a directive from their insurer. The instruction related to minor remedial works to cladding gasket seals. On inspection of historic building records a cladding brand was identified that matched the brand alleged to be at the centre of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Alas, my consultant could no longer be associated with the instruction, and suggested that I seek advice elsewhere. Despite my initial disappointment that this renowned international consultancy considered my instruction too risky for them, it did raise a few concerning thoughts. Undeniably, chartered surveyors are ideally positioned to lead and act on such matters. Certainly in relation to my minor remedial works scheme but also in respect of Grenfell. The profession should be leading us to a resolution of such issues and finding new and innovative ways to ensure the problem doesn’t arise in the future. To hide behind the veil of their insurers is an insult to the knowledge and experience that chartered surveyors possess. Second, a blanket ban on working on buildings with a hint of an affiliation to an alleged product sets a dangerous precedent. We are reliant on the surveying profession to lead and advise not only commercial clients like myself, but the wider public also. Where would we be if surveyors refused to work on sites containing asbestos or Japanese Knotweed, for instance? Thankfully, the insurance and commercial surveying markets are competitive, proactive and pragmatic, and I have sourced an alternative consultant who is willing to guide us through our scheme. The former consultant should take note, otherwise, they may get left behind. Name and address supplied

@gerryhughes2 Great edition of

#RICSmodus focusing on cities. Especially liked article by @GregClarkCities @RICSnews // #RICSmodus @JPGraham_ The article on the

reassessment of the green belt in this month’s #RICSmodus made for a great read. Also interesting to learn about the Golden Horseshoe and its impact on Greater Toronto @RICSnews @samerbagaeen @RICSnews Looking forward to reading these over the long weekend. Mega cities instead of cities, I don’t know. Let’s see... @georgerbethell #RICSmodus rural

depopulation. A growing problem worsened by neighbourhood plans AKA nimbyism, power to the people/influential. Few villages willing to accept change, adding to red tape, slowing housing delivery. Too much focus on large urban growth. #SpreadTheLove @RectoryHomes @katy_dickson The @RICS

news magazine sadly often gets binned without more than a flick through but this looks interesting @jummyjayo After reading David Ainsley’s

musing in the #RICSmodus I struggle to see that a few CQSs would have in anyway helped the collapse of Carillon. These are fundamental issues that went to the very top of the board.

@jonspencerhall #TIL that the future is almost here thanks to latest #RICSmodus mag article on intelligent cities – esp Maas Global’s (serious!) aim to “make it unnecessary for any city resident to own a private car by 2025” #wow @DanTapscott @RICSnews #RICSmodus Ask the big questions? Why the needless plastic packaging your readers have to put in the bin? The RICS can do better than this! @Bramhallplanner After a

day of excitement in the world of planning, a catch up in store on the wider world of property with The Planner and Modus how random @RTPIPlanners and @RICSnews went for a similar neon cover @RajSurveyor Great article in this

months #RICSModus Magazine featuring Leicester’s own Chartered Quantity Surveyor Aarti Raj MRICS. Nice one Aarti. @TheHillsCountry From this months @RICSnews mag. This is a pile of deserted hire bikes in China. Surely these can be re-homed by the likes of @BicycleCharity or @wheels4life could advise on how these could be put to use. #charity #BikesAreGood #Waste

81,731 average net circulation 1 July 2016 - 30 June 2017

FOR SUNDAY Editor Oliver Parsons / Art Director Sam Walker / Deputy Editor Andy Plowman / Contributing Editor Brendon Hooper / Designer Katie Wilkinson / Creative Director Matt Beaven / Account Director Karen Jenner / Advertising Sales Director Emma Kennedy / Advertising Sales Manager Chris Cairns / Senior Account Managers James Cannon, Sam Gilbert / Recruitment Sales Manager Milos Maguire / Production Manager Michael Wood / Managing Director Toby Smeeton / Repro F1 Colour / Printer Wyndeham Group / Cover Image Rowan Fee / Published by Sunday, 207 Union Street, London SE1 0LN / For RICS James Murphy & Stephanie Bentley, RICS, Parliament Square, London SW1P 3AD / Advertising enquiries, or +44 (0)20 7871 0927




News / Reviews / Opinions / Reactions


What should city leaders be doing to improve air quality for their citizens? Discuss.

ANSWER THE BIG QUESTIONS As part of RICS’ 150th anniversary, throughout 2018 we are asking how we safeguard the future of our cities, making them better places to live, work and do business

some 3 million PeoPle die due to air Pollution eVerY Year. reducing its impact in cities can be a long process. It involves tightening regulations around sources such as power plants and vehicles, and improving infrastructure to encourage sustainability. For instance, Germany only just issued a ruling that allows cities to impose bans on diesel cars to combat air pollution. Toronto has taken many years to improve its cycling infrastructure. Adaptive measures that enable immediate clean-up of existing pollution need to be taken. Tall buildings change the pattern of air flow and trap emissions at street level. The resultant high concentration BEX BOLLAND HEAD OF AIR QUALITY, GLOBAL ACTION PLAN, of pollutants poses a particular health risk for pedestrians. LONDON At the city scale, the University of Minnesota has developed a solar-assisted, large-scale cleaning system air Pollution is not onlY a deVeloPing nations issue But (SALSCS) that draws air in through a chimney and filters out fundamentally impacts most cities in the developed nations fine particulate matter (PM2.5). A 500m-tall system would as well. Professionals in the built environment have an opportunity to be capable of remediating 22.4 km3 of polluted atmospheric re-imagine, redesign and re-engineer cities to be healthy, clean and full of air in 24 hours. A 100m-tall system was erected in Xian, vitality. As mayors globally take the lead to address air pollution, more people China, in 2016, and is reported to be reducing local PM2.5 will move to their liveable and progressive cities. levels by 15% during times of severe air pollution. Business leaders are vital to tackling this challenge and investing in the At a more localised scale, Hong Kong and Beijing have been future we all want. Even in the short to medium term they can empower testing a City Air Purification System (CAPS) developed by employees to make cleaner choices by, for instance, promoting walking Arup and Sino Green. The size of a bus shelter, the system and cycling; planning for 100% electric charging in car parks; providing draws in air through a filter to remove PM2.5, emitting clean home-charge loans for company electric vehicles; and procuring 100% air through an overhead vent. The system builds up positive electric taxi services. air pressure around it, with the air curtain acting as a barrier Operations teams should be encouraged to embed low-emission practices against pollution. Empirical data shows a 50% reduction in into their workplaces: embrace zero-tailpipe emissions from fleet vehicles the concentration of pollutants passing through the system. and zero-emission last-mile policies for goods and services via consolidation centres; procure 100% renewable energy; and use non-toxic cleaning products in offices to keep the environment in which we spend most of What are the biggest challenges facing our time pollution free. our cities? Be part of the solution. Developers need to support the communities they create, too: by sharing Find out more at air pollution information; building healthy streets for the school run on foot or bike; and championing new ways of living in healthy homes. We need our business leaders to protect the health and wellbeing of today’s workforce, and the long-term health of tomorrow’s. 06






TO LET 36.5%

LEASE FAVOURITE Between 2010 and 2015, the proportion of renters in the UK housing market shot up by more than one-fifth (Number crunch, p09) Source: RentCafe, 2018







56.6% 58.1% 44.8% 38.7% SWITZERLAND GERMANY S. KOREA CHANGE 1.8% 2.7% -1.9%


JAPAN -0.9%


36.2% TO LET TO LET 33.5% 33.5%


UK NEW ZEALAND US 21.6% 5.1% 9.3%

FRANCE -5.5%




How is our industry evolving as technology advances? “Real estate is undergoing a tectonic shift, with professionally trained and equipped talent defining success in the new environment,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s New York-based executive managing director Toby Dodd FRICS recently. He was speaking during a discussion organised by RICS to consider how the property management industry is changing with the MISSISSIPPI advancement of technology. KANSAS It is no secret that digitalisation NEBRASKA and the increasing availability of ILLINOIS data is changing the real estate MISSOURI industry and the nature of work for professionals. As part of our OKLAHOMA response to these rapid advances, PENNSYLVANIA on 21 June in London RICS will IOWA host its inaugural Digital Built Environment Conference, at which leading experts in proptech will highlight and showcase how technology can enhance professionals’ business practices. To find out more, visit

LOAN SHARKS The Seychelles will swap $22m of national debt to protect its endangered coral reefs and rare sea life



Shaping the world for 150 NEBRASKA years, and building the future ILLINOIS As part of this year’s celebrations MISSOURI to mark RICS’ 150th anniversary, OKLAHOMA DO YOU HAVE we have opened an exhibitionPENNSYLVANIA at A SURVEYING our London headquarters thatIOWA tells STORY TO the story of the profession. There SHARE? are many fascinating exhibits on Submit your Pride in the display, including a Lego model Profession of RICS HQ, a 3D-printed map of nomination at London, a replica Penfold post box (Take Pride, right) and much more. A mobile version of the exhibition will also be making its way to RICS global conferences and events. To watch the construction of the exhibition and to find out more about RICS’ 150th year, visit

Debt for marine conservation What’s that?2008 The(11.8%) Seychelles is to create two vast marine parks, in return for a large amount its national debt being written off. The debt-swap scheme 2115of(8.5%) aims to protect endangered sea life that is under threat from over-fishing 2258 (14.7%) and the effects of climate change. With the country entirely dependent on (8.6%) tourism and 2303 fishing, the plan could also make it more economically secure. 3086 How will it work? The parks will(12.6%) cover around 15% of the Seychelles’ ocean, after around $22m of national debt owed to the UK, France, Belgium and 3234 (14%) Italy was bought at a discount by non-governmental 4173 (18.3%) body the Nature Conservancy. The initiative will ban fishing and oil drilling and exploration 5067 (20.9%) around biodiversity hot-spots, such as the Aldabra archipelago, which is home to spinner dolphins, humpback whales, tiger sharks and dugongs, to keep the area healthy and increase its resilience to climate change. What could hold it back? Local fishermen have voiced concerns about the size of the regulated areas where they will not be able to fish – making it much harder for them to earn a living. However, the project is a vital test case for a new way of funding ocean conservation. If it works, the Seychelles will become an exemplar for other ocean states’ conservation efforts. 2008 (11.8%) 2115 (8.5%)

TAKE PRIDE 2258 (14.7%) 2303 (8.6%)


OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKER 3086 (12.6%) 3234 (14%)

John Wornham Penfold was a founder member of the Institution of Surveyors, the precursor to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and served as the first Honorary Secretary.

But perhaps his most visible 4173 (18.3%)

achievement5067 is his 1866 design (20.9%) for the British post box, originally intended to create a national standard for letter boxes. Even with its hexagonal shape and adornment of acanthus leaves, the design was considerably less ornate than some of its predecessors, but nevertheless it was replaced with a simpler and cheaper standard box 13 years later. Although his boxes are now rare, one aspect of their legacy remains: they were the first post boxes to be painted the distinctive “post box” red recognised globally today. M AY 2018_MODUS


“The term ‘key worker’ smells a lot like a value judgement on which jobs matter. Shouldn’t the people who clean our offices at 3 am have access to convenient housing, too?”


t all used to be so simple. If you worked in a city, and your job involved antisocial hours, then you’d probably live in that city, too. Even if you couldn’t afford the nicer parts of town, well, the worst-case scenario was living in the cheaper ones. At some point, though, something seems to have gone wrong. As the more successful cities bounced back from deindustrialisation, living in once run-down parts of the inner city started to become aspirational. And suddenly, in London, New York and Sydney, there weren’t any cheap areas. By the turn of the century, public services had begun to complain that the difficulty their staff were having in finding affordable and secure housing was starting to hit recruitment. And a city that doesn’t have enough nurses is not a city that’s going to be much fun for anyone. And so a new term entered the political lexicon. “Key workers” were those nurses, teachers and police officers whose esteem in the public mind seemed to dwarf the amount the public sector was actually willing to pay them. This group of heroes was to be beneficiary of all sorts of subsidised housing programmes. So it was that, in 2001, the UK government launched Starter Homes: subsidised home ownership for key workers in the most expensive parts of the country. Three years later, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the Middle Class Housing Initiative, aimed at those employees who earned around the city’s median income. Such initiatives were a laudable attempt to solve a real and growing problem. So it would be churlish to point out, looking back now, that they completely and utterly failed. One financial crash and a couple of housing booms



later, both New York and London are even less affordable to middle income workers than they were in the early noughties. There’s another problem with the idea of “key workers”: it smells a lot like a value judgement on which jobs matter. There are other, worse-paid professions, without whom our cities would struggle to function: retail workers, say, or carers. Shouldn’t the people who clean our offices at 3 am have access to convenient housing, too? There are others still, who may earn more, but whose economic importance is out of proportion to their pay. In his book The New Urban Crisis, urbanist Richard Florida argues that universities have been a key part of the success of “superstar cities” like San Francisco. But academics and researchers are often modestly paid, and are also in danger of being squeezed out. In fact, there is an explanation for why such people are not included in the standard definition of“key workers”. The term emerged out of attempts to solve a particular political problem. There are obvious reasons why the state has an interest in fully staffed social and emergency services, but why fire departments or schools, say, cannot simply raise salaries at will. Those reasons do not apply to private sector employers. If a supermarket is struggling to recruit workers, then it should raise its wages; if it goes bust, most of us won’t particularly care. But this part of the market isn’t working as it once did, either. In many cities, wages have flat-lined even as living costs have soared. In today’s London, the average private renter spends more than half their salary on rent. Florida also argues that these exorbitant housing costs, brought about by globalisation, are a major threat to cities like New York and London. Greater use of subsidised housing, of the sort widely available in cities like Singapore and Hong Kong (see p14-16), was one key to protecting their success, he wrote. In Britain, of course, we once had precisely that: secure and affordable public housing, available to anyone who wanted it. Perhaps, instead of debating which workers really do or don’t matter, we should bring that back. FIND OUT MORE about how cities are tackling the challenges of urbanisation and how to improve levels of livability for their citizens at





Average growth in net family income for 25-34s Average growth in UK house prices

0 0



5% 2%

“An older APC candidate will likely have different – perhaps better – ways of doing things”


12% 6%

THE NEED FOR NEW SKILLS within the industry is a hot topic among industry leaders. To find out more visit


9% 10%





































125% 119%


15% 16%





















hat do you know about the skills and experience of your colleagues? In the case of a fresh-faced graduate who has just started their APC you might reasonably assume they’ve not had long enough to develop much of either. But what about that “oddone-out” APC candidate, the one that’s not so fresh faced, a bit older, a career-changer? I have been that odd-one-out candidate. Already with years in double figures in a different career, I set out to adapt my skills and experience in a different direction. Professional life equips you with a range of skills: how to deal with difficult clients, how to chair a meeting, how to manage a budget, and how to delegate to others, just for starters. These are not necessarily things that you go on a training course for, or that are readily demonstrable in a CV, and they are not really integral to the APC, which is mostly about ensuring you have the right technical knowledge and competencies. But nevertheless these are important – and transferable – skills. An older career-changing APC candidate will likely have hidden skills, unknown experience, and different – perhaps better – ways of doing things. But you can only realise these benefits if you are open and willing to uncover and value them, to look beneath the “APC candidate” label. Talk to these people, listen to them, find out what they’ve done, what they think, the experiences they’ve had, skills they’ve learned and how they can help. Their extra value to your workplace is in their wider career skills, not just in the treadmill of getting through their APC. Chances are they’ll be eternally grateful if you just give them the opportunity to show the difference they could make to your workplace. I know I would have been.



60% 50% 40% 30% 20%

Home ownership for those aged 25-34 by UK region (1995-96 to 2015-16)

Some may feel that young people spend “too much money on coffee and smartphones” to save for a home, but at the root of the decline in home ownership is the sharp rise in house prices relative to incomes. After adjusting for inflation, the

Institute for Fiscal Studies found that average UK house prices were 152% higher in 2015-16 than in 1995-96, while the real net family incomes of those aged 25-34 increased by only 22% over the same 20-year period. M AY 2018_MODUS


CAPE OF GOOD HOPE Despite a constitutional right to adequate housing, 7.5 million South Africans are locked out of the formal property market, and many live in informal settlements. Government-led housing schemes struggle to meet demand, and when they do, their one-size-fits-all approach can lack the flexibility that growing families need. Urban Think Tank’s Empower Shack, 20 of which have been built in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township, tackles this problem with a compact structure to which occupants can add extra floors. In doing so, this means that families can stay longer in the same site, thus strengthening the community bonds needed for safer neighbourhoods.


BRIDGING THE GAP These 10 states have the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the US – more than one-fifth of all Iowa’s bridges require repairs Source: ARTBA, 2018


2,008 (11.8%)


2,115 (8.5%)


2,258 (14.7%)


2,303 (8.6%)



3,086 (12.6%)


3,234 (14%)


4,173 (18.3%)



5,067 (20.9%)


Property Measurement 2nd Edition now mandatory RICS Property Measurement 2nd Edition is now mandatory for all RICS professionals and regulated firms to follow. The update to the Professional Statement follows the release of International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS): Residential Buildings, the second in a series of measurement standards developed by a global coalition of professional bodies, including RICS. Property Measurement 2nd Edition incorporates both IPMS: Office Buildings and IPMS: Residential Buildings, and represents an important milestone for the sector as it moves toward professionalising measurement practices across all markets.


RICS calls for tech firms to get with the programme Collaborating with industries beyond the traditional real estate sector is becoming increasingly important as new business models emerge and technology continues to impact the market. RICS is demonstrating its commitment to preparing for the future by rolling out its Technology Affiliate Programme (TAP) globally. The initiative is open to any business providing data and technology solutions to the sector, from start-ups to multi-national organisations. The programme gives technology companies the opportunity to build a profile in the property industry and receive annual benefits, while helping to increase awareness of the impact technology has on the real estate industry. Find out more at


2008 (11.8%)


2115 (8.5%)


2258 (14.7%)


2303 (8.6%)


3086 (12.6%)


3234 (14%)


4173 (18.3%)


5067 (20.9%)

“What we do every day should make a positive contribution” JOHN HUGHES FRICS RICS PRESIDENT THOUGHT LEADER Living up to our responsibility to act in the public advantage will require some visionary thinking – a challenge RICS’ President is keen to support

a MODUS reader recentlY commented (feedBack, P5, march) that our profession should be doing more to enhance our image; that we need to be more visionary if we are to live up to our“public advantage”responsibilities. I support this challenge. Our professionals offer outstanding expertise in property, land and the built environment. But we’re also duty bound by our charter to deliver services with the public interest at heart. Occasionally, we need to remind ourselves these two aspects are not mutually exclusive. Our activities have far-reaching effects on communities. Families grow up in the homes we build, and relax in the green spaces we plan. We must be mindful that what we do every day should make a positive contribution to the built environment. A dominant issue of our times, of course, is the lack of affordable housing – particularly for young people. Ensuring an “affordable”, adequate supply across a wide spectrum of society is a hugely complex, and truly global problem. There are so many players involved in delivering homes, including planners, builders, developers, lenders and – most importantly – politicians. In many cities, populations are growing far faster than housing supply, often because insufficient land is released for development. To counteract this problem, cities need to consider aggressive programmes to increase the supply of sites, as well as density where appropriate. The construction industry suffers from low productivity gains, which inflates the cost of building new housing. It needs to modernise and to invest more in innovative construction and housing solutions, such as offsite construction and BIM. But even with the best intentions, new initiatives will take time to bear fruit. In the meantime, public funding of housing will be necessary for some lower income groups. We should promote the principle that “growth should pay for growth” – particularly with green and sustainable solutions. By doing so, cash-strapped local authorities will be less inclined to delay moving projects forward. As our profession adapts to a digitalising world, it is vital we continue to embody the values upon which RICS was founded 150 years ago: trust, competence, integrity and professionalism. Follow John on Twitter @JohnHughesTO M AY 2018_MODUS




Rapid urbanisation, limited space, and economies dependent on rising prices: t h e y ’r e ju s t t hr e e f a c t or s in t h e

AFFORDABILIT Y CRISIS. Can we find a solution? A MODUS special repor t »

M AY 2018_MODUS 13


HALF MASSED (below and previous spread) Housing in Hong Kong might be high rise and high density, but ownership is low – just 50% of the population own their homes …

CI T Y S TAT ES Singapore has one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world; Hong Kong one of the lowest. How did two remarkably similar cities come to have such divergent approaches to housing?



ingapore and Hong Kong are similar in so many ways: pocket cities, densely populated, with thriving economies. They are the respective financial capitals of south-east and east Asia. But they differ in one vital regard. A startling 91% of all households own their own home in Singapore, almost the highest rate of ownership on the planet. In Hong Kong, by contrast, only 50% of households own the roof above their heads. Singapore’s exceptionally high rate is outdone only by Mauritius and Romania, according to markets analyst Trading Economics. Hong Kong’s rate is exceptionally low; on the same ranking, only Switzerland is lower. How can two cities that, to an overnight visitor might look very similar, be so divergent? And what can we learn from each city’s approach? The wild variance stems from the differing roles each city envisions for its government. It also raises a philosophical question: is the role of government to ensure that all its citizens have a comfortable roof over their heads? Or is it to ensure that they own that roof?


Singapore has had to carve out an existence for itself from the Malayan states, and had a difficult start to life. Founding father Lee Kuan Yew believed promoting widespread home ownership gave each Singaporean a stake in the fledgling nation. That sentiment still prevails today.“An important underlying factor is for people to feel that they have a stake in the country and a sense of pride and belonging,” says Ong Teck Hui, director of research for Singapore at JLL. Advocates of Hong Kong’s system point out that, rather than indicating any sort of deficiency in the private property market, the low rate of home ownership is a result of a highly effective public housing programme. The role of the state is to ensure its citizens have a roof over their heads, but it is not to make sure that everybody owns their own home, Michael Ma, executive director of commercial real estate at Hong Kong’s Urban Renewal Authority, admonishes. “I think [that would be] a bit socialist. It’s almost turning Hong Kong into a welfare state.” Singapore’s “paternalistic” approach benefited a vulnerable society emerging at independence, notes Peter Churchouse, the Hong Kong-based financial analyst and co-founder of Stansberry Churchouse Research. Since the government owns some 90% of all land in the city, it creates its own market, suppressing prices with no clear reference to any independent valuation. Hong Kong has used land sales to dripfeed releases to the market in a way that maximises its income. That has meant land sales and related fees such as stamp duty can constitute as much as one-third of all government revenue – in a city that posts a perpetual surplus. The deliberately tight land-release policy allows the government


to keep personal and corporate taxes low, and maintain the city’s status as the world’s most competitive economy, says Churchouse. “High land prices for the ‘wealthy’ are effectively an economic transfer payment from the rich to the poorer part of society.” Singapore has done a better job of creating better-quality spaces, Churchouse feels. An average public rental flat is almost twice the size of its equivalent in Hong Kong, whose government “seems to resent the need to provide decent, liveable housing for people in every income bracket”. The Singaporean system only benefits locals, and is not a private market. While home ownership is high, so too is the stock of public housing: around 72% of all the residential property in circulation. The bulk of them are units built by the Housing & Development Board (HDB), which was set up in 1960 initially to build cheap homes for rent, but soon started selling them to the masses. Singaporeans who are first- and even second-time buyers receive subsidies that can shave around 25% off the price of a unit. A comparable apartment in a private development can easily cost double, if not triple, the $S300,000 ($228,000) price of an average new HDB unit, which has a three- to four-year waiting list. The subsidies apply whether you wait for a new home or buy one on the secondary market. “Such a strong public housebuilding plan has its advantages – you have the security

that you do have your own home,” notes Benjamin Towell MRICS, who has recently taken up the urbanisation/planning seat on RICS’Governing Council.“It’s one of the most stressful things not having one.” The HDB system is effectively a front-ended form of government rent, says Towell, who is on secondment at architect VivATA from Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority. HDB flats are granted on a 99-year lease, after which the property reverts back to the government without compensation. That is in theory – the government has redeveloped several ageing blocks. The bulk of the population lives in remarkably similar apartments, clustered tightly together, painted calming pastel hues, with little in the way of imaginative design flair. But there are bigger issues. “Should housing and homes be seen as an investment, or a basic right?” Towell asks. “Some people speculate on housing, and when it goes wrong it wipes out their fortune. And you take away opportunities to buy to rent.” Hong Kong from its very outset was much more market-oriented. It began building public housing only as a result of a massive and sudden influx of population following the Communist Revolution in China. That push gained impetus following a devastating fire in the squatter camps sprawling up the Kowloon hills that, on Christmas Eve in 1953, left 53,000 people homeless. “Those people at no stage could envisage being owners,” says Nicholas Brooke FRICS, a Hong Kong property consultant with Professional Property Services and past president of RICS. “Our situation was foisted on us by circumstances. But it has never been our way to provide that safety net. Here it has always been laissez-faire: let people find their way and do what they can.” »




DOUBLE STANDARDS … whereas in Singapore, where the average apartment size is twice that of Hong Kong, the ownership rate is 91%, thanks to the government’s policy of building subsidised public housing for sale on 99-year leases

M AY 2018_MODUS 15


CAVEAT EMPTOR Singapore’s housing policy might guarantee almost every citizen a home, but there are strings attached. Preference is given to married couples, you must stay put for five years and leases are only 99 years

In Hong Kong, 2 million people, or around 30% of the city’s population of 7.4 million, live in public rental housing provided by the Housing Authority. The Housing Society, a nongovernmental body, manages another 20 estates with 32,000 rental units let at 20%-55% of the market rent. “Hong Kong’s model is very good – not many cities can compare to us,” asserts Marco Wu FRICS, chairman of the Housing Society. The system “is providing housing for people at a grassroots level, but it and home ownership are not in competition”. The government’s responsibility is to “provide everybody in Hong Kong with a basic home”, Wu says. But Hong Kong then intends for its population to aspire to earn enough money to buy a home in the private sector.


he government in Singapore requires its citizens to save a large portion of their income in a pension plan, the Central Provident Fund. They can then draw on their savings to come up with the downpayment for a home. The pension plan eats up, on average, 20% of their earnings, topped up by a 15.5% employer contribution. Although the city’s tax burden is a graduated 0% to 22%, it is typical for one-third, and as much as half, of a salary earner’s takehome pay to disappear before they are able to get their hands on it. That is anathema to laissez-faire Hong Kong, where there is a maximum tax rate of 17% – even for its tycoon billionaires. Hong Kongers cannot use their Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), their pension-scheme equivalent, for property downpayments. In any case, Hong Kongers save – at most – 5% of their income in their MPF, met by an employer match. The sums most people accumulate in their pension plan in Hong Kong are, therefore, negligible. In essence, Hong Kong allows its citizens to elect to do what they want with their income; Singapore stipulates what they have to do with a large portion of it. The high rate of home ownership in Singapore may have a downside, though, according to Ong. Having a large percentage


of the populace tied down to a mortgage may blunt the entrepreneurial spirit of Singaporeans. Steady employment might seem much more attractive than risking unstable income and possible failure through starting your own business. The counter-argument, Ong notes, is that those with a passion and a talent for entrepreneurship are unlikely to be deterred. Singapore’s system also comes with a hefty dose of social engineering. Married couples get preference on HDB units and, since it is illegal for same-sex couples to marry, this makes them ineligible. Single Singaporeans can only apply if they have yet to marry at the age of 35. This puts people who want to stay single at a disadvantage, and propels many a couple living separately with their parents into an early union. Once finally in an HDB flat, they must remain there for at least five years before being able to sell or rent to others. The Hong Kong government has, from the 1970s onwards, been introducing programmes such as the Home Ownership Scheme, designed to bridge the move from public-rental flats to private property. That, in turn, frees up public units for needy families. With the waiting list at 4.7 years for a government rental flat, that should be the priority, many Hong Kongers feel – particularly given the knock-on effect this is having on the city’s homeless population. Compared with Los Angeles or London, neither Hong Kong nor Singapore has a significant number of rough-sleepers. But figures published by Hong Kong’s Social Welfare Department in September last year revealed a 16% rise in the amount of people sleeping on the streets over a three-year period – many of whom have jobs and have been on public housing waiting lists for years. The government should not design a system that encourages citizens to remain in public housing, Wu believes. For those who need public-rental assistance,“we can’t really assume that once they are poor, they are poor forever”, he says. “That will not give them an incentive to become wealthier.” To keep upwardly mobile families within the public sector “makes no sense”, Wu affirms.


House buyers feel the squeeze Over the past 15 or so years, house prices have risen far above household incomes in many countries. In the OECD’s data, values above 100 show that the ratio of price to income is above the long-run norm, indicating possible housing market pressures. STANDARDISED PRICE-INCOME RATIO, INDEXED

Source OECD, 2018









































































M AY 2018_MODUS 17


BITTER SWEET David Adjaye’s Sugar Hill Project in Harlem has 124 affordable units, which are leased to low-, very low- and extremely low-income families and single adults, a demographic that critics say Housing New York does not adequately cater for

BIG APPLE FAILS TO ADDRESS CORE ISSUE New York’s affordable housing plan has been a hit with the voters, but is it really helping those who need it most?



ast October, New York mayor Bill de Blasio declared that his signature initiative, a 200,000-unit affordable housing plan, would meet its 2024 target two years early. Buoyed by the success, he announced another 100,000 units of affordable housing by 2026. Two weeks later, de Blasio was re-elected to a second four-year term. The plan, called Housing New York, “will be a central pillar in the battle against inequality”, the mayor said upon its launch in May 2014. At the time, the former community organiser, who campaigned on a “Tale of Two Cities” theme following the boom years under Michael Bloomberg, called the plan’s $8.2bn public investment of city funds “literally the largest and most ambitious affordable housing programme initiated by any city in this country”. On the same day as de Blasio’s October announcement, 33-year-old Sherri Cohen woke up in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighbourhood and took the subway to her non-profit job in Lower Manhattan. She makes 15%-25% more than the New York City individual median income of around $55,000.


In April 2014, the month before de Blasio announced his plan, Cohen had moved into an apartment at what she calls “one of those unicorn prices”. For her spacious, light-filled room, Cohen pays $707 a month in rent and another $50 in utilities. She shares her place with two flatmates, and the total monthly rent for the threebedroom apartment is $2,121 – at least $700 cheaper than the average price of a one-bedroom apartment citywide. Why so cheap? Because Cohen’s apartment is rent-stabilised, one of the million or so units that fall under the provisions of the city’s landmark 1969 rental housing law that sets a fixed rate at which rents can increase, shielding them from market-rate spikes. Preserving such rent-stabilised units is a key aim of Housing New York. Of the 200,000 units of affordable housing the plan envisions, more than half (120,000) will come through preservation, a catchall term for legal and financial negotiations that bring existing market-rate units under the umbrella of permanent affordability by restricting their rent to a percentage of local incomes. While many housing advocates hoped for more new construction, no one disputes that such affordable units have a salutary effect on the city’s residents. Cohen, who has a postgraduate degree and plays trombone in a band, says:“I could technically afford to pay a lot more, but then most of my salary would be going on rent and I wouldn’t be able to do anything else beyond survive.” The de Blasio housing plan is poised to help more New Yorkers enjoy the semblance of a middle-class life, but critics worry this will come at the expense of the extremely poor. The Association for Neighbourhood and Housing Development, an advocacy group, analysed the most recent housing data in September using the lens of “rent burdened” (paying more than half of income for housing). It found that families earning up to $43,000 – half of the median income for a family of three – are responsible for two-thirds of the need, but will benefit from only one-third of the new housing starts. Its conclusion was blunt:“Ultimately, even if the city continues to meet the goals of Housing New York, it is unlikely to meet the goal of reducing the affordability crisis in New York City.” The uphill, and possibly losing battle, is slowly having an effect on the city’s perceived magnetism. Cohen has flirted with the idea of moving to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Providence or Boston: cities with a less brutal housing market, opportunities for a non-profit professional, and in closer proximity to her family. Last August, LinkedIn made headlines when it reported that 7.32 of every 10,000 workers who had moved to Los Angeles in the last 12 months – and updated their LinkedIn profiles accordingly – had come from New York, the largest of any out-migration source by a factor of three. Cheaper housing was cited as a possible explanation in this unscientific survey, which did not rely on census data. But the spectre of housing affordability looms in the City of Angels as well. Two months later, the city opened its waiting list for federally subsidised rental housing for the first time in 13 years. Almost 190,000 people applied for 20,000 spots. And the average waiting time to receive a rental housing voucher? Ten years.



ALAN MCMAHON FRICS National director, research and consulting, Colliers International, Auckland, New Zealand

Are governments doing enough to address the issue of housing affordability? We asked the experts in some of the worst-affected markets


How have policymakers responded to the challenge of improving affordability for home buyers?

Lucian Cook: The biggest constraint on affordability in the UK is people’s inability to save for a deposit. The government’s solution, “Help to Buy”, was never aimed at cooling house price growth. Instead it looked to stimulate housebuilding and overcome the deposit issue [by providing equity loans to first-time buyers of up to 20% of the value of new-build properties]. Alan McMahon: In New Zealand and Australia you can use your public superannuation scheme savings before you retire to put down a deposit on a house. If you have been saving for a few years this can be a really useful contribution to your deposit. Alan Mallach: New York mayor Bill de Blasio plans to increase supply by upping density in some neighbourhoods outside Manhattan, but even if you get a significant increase in production you are counting on an unlikely trickle-down mechanism to stabilise prices at a lower level. Any developer in New York or San Francisco will be spending enormous sums on construction, so those units will have to be sold at high prices. Could changes in taxation be used to incentivise provision of affordable housing?

ALAN MALLACH Senior fellow, Center for Community Progress, Washington DC, US MUKHTAR LATIF MRICS Principal, Pomegranate Housing Consultancy and former chief housing officer, City of Vancouver, Canada

stamp duty for first-time buyers, although there is very little evidence to suggest that it has made a material impact. AMc: New Zealand’s Labour-led government has announced a range of measures aimed at improving housing affordability, including taxing the capital gains you make if you buy a house and then sell it within five years. It also plans to stop buy-to-let investors offsetting their losses on rental properties against income tax.


What about restricting foreign buyers’ access to housing markets? LC: The UK has taken a carrot-and-stick approach, with the carrot of Help to Buy, but the stick of targeting buy-to-let investors with high levels of taxation and restricting tax reliefs. The government has also reduced

LUCIAN COOK MRICS Director, residential research, Savills, London, UK

AMc: In New Zealand foreign purchases of residential property have been restricted to new properties only. That is quite sensible, »




because a blanket ban would have hindered the supply of new housing. The foreign buyer restriction is a copy of the Australian policy. Some people are sceptical about the impact of that because it isn’t really policed, but the fact that it is against the law will presumably deter many people. Mukhtar Latif: In cities like Vancouver you do see flows of money coming from across the world. There is a foreign owner tax here of 15% and that did slow down the market a little. It helps because you can capture that for the delivery of affordable housing. Restricting foreign investment to new developments can be a good option because it allows the local market to cater for people on lower incomes, while the new-builds are supported by foreign money. LC: If you are going to provide property at scale and the affordable housing that goes alongside it, then being able to sell in an international market is one of the ways in which you can make sure development is forward-funded. That needs to be balanced with policies to ensure this isn’t to the exclusion of the local buyer. What can be done to influence affordability in rental markets?

AM: Most classical economists consider rent control a bad thing because it is an inefficient way to address housing need – the people who need it and those who don’t are in the same category – and in some environments it is likely to depress investment. However, Germany has rent control pretty much across the board, and even Berlin and Leipzig, where prices have risen significantly, are still extraordinarily affordable by the standards of London or New York. ML: We have rent control in Vancouver. Annual rent increases are linked to the consumer prices index, while landlords can re-let at market rates if the tenant vacates or they undertake a refurbishment. That works, I think. Having a standard annual increase can help long-term investors borrow money because they can see a steady revenue flow. LC: The difficulty with regulation – and we have seen this with some of the policies that have sought to deter buy-to-let investors – is that it can constrain supply. Private landlords are having to accommodate a much wider socio-economic spectrum than first



MUKHTAR LATIF MRICS Pomegranate Housing Consultancy

LC: The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wants to increase the level of affordable housing provision to 50% of new developments, and on private sites he is targeting 35%. In a perfect world the implementation of that would be reflected in land values immediately, but land prices are inherently sticky, and if affordability is seen to be too much of a tax on private housing delivery, then it could choke off supply much more widely. So if you are going to go down that route you have to take a pretty long-term view, which is one of the big policy dilemmas. ML: When you suddenly have a big push to increase supply, planning departments can’t keep up. Tinkering around the edges only adds to the complexity, so reviews of planning guidelines are fundamental. A much speedier, responsive process would help meet some of the challenges we are facing in terms of getting supply out. Should governments be doing more?

envisaged: not only would-be home owners who can’t raise a deposit, but also young households dependent on housing benefit who are unable to access social housing. What we need is a supply-side solution. Institutional build-to-rent needs to be given a significant boost to provide a wider range of stock to ease some of the rental pressures. ML: We incentivised developers to build rental housing and saw an increase in starts from about 5% of the total to 20%. It will take time to get the new supply to market, but it is important for cities to encourage more rental supply to address some of the affordability challenges. You need the third sector and pension fund landlords who are looking for long-term income. A stable, affordable rental market allows tenants to save for a deposit and buy a home. What role does the planning system play?

AM: US municipalities have been trying to tackle affordability through inclusionary housing. Developers are required to set aside a proportion of units at prices that are affordable as a condition of approval. In Seattle it is 10%, in New York City typically 20%. The problem is, since production is not high to begin with, that is a percentage of a relatively small number. It is better than nothing, but not a significant factor.

LC: Over the past two years there has been much more policy focus in the UK on increasing housing supply, but there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure we have a truly cross-tenure approach that addresses the needs of a much wider section of society. AMc: The private sector cannot ramp up the supply on its own and I think the New Zealand government recognises that, so it is pushing at a few levers through smarter use of its land assets to create more state housing. Rather than sell surplus public land to the highest bidder, under the “KiwiBuild” programme it will retain ownership and develop it with private sector partners. AM: Government has to look at how it can overcome the constraints on private sector production. It can also regulate to preserve affordability through rent control, and perhaps by ideas such as setting maximum standards so that the market provides a more modest and affordable product. Most advanced economies ensure that people have access to a minimum level of healthcare and have their basic food needs met. Shelter is the third basic need and government has to live up to its responsibility in this area. n WHAT ROLE SHOULD the rental market play in helping to alleviate affordability issues? We investigate at

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TIME TO PICK SIDES Extending into the side return of a terraced house is a great way of unlocking oft-wasted space – just make sure your neighbours agree


or home owners with growing families, or landlords seeking to add value, improving a property’s communal spaces is often high on their list of priorities. In fact, the kitchen was the top renovation target of more than half (51%) of the people surveyed by insurer Hiscox for its Renovations and Extensions Report 2018. More than 80% of the UK’s population is clustered in urban areas, and with pre-war terraced houses comprising much of the housing stock in towns and cities, one particular type of renovation is becoming increasingly popular: filling in the “side return” between neighbouring properties. “The main thing with going out sideways is how much actual usable space you get,” says Alistair Redler FRICS, senior partner at Delva Patman Redler, which specialises in party walls and neighbour issues. “If you have a relatively narrow kitchen of 3m wide, you only need to go out another 1.5m to get a 4.5m kitchen, which is a completely different entity in space terms. You get a much more usable and lighter space –

particularly if you put a glass roof on it – and can therefore add significantly more value.” From a legal perspective, such projects can be complicated by the issue of party walls. The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides for two types of party wall: one where the wall goes up to a fence and remains on the home owner’s side of the boundary, and the other where it replaces the fence and acts as the boundary between the two properties. “You can remove the fence and build the wall there but that can upset the neighbours, so a lot of people choose to leave the fence, although that means you get less space,” says Matthew Briggs, party wall director at Anstey Horne. A first port of call should be to talk to the neighbours rather than simply

serving them notice, he says, as it is possible they would be open to the idea of removing the fence or even looking to do something similar themselves. Hiscox reports that 17% of renovation projects lead to some form of dispute with neighbours, so it would be wise to maintain an open dialogue with them. The foundations of a party wall need to be 1.2m deep, adds Briggs, which means it might be necessary to serve an excavation notice on neighbouring properties. If a nextdoor property has already undertaken a side return extension, there is also the issue of guttering to consider if using a pitched roof. One way to keep costs down and make any project run more smoothly is to give neighbours the option of choosing a surveyor, and for both parties to use them as an agreed surveyor, says Briggs. “Neighbours might get on well but they don’t know the contractors, and this is a way to agree on how the work will take place and write that into a party wall agreement, so the building owner is legally obliged to carry out the work as per that agreement.” The other costly mistake many people make when undertaking a home renovation is failing to ensure they have adequate cover. Hiscox found that 65% of survey respondents had not notified their insurer before starting works, which means they run the risk of being uninsured if the project leads to a claim. n

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M AY 2018_MODUS 21



FEELING What next for the traditional office provider, now that their far more agile and flexible occupiers are discovering they can employ the same amount of people in far less space?


owards the end of last year, landlords in Chicago learned that they faced an unwelcome trend. Research from CBRE confirmed what many agents in the city had suspected for some time: law firms were taking less space to house the same number of employees. Between the first quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017, occupiers had reduced their leased space by, on average, 27%. Of course, neither Chicago nor the legal sector are alone. Landlords in office markets across the world are having to get used to the fact that their tenants no longer require as much space. The most comprehensive study on the subject was conducted by occupier umbrella body CoreNet Global in 2013. The resulting report found that the average amount of space per worker had shrunk from 225 ft2 (21 m2) to 100 ft2 (9.3 m2) over a three-year period to 2013. Nearly two-thirds of the companies surveyed for the report recorded an average space per person of 150 ft2 (14 m2) or less. Furthermore, just more than half of respondents believed that 100 ft2 or less per worker would become the norm. So, what is driving the trend? And what does it mean for commercial landlords? Most obviously, the rapid rollout of digital technology in recent years has meant that work that once had to be done within an office environment can now be done effectively from anywhere in the world. However, Linda Osgood, managing director at the Building People, a US-based workspace adviser, suggests that technology is merely the enabler that is supporting wider workplace and societal changes, not least the rise in the acceptability of home working.“Companies need different space and, in many cases, that means less space because they’re seeing that their workforce isn’t coming into the office five days a week for nine hours a day like they used to,” she says. “In the past, most employees were in the office every day and supervisors felt that their staff weren’t working if they couldn’t see them.” »




A PRIL 2018_MODUS 23




flexible enough,” says Pickering.“The simple fact is that many [traditional landlords] aren’t responding. That’s driven by the financial models that sit behind them, which require longterm income – the longer the lease, the better the income. It is difficult, but they have never been dynamic at delivering what occupiers truly want.” However, there is evidence that some big landlords are starting to tackle the issue head on. For instance, British Land announced its intention to enter the flexible office market in June last year with the launch of its Storey brand, which it said had been created to“fill a clear gap in the London office market”. British Land’s aim is to ensure its market share does not end up being eroded by the likes of WeWork, and Pickering says that traditional landlords who act quickly will gain an early-mover advantage. “It provides a massive opportunity,” he says. “That’s why the likes of British Land are getting stuck into that flexible office space. And it will continue because it’s what occupiers will ask for more and more.” So, occupiers are increasingly wanting less space and are hesitant to commit to it in the long term. Old-school property companies may be reluctant to embrace the changing landscape, but at some point they will be forced to accept the new reality. n GAIN FURTHER INSIGHTS into the future of the workplace through the RICS Technology Affiliate Programme. Visit


Osgood, who for many years worked for arms of the federal government, adds that when bosses in the Washington DC area realised that their offices were only ever at capacity 40%-50% of the time, they recognised they were wasting money. Sam Pickering, president-elect of the UK chapter of CoreNet Global and a director at Incendium Consulting in London, agrees. “If you look at any business, profit is king and real estate tends to take up 20% of total costs,”he says.“As part of wanting to become more profitable, businesses want to take less space. Taking on a great big building is no longer that attractive.” Managers were slow to accept change, says Osgood, but they ultimately realised that presenteeism and productivity were not inextricably linked. Indeed, as often as not, the opposite was true.“What you see is that productivity often goes up. It took a long time to teach managers how to manage a virtual workforce. [But] if people get more flexibility then you start seeing them online at 10 pm.” In part, the move towards greater flexibility is being driven by the battle for talent, and younger workers in particular. “There is less desire from employees, especially the younger generation, for large hierarchical and formal office spaces, with many seeking flexible office hours and the opportunity to work from home,”says Tim Ridd, co-founder of architect Fourfoursixsix. Interestingly, the desire for less space is accompanied by a desire for shorter leases and more flexible arrangements, something that is benefiting serviced office providers. “We have seen an increase in larger corporate occupiers taking space, many of whom are scaling down due to less need for the entire workforce to have fixed desks,” says Steve Jude, CEO of flexible office provider Citibase. The numbers seem to bear Jude out. In November 2017, CBRE published a report, The Flexible Revolution, which concluded that the global flexible office market has been growing at an average of 13% a year for the last decade, while even mature markets such as the US and UK have recorded 10% growth. In total, the report identified more than 1,000 flexible office spaces in London alone. Part of the reason for this is that traditional landlords have been slow to adapt to changing occupier requirements. That has furthered the interests of Citibase and market leaders such as WeWork and the Office Group. “There has always been a disconnect between landlords and tenants in terms of landlords truly understanding and being

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The word “densification” conjures images of scores of city dwellers, all crammed into homes the size of rabbit hutches. But many urbanists argue that, done correctly, denser cities make better places to live and work. So what exactly is “good” density, and how do planners and placemakers achieve it?



enser cities have the potential to be more productive, more innovative and more energy self-sufficient than their sprawling, low-density counterparts. This is the view of a growing number of urban theorists, planners and policymakers who argue that designing for density is critical if we are to create liveable, prosperous cities. But despite its merits, public advocacy for density is low: for many it brings to mind crowded tower blocks and a loss of privacy. Is there a “perfect density” ideal into which everyone can buy? “Everyone in the built environment seems to be convinced about density,” says Lisette Van Doorn, CEO of Urban Land Institute Europe, “but there is still a lot of discussion about

how it should look.” This is partly because density itself is not the goal, she adds. It is the means: whether to enable a growing city like London to meet the demands of the sharing economy, or a shrinking city such as Dresden to manage decline, integrate its populations and recapture its buzz. A city’s approach to density really depends on what one is trying to achieve, says Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism in New York, and author of A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America.“In my book, I talk about 30 units per acre, but that is based on one metric, which is to support mass transit.” Most city-dwellers want good public transportation links and walkable neighbourhoods, but often decry density, assuming it means high rise. Currently, only 4% of Americans live at the kind of density Chakrabarti is proposing, compared to 61% who live in the equivalent of a detached house. “Height and density are by no means the same,” he says. While a minimum density of 30 units per acre is necessary to support a rail-based mobility system – the Tube or a lightrail network, for example – people should not find that a very scary number: “It’s not big skyscrapers, it’s townhouses and brownstone buildings – the densest parts of Manhattan or Hong Kong are three, four, five times that.” Another assumption that Chakrabarti rejects is that density is synonymous with the destruction of local character. Some of the densest urban cores in the world are places famous for their sense of place and “they’re only six stories tall”. These are the so-called high-density, low-rise urban areas such as the Eixample district of Barcelona and the West Village in New York. Or between the fifth and sixth arrondissements in Paris, which houses up to 26,000 people per square kilometre. This is not to say that Chakrabarti thinks skyscrapers are inherently “bad density”. One of the reasons fewer high-rise, low-density developments are built today is because they don’t get a lot of light or views, he says. The packed skylines of east Asian cities are often lazily written off as examples of unchecked development by urban planners, ignoring their achievements with mass transit and environmentalism. For example, the Seoul Metro serves 7 million passengers a day, while Hong Kong has one of the lowest rates of energy consumption per capita in the world. The important thing to focus on, Chakrabarti adds, is not how high to build, but how to better distribute density. “One of the solutions that we should be looking at more is the idea of a big city that has different villages within it – places where you can work as well as live.” »

M AY 2018_MODUS 27

Until relatively recently, New York has been the opposite of this – a so-called hub-and-spoke city with just a few downtown areas. But it is now undergoing a resurgence in densification in smaller neighbourhoods. Business districts are starting to disseminate and high streets are proliferating across the city. People now go to work in downtown Brooklyn, or live in Lower Manhattan. By creating different centres within one city – or even by connecting up smaller cities in a single metro area – this polycentric model acts as a brake on so-called peak density, where everything happens in one place. Instead, you get an average density, which keeps the city at the human scale. Ensuring these centres are mixed-use, with good public transport links, is crucial if planners are to avoid the mistakes of the past, Van Doorn asserts: decades on, isolated, singleuse developments, such as La Défense in Paris and London’s Docklands, are still to shake off their reputations as business ghettos. And creating 24-hour destinations that can cater to a mix of population groups also helps to build in resilience. A robust public transport system is necessary to facilitate the polycentric model, giving cities nodes around which to densify. This requires a level of public investment that is beyond some cities. Here Van Doorn praises London’s approach to financing infrastructure by offsetting the cost against land values, as it has done with Crossrail. To fund the cross-city rail link, the government calculated the potential


IN THE ZONE Once a run-down neighbourhood in the New York borough of Brooklyn, Williamsburg’s rezoning in 2005 has seen it become a popular location for start-up businesses – as well as a poster child for gentrification

increase in value to existing and new developments along the route and is capturing the uplift through business rates, Stamp Duty Land Tax and other development taxes and contributions. “Essentially densification pays for it,” says Van Doorn.“Lots of cities are now looking at that approach.” Building good density also requires good public relations. The ULI’s Density Dividend report, published in 2015, found that for nearly all cities, “failed 20th-century densification projects linger in the collective public memory as places of danger, overcrowding, anxiety or boredom”. Those cities that have been successful in changing perceptions have a compelling story about their future – such as Stockholm’s “Capital of Scandinavia” brand and London’s strategic vision to become “the best big city in the world”. For Chakrabarti and Van Doorn, designing for denser cities, not expanding them at their edges – where 90% of America’s housing stock has been built since the 1940s – »

Infrastructure Densification

Is density our destiny? The world’s 25 most dense cities with populations over 10 million are predominantly in Asia, with Dhaka in Bangladesh as the clear outlier. Meanwhile, London is the densest megacity in Europe. = 100 PEOPLE DHAKA, BANGLADESH 45,700 PEOPLE PER KM2






LIMA, PERU 12,500




Source Demographia, 2017




Massing in action The Urban Land Institute has identified four common typologies of world cities according to density at the metropolitan, city (urban core) and neighbourhood level. These are:

Low-Low-Low cities Atlanta, Melbourne, Dresden, Nashville Many North American and Australasian cities are the classic example of low-density urban areas. They have expansive suburbs, high levels of car dependence and spacious downtown zones.

Low-Low-High cities Toronto, Oslo, Hamburg, Chicago These are cities that have made conscious efforts to densify certain neighbourhoods or districts, while retaining a low-density urban area overall.

Low-High-Low cities Paris, Vienna, Freiburg, Montreal Many European cities fit this typology. They are characterised by high-density cores, but much lower-density suburbs, which significantly reduces the density of the overall metropolitan area.

Medium-High-High cities Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mumbai The pace of growth in many developing cities means they often fall into this typology. They are both sprawling and dense, with crowded informal housing on the peripheries and pockets of very high density, particularly around transit hubs.

is the 21st-century planner’s raison d’etre. But not everyone shares this view. “I call them the density lobby,” says Joel Kotkin, author and fellow in urban studies at Chapman University, California, referring to what he sees as a convenient narrative for a coalition of interests. “If we give people a choice [of where to live], then that’s perfectly legitimate. But the problem is that densification has become a religion – everything is judged on it versus the reality of what people want. And the reality is that most people over the age of 30 want a single-family home or a townhouse; most don’t want to be perpetual apartment dwellers.” He points to US census data that shows the population of 20- to 29-year-olds in core areas of Chicago and Portland has been in decline since 2010, while Boston and Los Angeles have been losing millennials since 2015. In Kotkin’s view, the only people in this demographic able to get the most out of dense city living are those who also have the money to escape it on a regular basis. In this way, pro-density arguments cannot be decoupled from income. “The class bias is huge. It’s fine if you can afford to have a place in [New York] city and a house in the Hamptons.” Chakrabarti would counter that this argument misses some of the more holistic cost savings of denser living, such as the reduced heating and cooling costs that come from people living more closely together in smaller spaces. “Low-density areas are actually quite expensive. For example, they tend to be car dependent, but for a person on a lower income, the running costs of a car alone can be a costly albatross.” Ultimately, though, Kotkin has a point: the economics of Chakrabarti’s 30 units per acre provides enough density to support a subway, but to build affordable housing in a society where most development is done by the private sector, it would need to be higher. Possibly a lot higher. Cities that want the benefits of good density, of train riders and tax receipts that support public transport systems and green spaces, have to think deeply about what they want to achieve. As Van Doorn says: “You cannot seek density if you are pushing people out of the city.” Whether it is a shrinking city that needs to consolidate or a fast-growing city that needs to accommodate more people, businesses and demographics, there is a pressing need to use limited land and energy resources more prudently. The case for denser cities seems obvious – but putting theory into practice will not be easy. n CITIES NEED LEADERSHIP of great vision to cope with the rapid pace of urbanisation. Find out more about what qualities are required in such a leader at


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M AY 2018_MODUS 31




Berlin’s not just hot with the hipsters; office occupiers can’t get enough of the city either. Brendon Hooper reports

TMT GOES BOOM At 1.72m ft2 (160,000 m2), Mediaspree reported one of the highest take-up volumes in Berlin last year, driven by an influx of TMT occupiers to the enterprise zone on the banks of the river Spree (1) CENTER OF ATTENTION South Korea’s National Pension Service’s sale of the Sony Center (2) for €1.1bn to Canadian pension fund Omers last October helped push 2017 investment volumes to €7.5bn – up 54% year on year


Bridging the west and east of the continent, Berlin has long marketed itself as being at “the heart of Europe” to attract businesses. But in the past five years, demand for office space in the German capital has rocketed. Last year, take-up reached a record high of 10.1m ft2 (937,000 m2), reports Colliers International, exceeding the 10-year average by almost 57%, and pushing rents up fast. Occupiers in the retail and technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sectors, are particularly impatient for space in the city. “The dominant driver for growing office demand in Berlin is the digitalisation of the economy and society,” says Ulf Buhlemann FRICS, partner and head of capital markets at Colliers International in Berlin. The retail and e-commerce sector was responsible for around 19%, or 1.93m ft2 (179,300 m2), of take-up, reports Colliers, with the highest demand attributed to Zalando. The online clothing retailer took more than 1m ft2 (93,000 m2) in three separate locations in the Mediaspree district, a sprawling TMT enterprise zone developing on the banks of the river Spree. The submarket reported one of the highest take-up volumes in 2017 at 1.72m ft2 (160,000 m2), and is seen as a major growth area for Berlin’s start-up scene. In fact, investment is pouring into Germany’s TMT start-up sector. A record €4.3bn was invested in start-ups across the country in 2017, up 88% year on year, with almost €3bn of that going to Berlin alone, according to EY’s Start-Up Barometer. Accounting for 8% of take-up in 2017 – and rising – is flexible office space, which is intrinsically linked to the growth of start-ups in Berlin, according to CBRE. For example, co-working market leader WeWork acquired 454,200 ft2 (42,200 m2) across four separate properties in Berlin in the second half of 2017, while rival Regus snapped up more than 107,600 ft2 (10,000 m2).


IN FASHION (from top) Online clothing retailer Zalando is driving much of the activity in Mediaspree. Its 495,000 ft2 (46,000 m2) HQ campus was presold in 2015 to Capstone for €196m and completes this year, and it has prelet a total of 936,500 ft2 (87,000 m2) at Signa’s UP! and Stream projects

“We are also seeing a catch-up effect from the public sector,” adds Buhlemann. “Government agencies as well as local administration have been employing lots of people in Berlin, and are therefore looking for additional office space.” In light of the exceptionally high demand, rents have risen dramatically, reports Colliers. Average rates are up by 15% year on year to €19.15/m2 (£1.56/ft2), and prime rents by 9% to €31.30/m2 (£2.56/ft2). Despite being about 5km outside the city centre, the strongest year-on-year rental growth was recorded in Mediaspree, where average rents grew by 40% to reach €27.50/m2 (£2.25/ft2) at the end of 2017. The vacancy rate is becoming critical, says Colliers, and unlikely to be alleviated by new stock coming on to the market this year. By the end of 2018, Colliers expects 3.45m ft2 (320,700 m2) of office space to be completed, however, 60% has already been prelet. Although another 4.67m ft2 (434,000 m2) is expected in 2019, around half of this has also been prelet. Until then, occupiers will have to get used to further increases in rents and falling vacancy levels. With ever lower vacancy rates and new office space already snapped up, the next two years could be a challenging time, just as many businesses are growing. “If we assume that the


Take-up (000 m2)

HIGHS AND LOWS Take-up of Berlin offices hit a record high in 2017, pushing prime rents above €30/m2. Average rents are up by 15% year on year, while vacancy levels are likely to stay low for the next two years


Source: Colliers International, 2017/18







554 2013

Ready furnished and fitted with fast broadband connections, flexible offices allow businesses to test a market without entering into long-term leases, making them ideal for start-ups. “More often than not, co-working providers try to secure office space in very central locations and prime buildings, therefore paying rents at the upper end,” says Barbara Banschbach MRICS, associate director at JLL in Hamburg. “In comparison to other user groups they are willing to commit to fairly long lease terms and request highincentive packages in return.” Cal Lee MRICS is head of Workthere, a Savills offshoot set up early last year to help clients looking for flexible office space across Europe.“Although London and the UK is at the forefront of the growth in the serviced office sector, with over 1,000 centres, Berlin is currently the third largest with 125, and we see it as a key growth market,” he says. “Since launching in Germany and the Netherlands, we have had enquiries from UK companies considering a European base.” However, it is not just the new tech and media sector that is demanding office space, explains Buhlemann. “We are seeing more and more stock-listed companies and traditional small and medium-sized enterprises (Mittelstand) sending teams to Berlin to develop the future of their businesses,” he says. Regarded as the backbone of Germany’s economy, such companies are increasingly preferring a presence in Berlin, where they can find young, qualified personnel from around the world, easier than they might in other cities.

701 2014

Average rent



€31.30 390


843 2015

Prime rent





Vacancy (000 m2)

863 2016

937 2017

digitalisation of society is just starting, it is very likely that companies will employ even more people in these sectors and grow strongly in the coming years,” says Buhlemann. Dr Jan Linsin, senior director and head of research at CBRE Germany, predicts that we will not see another recordbreaking year of office growth in 2018, due to the lack of modern stock especially in CBD sub-markets, and the supply shortage will be a growing constraint on companies in their selection of office premises in the next four years. “By 2022, we anticipate an annual increase in office employment figures of 1.5% across Germany’s top five office markets,”suggests Linsin.“Hiring new staff and competition for the best talent will take the need for action in most sectors up a notch. This means pressure from demand will remain high, above all for contemporary office space, and increasingly lead to a bottleneck situation.” n

REFERENCE POINT REPORTS AND RESOURCES Office Market Profile Berlin (Q4 2017) Market analysis of the office lettings markets from JLL Office and Investment Market Berlin Colliers International’s 2017/2018 market report Workthere Savills’ subsidiary business specialising in serviced and flexible office space

Berlin Office MarketView Q4 2017 CBRE report on Berlin’s record office take-up (registration) Reasons to do business in Berlin Information from business enterprise group Berlin Partner Berlin Business Location Centre Real estate portal of Berlin Partner business




The shimmering oasis of calm provided by Maggie’s Centre Barts belies the struggle involved in getting it off the drawing board, reports Joey Gardiner

Client Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust Architect Steven Holl Architects Cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald Construction manager Sir Robert McAlpine Principal engineer Arup


WINDING WINDOWS Bespoke, opaque glass panels – fabricated to 80 different designs – curve in different directions to follow both the rounded edges of the building and the internal staircase

For such a modest building, the Maggie’s Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London came with a super-sized set of challenges. The biggest of these by far – planning – had to be overcome before a single spade could be put in the ground. Barts, founded in 1123, is the oldest hospital in the UK and the cancer care facility’s location, connecting to the 18th century and grade 1-listed North Wing, is in the most sensitive part of the site. The four-storey building’s quiet but bold modernist design was withdrawn at first attempt following objections from the City of London’s planning committee, and narrowly avoided a judicial review when revised plans were approved by a wafer-thin 11-10 majority in July 2014. In fact, the claim by the project’s architect Steven Holl, made last December, that “no new building in London has caused this much controversy since No 1 Poultry”, is probably not too far from the truth. But clearing planning was only the first hurdle that this innovative project had to

Case file

TALL ORDER Replicating the intimate, calming feel of previous Maggie’s Centres in a threestorey, narrow building on a constrained site was a key part of the architect’s brief

TROUBLED GLAZING The facade’s layered composition of etched glass, capillary insulation and coloured fragments is a first for the UK, which made estimating costs difficult


WRAP BATTLE Opposition to building such a radical design on a sensitive site came from an unlikely trio of the Queen’s gynaecologist, historian David Starkey and actor Edward Fox

overcome. The purpose of Maggie’s Centres is to provide calm, uplifting and welcoming environments in which cancer patients can receive support. Previous centres achieved this in single-storey buildings, but the site’s location at Barts meant this was not an option, challenging the designers to keep that intimate feel in a vertical space. The solution, a Russian-doll-like concept of a vessel within a vessel within a vessel, involved encasing a branching, tree-like concrete structure in a frighteningly complex opaque glass facade, wrapped around a bamboo-lined open internal staircase – all within a building of just 5,856 ft2 (544 m2). By far the toughest element of this was the facade, says Joe Lawlor MRICS, partner at cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald. “Developing the facade was the main thing on our critical path. It had to be the right level of translucency, with the right thermal performance, and incorporate the architect’s colour designs – but it was so tricky because of the way it curves in different directions.”

With the project procured in a booming construction market in 2015, Lawlor had his work cut out simply finding people who could engineer glass in this way, and were willing to guarantee its safe delivery. Overcoming this required early engagement between Arup, the structural engineer, and construction manager Sir Robert McAlpine, who had the relationship with the key trades. Getting all these involved early on, particularly glazing specialist Seele and glass fabricator Okalux, was vital, Lawlor explains. “It was a comparatively small project but we got these big companies around the table. Part of the process was explaining what Maggie’s Centres were about, and getting them on board and excited about the project.” In this market, and with a facade thought to be one of the first in the UK, estimating costs was also a tricky job.“As a client design team you take years working up a building then expect a price from the market in four weeks. It’s not always that simple – it’s a two-way street. We had to work really

closely with suppliers to ensure we could properly estimate the costs of the project, and there were cost challenges all the way.” After a lengthy pre-construction phase, Sir Robert McAlpine took on construction management for the full job, which Lawlor says helped foster a collaborative attitude between all parties. This was vital given the logistics of delivering the scheme alongside an operational hospital on the tightest of urban sites, accessible only by means of a single height- and width-restricted archway. The layered design and site constraints meant the schedule of works had to proceed in sequence rather than concurrently. Thus any problems with the facade installation would have had severe implications for the rest of the programme. With all this complexity, meeting the project budget was a tall order. The planning paid off.“The installation went fantastically well,” says Lawlor. “It was key to the rest of the build. People pulled out the stops because it was a Maggie’s Centre.” n

M AY 2018_MODUS 35

Careers / Business / Legal / Training

Foundations CAREERS Brimming with ideas but running low on confidence? A lesson in the art of persuasion should help get your ideas heard


Feeling you are not being listened to or invited to contribute ideas at work is an all-too-common experience for many of us. There can be various reasons, from poor management to a lack of self-confidence on the part of individual employees, but the result can lead to disillusioned and frustrated staff as well as businesses missing out on good ideas. “People who have more of a tendency towards introverted behaviour may do more listening than talking in meetings, and if people don’t make a point of asking for their views and opinions they may feel they’re not heard,” says Susy Roberts, founder of people development consultant Hunter Roberts. “Topics can quickly be moved on by those of a more extrovert nature and the introverts, who may have good ideas or valuable contributions, then aren’t given the chance to put them forward.” “All groups develop power dynamics and this pecking order determines the likelihood of people being listened to,” explains Caryn Vanstone, director of leadership coaching firm Lacerta Consulting. “In general, those who have lower status in the group, for whatever reason, are more likely to be interrupted, misunderstood or ignored.” The good news is there is plenty that individuals can do to change perceptions, make sure their voice is heard and become more persuasive. “The first step is to focus on the here and now and on the group, and not disappear into your own head,” adds Vanstone. “Only by listening intently and putting yourself wholly in the situation will you be able to

Challenge yourself Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and speak out at meetings. Plan ahead Be sure of what you want to say and consider any objections before you go into any meeting. Learn from the pros Watch online videos of TED Talks or business leaders giving addresses in order to develop your own speaking style. Get some outside assistance Consider using a voice coach to help deliver messages effectively. Best foot forward Maintain assertive body language and control your breathing to convey authority. 36


contribute properly, and when you do say something it is likely to be highly relevant.” It also helps if you are convinced of the merits of whatever argument or idea you are putting forward, says Paul Russell, director and co-founder of soft skills training firm Luxury Academy London. “Consider the benefits and any potential disadvantages to others, and how you can overcome or minimise these,” he says. “When you frame an argument from another’s perspective rather than your own, you are helping them to take an important mental step in the process towards understanding and accepting your view.” When you do say something, it is important that your message is delivered effectively, says Roberts. “A voice coach can teach people techniques to allow them to project their argument or point of view and hold the audience, rather than trailing off if they feel they’re not getting attention or being listened to.” For a more low-cost solution, watching TED Talks or other online examples of leaders speaking is also a useful way to learn different influencing styles, or how to become more assertive, she adds. Body language, attitude and behaviour can also help to convince people to listen to a point of view. “Learn to straighten your back, push yourself into your chair properly, place your feet flat on the floor with legs at a right angle, hold your neck straight and maintain eye contact,” advises Vanstone. “By breathing slowly and properly into your solar plexus, you will look completely different to everyone around the table because of the physical energy you exude. People won’t consciously know why you look more authoritative, but you will.”

ON RICSRECRUIT.COM Struggling to persuade your boss of your worth to the company? Learn how to make yourself indispensable at





1997 Gains law degree at the University of Bucharest. Joins team at corporate law firm

It’s certainly unusual to find RICS members with a legal background, so I guess I’m more of a strategic consultant than a lawyer.


Diana Nanu MRICS


THE BEGINNING Growing up in Bucharest, I was always attracted to a legal career. After graduating from the University of Bucharest with a law degree in 1997, I pretty much went straight into a law firm in the city, and for the next 10 years I honed my skills working on complex commercial and corporate law for international pharmaceutical companies. In 2008, CBRE entered the market by buying a local real estate company, and advertised for an experienced lawyer. I was becoming more interested in real estate consultancy, so I applied, and got the job. In fact, I was CBRE’s first-ever recruit in Romania.

2008 Becomes senior lawyer at CBRE Romania – the firm’s first recruit in the country

THE PRESENT A normal day involves meeting clients on big office leasing projects, liaising with the finance department, managing possible conflicts of interest, and making too many phone calls. We recently negotiated a property management agreement for four shopping malls across Romania – it’s my job to make sure everything is fully compliant with the law and in line with the highest ethical standards. I’m also keen to implement new ways of working at CBRE – in 2014, I launched the first CBRE Junior Academy, a three-month internship programme available for young graduates every two years.

2009 Promoted to head of legal and chief compliance officer at CBRE 2014 Passes APC. Promoted to become head of operations, legal and compliance

THE FUTURE I love writing, whether that means legal documents or crafting marketing materials. I plan to advance my career for many years to come, but maybe one day I’ll write a novel.

2016 Becomes member of the board at RICS Romania

THE BREAKTHROUGH The operational aspect of my job became official in 2009, when I was appointed as chief compliance officer of CBRE Romania. Around this time, I kept coming across references to the Red Book, because all valuation contracts at CBRE had to be performed in accordance to RICS standards. This was when I realised that I should become a member of RICS – I saw the accreditation “I was becoming more interested in real as being a very public validation of someone who works in an ethical way. So, estate, so I applied and got the job. In fact, I undertook the APC and passed in 2014. I was CBRE’s first-ever recruit in Romania”

M AY 2018_MODUS 37



Training younger staff to develop their professional skills is usually considered a wise investment for firms. What, though, if they take that training and leave for a rival who does not invest in staff, but offers a higher salary? Retaining younger employees and developing them in ways that make them want to stay is tricky, not least since generational attitudes to work may have changed since those now running firms were young. “There was not a lot of talent out there two years ago and we found we were hiring people who were unable to do the job, so we decided to train young people ourselves,” says Ian Plowman, the operations director at Caddick Construction, a £100m-turnover contractor based in Knottingly, West Yorkshire. “We wanted to grow our own professional staff who would carry through to the senior management in time.” The firm employs 111 people mostly in professional roles, and has 12-14 apprentices at any one time. Caddick does not require its apprentices to stay with it for a specific time,“but if we had invested £9,000 a year for four years in university fees and someone left immediately after, we would want to try to recover some of that £36,000 investment from them”, says Plowman. “But we have never had to do that,” he adds.

Gold blend Hiring staff from a range of backgrounds will lead to a vibrant mix of talent in your office. All-round game Teach non-technical skills as well to help them develop as employees. Take a chance Trust them with important tasks and they will feel more valued. Not all about the money Quality of life is becoming more important to millennials, so offering a good work-life balance will mark you out as an attractive employer. Hire purpose Keeping your new charges happy could also make them great recruitment tools. 38 RICS.ORG/MODUS

MILLENNIALS’ BUG Shyam Visavadia MRICS, project manager at Faithful+Gould in Dubai, is also the founder of Graduate Surveyors, which helps aspiring surveyors find opportunities. His work with millennials in both the UK and the United Arab Emirates has convinced him“they have little interest in traditional structure, strict management and red-tape bureaucracy that comes with corporate governance”. If employers are to hang on to their young talent, they must respond to these changed


BUSINESS  How do you develop and retain young talent in a competitive jobs market?

London-based real estate construction consultant Cast specialises in residential sector project and cost management. Its chairman, Keith Brooks MRICS, is happy to cast his net wide for talent: “Given our focus on project management and cost you might think we look for people with cognate degrees, but that is not always the case. The core competencies and skills also matter, and are very varied. “We’ve had people from design and engineering backgrounds, and generally we want people who are tech savvy who understand ideas around big data, digitisation and other growing trends.” Cast employs 50 staff, of whom four are studying for degrees and 10-15 are recent graduates.“To retain and develop them depends in part on you developing them technically to a high level of competence,” says Brooks. “But it’s also about things that are less structured and rigid, like ensuring their contribution is valued and that they develop skills that are not just technical but include communication, relationships, running meetings, being articulate with ideas and involved by senior staff in real-life situations in a safe but inspiring way.” Follow this advice and you should hopefully find yourself in the same position as Mel Olrik, head of human resources at commercial building consultant Malcolm Hollis, which employs 350 people in 22 offices in the UK and mainland Europe. Olrik says she takes particular pride in having “lost” very few graduates: “Typically the time people want to move on is three years after graduating when they have gained chartered status, but I’m very proud that we have a very low turnover at that stage,” she says. “I think this is partly because we are independent and give people real responsibility when they gain chartered status, so they can be given a client to look after and develop that relationship, and that we challenge people all the way to develop and take opportunities.”



attitudes, Visavadia suggests. “I find that young people want purpose, so providing them with meaningful work where they can exploit their personality, skills and knowledge will help create mutual benefits. “Quality of life can mean more to young people than salary,”he adds.“Despite the old saying,‘money talks’, millennials see work in a different light to their elders. Organisations that embrace the new generation may enjoy a competitive advantage over those who take more traditional approaches.”

“You need to ensure their contribution is valued and that they develop skills that include communication, relationships and being involved in real-life situations” KEITH BROOKS MRICS Cast Those wishing to apply these ideas may wonder how to approach recruiting tomorrow’s professionals in the midst of a skills shortage. Olrik keeps in close touch with the universities that teach building surveying, sending graduates back to their alma mater to give talks and attend careers fairs “to get our name out there, in the hope that undergraduates will apply to us”. Brooks does sometimes advertise jobs at Cast, but finds “people also come through networking, knowing someone, and those who research us and decide we offer what they want to achieve”– an experience shared by Plowman at Caddick. Seeing the world through the eyes of your young staff is clearly a crucial first step.

RICS AND THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS During this year’s MIPIM real estate event, held between 13-16 March in Cannes, RICS hosted a roundtable discussion on the future of the profession, the new skills that will be required and how to attract and retain the best young talent.

Among the points raised were: that professionals need to get familiar with, and even become, “tech experts” to bring added value to their business; to attain a new set of skills, learning from millennials is crucial – is “reverse mentoring” the answer?; and that the built environment sector needs to become a highly attractive place for tech professionals to work. To read the full write-up of the discussion, go to

Storage sites get an energy boost KIERAN VAN BUSSEL Solicitor, Michelmores, Exeter As the balance in our energy mix shifts from fossil fuels to renewables, the UK’s electricity grid must evolve to meet demand and be flexible enough to cope with modern energy needs. Energy regulator Ofgem’s recent clarifications in the rules on storage developments have helped to reduce uncertainties in how such projects affect subsidies for existing generating stations, and this is likely to prompt further investment as colocation concerns abate. Two key areas in the developing energy market are energy storage and peaking power. Energy storage Largescale battery installations can be divided into three main categories, and there are opportunities for landowners in each of these: On-site storage Installing battery arrays next to sites with high energy demand, such as manufacturing premises, allows for energy arbitrage – taking power from the grid into the battery when energy is at its cheapest, and drawing from the battery when power demand is higher but the price for energy from the grid peaks. This can significantly reduce a business’s energy spend. Co-location Landowners who have existing generating stations on their land should be alive to the possibility of developers seeking to co-locate battery storage with the installation.

It is important to make sure leases granted for generating stations deal with the possibility that the energy storage facilities might be added later. Standalone installations Essentially large units filled with racks of batteries and connected to the grid, these “battery barns” are likely to become more attractive to investors and developers when the distribution network operators’ responsibilities shift towards actively managing the electricity grids in their areas. Peaking power Peaking power plants are relatively small, often containerised generation units such as gas-fired turbines. They are not constantly generating electricity, but fired up to provide extra capacity at times of high demand. The installations are supported by a range of initiatives at government and Ofgem levels, which makes investment in such schemes attractive to a range of investors. The plants take up less space than solar farms or other generating equipment, which may make previously unsuitable sites – such as small areas of brownfield land with good access to the grid – attractive to developers in the energy sector. Chartered surveyors should take care when advising clients, as energy projects can be complex and the industry is fast-moving. It is important to get specialist legal advice early in the process to avoid expensive pitfalls arising later. M AY 2018_MODUS


CPD booster Related content from RICS

MANAGING YOUR SMALL SURVEYING PRACTICE James Bridgland FRICS (above) discusses some of the key business skill areas of running a small practice. practicemanagement ››CPD hours: 1.5 £40

NEED A LEG UP? PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT For those surveyors who have always wanted to set up their own business but don’t know where to start, help is at hand Opportunity knocks Given the wide range of specialisms available to a surveyor compared with other professions, there is perhaps a much greater opportunity to set up your own practice. Furthermore, these days, big surveying firms tend to outsource more work to smaller firms, who are able to focus more of their time and energy on a niche specialism. Launch control The trickiest stage of going it alone is getting out of the blocks. Making sure you have an anchor client, who will provide a large chunk of stable income, will help you make time to build up other work in the sector. A key aspect of measuring your success will come down to your reputation – because, as a small firm, there is nowhere to hide in terms of your abilities. If you can keep your network of contacts happy, then, short of external factors such as a recession, business is almost guaranteed.

TRAINING: ON DEMAND The RICS Online Academy offers members a convenient way to further their training in a range of formats tailored to suit their needs. Find out more at 40


Commitment issues Perhaps the most common mistake people make when setting up a small practice is overcommitting themselves. If you take on more than you can handle, you are unlikely to be able to

deliver the work promptly and accurately. Once you start fighting fires on multiple fronts, you are in danger of losing the good reputation that helped win you the job in the first place. It is difficult to turn down work, but at some point you will have no choice. Double bind Keep in mind, too, that once you start getting more work, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether to expand the firm. It is relatively easy to run a one-person business, but when you double your overheads, you are unlikely to double your income until you become more established. Back-up plan For solo practitioners who, for example, might work from home, another key consideration is contingency planning. If you are suddenly taken ill, who is going to perform the work and maintain the client relationships while you recover? In fact, RICS requires members of small firms to ensure contingencies are in place – for example, an agreement could be made with another solo practitioner or small firm should the worst happen, and vice versa. JAMES BRIDGLAND FRICS is also a chartered member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH)

WELLBEING & ADAPTIVE DESIGN Tuffin Ferraby Taylor partner Mat Lown MRICS (above) explores the future of “greening” buildings and how this delivers spaces that encourage productivity. adaptivedesign ››CPD hours: 0.5 £15

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT – MANAGING RISK IN FM PROCUREMENT FM consultant Bob Parkin (above) on how to avoid unnecessary operational, business and financial risks by managing your FM services through systematic procurement management. riskinfmprocurement ››CPD hours: 1.5 £40




Is there a book, website or app you couldn’t be without? Email

scan at standard resolution takes less than three minutes. Once the scan is completed, the spherical image can be viewed via an app on an iPad Pro. From there, you can take additional measurements, add mark-ups and annotations to the scan, or share the data with colleagues on site or back in the office. HARDWARE

HEAD TURNER It may look like it belongs more on a the set of a futuristic film, but beneath its black anodised aluminium exterior is one of the world’s smallest 3D laser imaging scanners. The Leica BLK360 3D scanner is lightweight and portable, making it ideal for built environment professionals to rapidly capture 3D imagery of the built environment. The scanner can capture 360º highdynamic-range (HDR) spherical imagery – as well as thermal images – at the push of a button. The device’s 360,000-point-persecond laser scanner is accurate to within 4mm at up to 10m distance, and Leica says that “full-dome”

JCT Intermediate Building Contract 2016 (IC) Designed for construction projects involving all recognised trades and skills. This edition reflects new payment legislation and makes other changes. £65.12

LEICA BLK360 Price: £15,560 + VAT


››In this TED Talk, farmer Devita Davison explains how features of Detroit’s decaying built environment have made it an ideal place for urban agriculture. ››It is thought that UK drivers spend an average of 44 hours a year searching for parking. But the search just got easier. ParkBee is a tech start-up that uses smart technology to open up private car parks to the public via an app. ››Transforming data into beautifully designed interactive charts and maps would usually require the services of a data visualisation company. Flourish is a platform that enables you to create your own data visualisations with the use of templates.

Guide to Building Control Provides clear explanations of how the technical design and construction requirements of building regulations can be met. £53.95

NEC4 Engineering and Construction Contract Bundle Contains everything needed to run a civil and building construction project under NEC4 £180


INKredible It is: A smartphone- or tablet-based app for writing notes or sketching by hand.

It does: I use INKredible with a stylus pretty much every day on my iPad, instead of using a day book. The app is great for handwriting on tablets. The way it renders inking makes it really look like you are putting pen to paper. Furthermore, when you are writing, it can

detect screen pressure from your palm and automatically rejects the input, so you don’t smudge what you’re working on. I also like how it has different settings for the style of writing you want – for example, a broad brush stroke, or a more precise ballpoint pen.

And its obvious advantage over real pen and paper is that you can store your notes digitally, and you can easily share notes and sketches to colleagues. DAVID KELSALL MRICS is development and new business manager at Cartrefi Conwy, Wales M AY 2018_MODUS




To view the latest offers, new partners and promotions, visit

“The residence nil rate band can deliver an inheritance tax saving even if the prospects for meeting its conditions first appear unpromising”

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Master all the details to take full advantage of inheritance tax relief on your property assets Families in the UK are paying more in inheritance tax than ever before. Figures from HM Revenue & Customs show that the amount collected in the year 2016-17 exceeded £5bn for the first time*. And revenues are expected to keep rising despite the new residence nil rate band (RNRB) being introduced last year. The RNRB can deliver an inheritance tax saving even if, due to the size of your estate, the prospects for meeting its conditions first appear unpromising. The rate was set initially at £100,000 per person, increasing to £175,000 by 2020. It works on top of the standard £325,000 nil rate band as an additional allowance for people who pass on a property to their direct descendants. But although the RNRB can ease an inheritance tax burden, it is only useful to those who can satisfy its conditions. The RNRB is reduced by £1 for every £2 by which an individual’s overall estate exceeds £2m, thus there is no RNRB at all if the deceased’s assets are worth more than £2.25m. Furthermore, business and agricultural assets count towards that threshold even if they qualify for 100% relief. 42 RICS.ORG/MODUS

With some thoughtful tax planning, there are potential opportunities for estates to benefit from the full RNRB – even if, at first sight, that might not seem possible. Many couples choose not to make use of the standard nil rate band on first death, on the basis that, if unused, it can be transferred to their surviving spouse or registered civil partner and claimed on second death. Even if their estates are individually below £2m, if the estate on second death is above that figure, all of the RNRB – including any transferable element – could potentially be lost.

However, leaving assets worth £325,000 to someone other than the surviving spouse – such as a trust – on the first death can be beneficial if it keeps the survivor’s estate below the £2m trigger point for reducing the RNRB on second death. It is worth noting that in determining the value of a deceased’s estate for the purpose of the £2m threshold, it is not necessary to add back gifts made within seven years of death, as you do when calculating the inheritance tax liability on the deceased’s estate. This means that making a gift in excess of the £3,000 annual exemption could produce a substantial tax saving. The plan you end up with should be one that is as tax efficient as possible, and aligned with your objectives in relation to who should benefit on your death and when. Readers should be aware that levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time and are dependent on individual circumstances.

FOR A NO-OBLIGATION financial review, please visit, email rics@, or telephone +44 (0)800 953 3030. St. James’s Place Wealth Management is RICS’ Preferred Provider of Wealth Management Advice** HMRC Tax & Receipts, 21.06.17. **Advice is provided by representatives of St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services. For more details, visit RICS is an appointed introducer to St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.




Full RICS events listings online at For enquiries, call +44 (0)20 7695 1600. All prices are +VAT


››RICS Introduction to CPO Powers and Process Roadshow 15 May, Birmingham; 24 May, Manchester Guiding you through the different stages of the CPO procedures. New additions this year include essential legal updates and case studies focusing on HS2. CPD: 4 hours £110 ››RICS CPD Days 15 May, Exeter; 21 May, London; 24 May, Birmingham; 6 June, Surrey and Aberdeen; 13 June, Cardiff; 14 June, Lincoln; 19 June, Liverpool; 3 July, Oxford; 5 July, Bristol Regional conferences full of CPD within land, property and the built environment, with breakout sessions tailored to meet specific learning requirements. CPD: 6 hours £155 full day, £100 half day ››RICS Rural Mid-Session Conference 17 May, Perth, Scotland Featuring discussions on the law relating to agricultural holdings, woodland creating in Scotland, EPC regulations and the impact on rural properties, and a taxation update. CPD: 5 hours £85 ››RICS Dilapidations Roadshow 23 May, London; 24 May, Glasgow; 6 June, Leeds; 7 June, Manchester; 12 June, Leicester; 26 June, Bristol; 3 July, Newmarket A practical seminar providing expert guidance on the latest technical issues. This event will cover: case law roundup, mechanical and engineering update, defects, leases and dispute resolution. CPD: 4 hours £150

››RICS Digital Built Environment Conference 21 June, London Experts in surveying and proptech will showcase how technology can enhance your practice, helping you to provide a better service to your clients. CPD: 5.5 hours £235 ››RICS Strategic FM Conference 27 June, London Assessing the role of disruptive technologies in the future built environment, this event will consider how perceptions of FM are changing. CPD: 6 hrs £260 ››RICS Residential Property Conference 4 July, London Examining how councils, developers, agents and managers are innovating to meet challenges such as retirement housing, proptech and regulation. CPD: 6 hrs £185


››IFMA-RICS World Workplace Europe 16-17 May, Barcelona Returning for a second year with two days of future-facing, fresh and innovative content. A flagship of the collaboration between RICS and IFMA, this year’s event will focus on the importance of people in increasingly digitised workplaces. €895 ››RICS Summit Africa 30-31 May, Johannesburg Designed for presidents, chairmen and CEOs, this event will consider how smarter urbanisation can drive sustainable economic growth across Africa. The event brings property institutions and associations together to accelerate the professionalism of the land, construction and property sectors throughout the continent. Dinner and conference, R2,640 (£157); conference only, R1,980 (£118)


10 May, London

››RICS Planning and Development Conference 19 June, London Explore innovative solutions to the biggest challenges facing the planning profession, through local and global case studies, residential, infrastructure and commercial-led developments. CPD: 5.5 hours £210 ››RICS Rural Conference 20 June, Cirencester Examining timely topics such as agriculture and Brexit, opportunities in the renewable energy sector, while also looking at the grid and capacity market. CPD: 5.5 hours £140

Combining high-level strategic debate with practical sessions that will improve your day-to-day practice. The event will bring together leading experts to analyse how the construction market is performing in 2018 and the potential opportunities and risks for the sector. Technical sessions will include: whole-life costing, off-site construction, data and a legal roundup. CPD: 6 hours £260

M AY 2018_MODUS 43

OBITUARIES Please email obituary notifications to or call +44 (0)247 686 8555


››Ronald G Harrison MRICS, 1940-2018 Chelmsford ››Patrick Henry Kelly MRICS, 1935-unknown Royston ››Richard John McMillan FRICS 1916-2018, Rayleigh ››Ronald Walter William Rendle MRICS 1919-2017, Braintree ››William Peter Ridgeway FRICS, 1929-2018 Rickmansworth ››Charles Robert Wright FRICS 1929-2017, Colchester


››Roger Edley Barker FRICS, 1942-2018 Twickenham ››Gerald Stanbridge Ceaser FRICS 1942-2018 Sunbury On Thames ››James Henry William Coghill MRICS 1969-2018, London ››David Alan Evans FRICS, 1933-2018 Orpington ››Walter Freed FRICS 1921-2017, London ››Stanley H Honeyman FRICS, 1923-2017 London

››Dame Jennifer Mary Jenkins HonRICS 1921-2017, London ››Andrew David Mears MRICS, 1970-2017 London ››Neal Johnston Spencer 1947-2018, London


››Steven Nicholas Warner MRICS 1953-2017, Ryton


››John Andrew Lamont FRICS, 1935-2017, Crewe ››Trevor Lloyd MRICS 1929-2018, Cumbria


››Frank Osborne Gearing Augur FRICS, 1933-2017 Henley-on-Thames ››Philip John Bennett FRICS, 1921-2017 Reigate

››Revd Roger Henry Blankley MRICS 1932-2018, Buckingham ››Derek Bernard Clark FRICS, 1930-2017 Farnborough ››John Reginald Clarke FRICS, 1927-2018 Thames Ditton ››Robert William Arthur Foreman FRICS, 1928-2018 Henley-on-Thames ››Derek J Jenkins FRICS 1926-2017, Uckfield ››Horwood Selwyn Lewis FRICS, 1931-2017, Maidenhead ››John Christopher Markey FRICS 1928-2018, Eastbourne ››Peter Stuart Nicholls FRICS, 1942-2018 Surrey ››Brian Charles Sutton FRICS, 1928-2017 Godstone

››Anthony John Howitt Wilson FRICS 1937-2017, Weybridge ››Jeremy Michael Oldfield Young FRICS 1941-2018, Segensworth


››Kenneth Walter Brace MRICS, 1927-2018 Wednesbury ››Prof David William Edden FRICS 1936-2018, Birmingham


››George Vernon Lapworth FRICS 1922-2017, Keighley


››Ian David Borton 1927-2018, Bodmin ››Keith William Carr FRICS, 1953-2018 Cornwall

CONDUCT Warwick Estates Property Management Limited, Essex, CM20 Disciplinary Panel – 21.02.18 The Panel heard a case against Warwick Estates Property Management Limited for failing to carry out its work with due skill, care and diligence and with proper regard for the technical standards expected, in that they failed to conduct their undertaking, namely the property management of Marsden House in such a way as to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that persons not in their employment were not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety when using lifts provided by the building, contrary to Rule 4 of the Rules of Conduct for Firms 2007. The Panel imposed a reprimand and a fine in the sum of £20,000. The firm was also ordered to contribute towards the costs of the hearing. Mr Roderick Stephens MC BSc(Hons) AAPI Australia Disciplinary Panel – 19/20.03.18 The Panel heard a case against Mr Roderick Stephens on Monday 19 & Tuesday 20 March 2018. The Panel made an order in the following terms: Facts ››Mr Stephens sent a letter to Mrs A dated 25 May 2016, which contained personal abuse directed at Mrs A and her family, and sought to induce Mrs A to give evidence against her husband by reference to the consequences of not doing so for her and her children. The letter caused Mr and Mrs A alarm and distress. Mr Stephens therefore breached Rule 3 of the RICS Rules of Conduct for Members 2007 and was liable to disciplinary action 44 RICS.ORG/MODUS

under Bye-Law 5.2.2(c) and/or conducted himself in a way which was liable to bring RICS into disrepute and was liable to disciplinary action under Bye-Law 5.2.2(a). ››Mr Stephens failed to cooperate with RICS staff in the course of its investigation into the above conduct, in particular by refusing to give any or any substantive response to the allegations and questions posed. He therefore breached Rule 9 of the RICS Rules of Conduct for Members 2007 and was liable to disciplinary action under Bye-Law 5.2.2(a). Outcomes ››Mr Stephens agrees to apply forthwith to resign his RICS membership. RICS will revoke his membership on receipt of his resignation and Mr Stephens agrees not to reapply for membership thereafter. ››Mr Stephens will not seek to join RICS or the RICS Valuer Registration Scheme, whether through membership of the Australian Property Institute (API) or otherwise. ››RICS agrees not to make a complaint to API about Mr Stephens’ conduct which is the subject-matter of these proceedings. ››Mr Stephens undertakes not to communicate with Mrs A ever again. ››Mr Stephens undertakes only to communicate with Mr A through solicitors that Mr Stephens has instructed. ››Mr Stephens agrees that the anonymity of Mr and Mrs A in these proceedings shall continue and that he will not bring any further challenge to the order as to anonymity. ››Mr Stephens will on or before 4pm on 16 April 2018, pay RICS £15,000 in cleared funds, such sum being in respect of its costs of these proceedings.


››Brian John Charles Mather FRICS 1929-2017, Poole

››Ronald Charles Dunn 1930-2018, Strangford


››Robert James Cimasi FRICS, 1950-2017 St Louis

››Alexander Braidwood FRICS, 1927-2018 Glasgow ››Robert Gavin MRICS 1944-2018, East Kilbride ››Allan Smith MRICS 1955-2018, Edinburgh


››Edwin Franklyn Barnes MRICS 1930-2018, Newport ››Frederick John Warrington Winship FRICS, 1923-2016 Narberth


››William Samuel Beattie 1940-2018, Belfast ››George Cooper MRICS 1932-2017, Co Armagh



››Phillip Richard Garrett MRICS, 1956-2017 East Malvern


››Koon Tin Chu MRICS 1958-unknown, Kowloon If you are facing hardship after the loss of a family member, or considering leaving a legacy, contact LionHeart, the charity for RICS members and their families. Call +44 (0)24 7646 6696, email, or visit

JOHN BERNARD SEYMOUR CROUCHEN MRICS, 1947-2018 John Bernard Seymour Crouchen was born on 21st February 1947 and grew up in a farming background in South Devon. His father was a squadron leader in the RAF, while his mother’s family owned tea plantations in Darjeeling, India. After leaving school John spent a brief time with Lloyds Bank in Bournemouth before moving to Guildford in 1966 to study philosophy. Subsequently he joined Pearsons Estate Agents in Basingstoke and trained as an estate agent. It was this move that led him to focus his career in valuation and surveying through a course in urban land administration at Portsmouth Polytechnic (now the University of Portsmouth), from which he graduated in 1977. John became an associate member of RICS in the early 1980s having joined the Valuation Office, where he worked in its West Country branches at Barnstaple, Plymouth, Taunton and Torbay. In the early 1990s he was promoted to principal valuer in the chief valuer’s office in London. This role enabled John to put into practice his agricultural experience and background in advising district valuers across the country on agricultural valuation matters, often of some complexity, where he would use his considerable intellect to best effect. This sometimes involved working closely with the Capital Taxes Office to take cases before the Lands Tribunal, where important matters of principle were often successfully argued. He also lectured at Valuation Office Agency workshops and at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. He took early retirement in 2004 and moved back to south Devon. John died suddenly at his home in Dartington on 18 January 2018 and was buried at Buckfast Abbey on 8 February.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENTAL, CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING, AND MATERIALS CONSULTANTS WITH ALLIED UKAS ACCREDITED TESTING FACILITIES • Concrete specialists • Civil/structural engineering & building surveying expertise • Structural investigation & load capacity assessment • Pre-acquisition surveys for deleterious materials • Leak detection for roofs, walls & windows • Building envelope investigations • Instrumented testing & movement monitoring • Difficult access (industrial rope access) building surveys • In house laboratories for physical & chemical inspection & testing of materials • A complete professional evaluation & advice service Email: Tel: +44 (0)1442 416668 Visit us at



RICS Recruit Looking for a new challenge? Opportunity awaits across these 12 pages. Can’t see anything you like? We also have a website,, featuring 100s more jobs, including executive-level positions and exciting overseas placements. Whatever the stage of your career, RICS Recruit has just the job.

To advertise, email or call +44 (0)20 7101 2772

Elevate your Career with Quantum As part of our on-going expansion, we have opportunities for Quantity Surveyors to join our North West (Royton, Oldham) and North East (Pontefract, Wakefield) offices. We offer tailored reward packages including benefits that recognise an individual’s level and experience.

Assistant Consultant - Requires essential basic construction knowledge - Ideally already working to become degree qualified in Construction Management or Quantity Surveying

Intermediate Position - Requires established construction knowledge - Previously worked as part of a team and autonomously in Private Practice or Contracting - Ideally BSc, MSc, AssocRICS or MRICS qualified

Director - MRICS or FRICS qualified - Experience in dispute resolution by being a member or higher grade of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Management experience

Please send applications in CV format by post to Stephen Pilling at Quantum, Sandmartin House, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1ES or by e-mail to


RESIDENTIAL SURVEYORS (AssocRICS & M/FRICS) Full Time, Part Time & Zero Hours opportunities

London East, S.East and S.West. Plus: Bedford, Birmingham Blackburn, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bristol, Burnley, Bury, Bury St Edmunds, Canterbury, Cardiff & Valleys, Carlisle, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Chichester, Colwyn Bay, Cornwall, Coventry Croydon, Crewe, Cumbria Nth & West, Darlington, Derby, Dereham, Dorchester, Dudley, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Gloucester, Gravesend, Grimsby, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull, Keighley, Kings Lynn, Lake D Central, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Loughborough, Manchester, Medway, Middlesbrough, Mold, Monmouth, Newark, Newcastle, Newport, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Skipton, Southampton, Stockport, Swansea, Swindon, Tavistock, Torquay, Wales Mid & Nth, Walton on Thames, Walsall, Weybridge, Weymouth, Wisbech, Worcester, Wrexham. ALSO: Staff Surveyor, Warwick/Coventry/Leicester. Highly regarded financial services company, no high volume, premier fee work. Outstanding package. Employers include lenders and financial companies, national surveying organisations and smaller local and regional practices. Outstanding salaries, commission and benefits packages available. If you are AssocRICS/MRICS/FRICS and VRS Registered, ideally with residential valuation and survey experience, then contact Jeff Johnson on 07940 594093, or email your CV in confidence to Or connect via LinkedIn: Search Jeff Johnson MLA.


RICS Recruit



Purchase with Confidence

The best IT platform in the industry

Pioneering innovative new reports

Whether you’re fresh out of the traps or looking for a new lease of life, we’re recruiting VRS registered, AssocRICS, MRICS, and FRICS surveyors today. SDL Group is an equal opportunities employer and encourages a diverse range of talent to apply.

Bespoke RICS APC training plan

Call us today on: 07881 008594 Or, email your CV to: M AY 2018_MODUS


To view more jobs online visit

YOUR FUTURE IS BRIGHT WITH MILLER METCALFE STEP INTO SUMMER WITH AN EXCITING N E W C A R E E R O P P O RT U N I T Y ! RESIDENTIAL CHARTERED SURVEYORS – OTE £60K-£70K PA (UK-wide positions available – full-time, part-time & consultancy) We are offering an uncapped bonus – paid monthly – and long-term incentive plans Miller Metcalfe Surveyors are a leading national supplier of Surveys and Valuations. We believe in investing in our people and ensuring Miller Metcalfe is a great place to work. With our exciting growth plans you will also have the opportunity for equity participation following the introduction of our Long-Term Incentive Programme. We have nationwide opportunities available for home-based, highly motivated MRICS/ FRICS Residential Chartered Surveyors, who meet VRS registration requirements, have experience of producing RICS HomeBuyer Surveys and want to work with both private and lender clients. When you join Miller Metcalfe you are guaranteed: a competitive OTE in the region of £60-£70k (dependent on experience & location), uncapped bonus scheme – paid monthly, company vehicle or allowance, pension contributions, death in service, full administration/technical support and much, much more. Miller Metcalfe has a very bright future and there has never been a better time to join our team. We are fully committed to developing our people and further enhancing their career. Nicki Henderson, HR Director on 01204 525252 option 4 or email your most recent CV details to


RICS Recruit

A New Career? Tyser Greenwood Surveyors are a long-established company looking to increase our footprint and service offering. Could you be part of our forwardthinking and expanding team?

We currently have a large network of home-based surveyors serving our wide client base, utilising the latest technology. We are looking to expand our team with vacancies in the South East (Essex, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Hampshire) as well as across the country, notably: West Yorkshire (Leeds/Bradford), East Yorkshire (Coast), North East (Teeside), Wales, Midlands and the North West. Approaches from sole practitioners are also welcome. There is an above-average remuneration package available for experienced mortgage and HBR surveyors who offer a wide range of skills and are willing to develop new business in their areas.

Get in touch to find out more, call 01932 736 501 or email

M AY 2018_MODUS TGS_Mar_Recruitment_Ad_A4_FA.indd 1

02/03/2018 12:02


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Staff Valuer / Client Side Opportunities UK wide With longstanding and (often) exclusive association with some of the best known and most prestigious high street and specialist lenders throughout the UK we are regularly instructed on client side / Staff Surveyor roles nationally.

Surveyors working for a lender can expect a remuneration package comprising:

Opportunities range from standard fee earning (using one reporting format in a tight knit patch) to managerial roles focused on lending strategy, compliance and audit.

• High basic salary • Profitshareorbonusesbased onmultiple(quality)factors(as opposedtovolume/fee incomealone) • Highqualityprestigecompany carorallowance • Upto6weeksholidaytostart • MarketleadingPension • Awiderangeofhealth,lifestyle andwellbeingbenefitsincluding flexibleworking.

Fee-Earning Roles Aswetendtofillstandardlenderrolesquicklyweadvisecalling(or emailing)foranuptotheminutebreakdownofcurrentneedsnationally. Asageneralguide,staffsurveyorsworkwithasinglereportingformat, aworkloadcomprisingmostlyMortgageValuations,atight-knitpatch, logicallybookedjobs,marketleadingtablettechnologyandanoutstanding remunerationpackagethatisn’tcommissionled. OurmostrecentopportunitiescovertheSouthEastandEastAnglia-but pleasedogetintouchforadditionalupcomingandpipelineneeds. Suitable Surveyors will have a strong service mentality, exceptional attention to detail and MRICS/FRICS qualification with VRS. Andy Welham 0208 514 9177



James Irving 0208 514 9120

RICS Recruit

Opportunities for Residential Surveyors UK wide With annual reviews now complete and year-end bonuses paid – did yours live up to expectations and truly reflect your efforts in 2017? Either way, why not capitalise on unprecedented demand in the sector and talk to the industry’s leading recruitment experts, whose client base makes up the bigger picture… What have you got to lose? Withpayincreaseshoveringjustunder inflationgenerally,whynotseeifthere mightbeabetteropportunityjust aroundthecorner.Whilechanging jobscanbedaunting,particularlyif you’vebeenwithanemployerfora longperiodoftime,ouronestopshop servicewillensuretheprocessisas stressfreeaspossible,addressingall theissuesbothinthestrictestof confidenceandwithnoobligation. Accordingly, through our 20 year (often exclusive) association with some of the top employers in the UK we can help you achieve: • A  nimprovementinearnings,bethat basicsalaryorabonusschemethat offersgreaterincentives • Areductioninhoursoramoveto part-timeorzerohoursworking • Areductioninthevolumeofwork thatyouareexpectedtohandle • Animprovementinthegeneral qualityofyourinstructions/a morerefinedpatch. Opportunities for experienced Residential Surveyors within corporate environments: Birmingham Bolton Bradford Bristol Cardiff / The Valleys Chester / N. Wales

Cornwall Coventry Crawley Croydon Edinburgh Grimsby Hereford /

Monmouth Hull Leeds Lincoln Llandrindod Wells Manchester North Norfolk Northampton

Nottingham N.W. London Reading Sheffield Stockport Swansea West Dorset Worcester Wrexham

Remunerationincludesabasicsalary of£40-65k(dependingonlocation), bonuses(basedonfeeincome),acar (orallowance),healthcareandpension. Opportunities within panel appointed, non-corporate practice-based environments: Ourclientsaretraditional,independent privatepracticeswhoservicemain lender,privateclientandin-house (agency)instructionsundertakingthe fullrangeofresidentialreportsforhigh averagefees.Theirethosisquality overquantity(butnotattheexpense ofsecurity)and,assuch,surveyors workingforthemarenotputunder thesamepressuresastheymightbe elsewhereinthesector.Vacancies existinthefollowinglocations immediatelywithadditionalneeds followingonanearweeklybasis: Bury St. Edmunds / Needham Market Canterbury Crewe / Alsager

Bournemouth Edinburgh Glasgow Lancaster Llandudno / Colwyn Bay

Loughborough Mold / Buckley Plymouth / Tavistock Swansea

Opportunities for Residential Surveyors to undertake high value private banking and panel work in exclusive territories: M4 Corridor (SN/BA/BS/GL) South Coast (SO/PO) Beds / North Herts (LU/AL/SG/CB) East Midlands (MK/NN) West Midlands (B/CV/LE) Essex (CO/CM/SS) Remunerationincludesabasicsalary of£50-55k,bonuses(generouszero thresholdstructure),acar(or allowance),healthcareandpension. Andy Welham 0208 514 9177 James Irving 0208 514 9120

N.W. Kent Dereham / Norwich East London Dorchester /

Find out more about current opportunities and the latest sector news at: M AY 2018_MODUS


To view more jobs online visit

OPPORTUNITIES FOR FIRST TIME ENTRANTS / TRAINEE / RETURNING RESIDENTIAL SURVEYORS NATIONALLY Do you: • Currently hold VRS. • Have immediate eligibility for VRS (having taken Valuation to level 3). • Need to reinstate your VRS status, having previously held it. • Have 100 days of demonstrable / historic valuation experience. Our client is a national firm of chartered surveyors undertaking the full range of survey and valuation services for lenders across the UK. They are able to train MRICS / AssocRICS surveyors

from most backgrounds so previous direct residential surveying experience is not essential. Immediate opportunities exist in the following locations: Brighton / Portsmouth, Bradford, Hereford / Worcester, Gloucester, Romford / Ilford / E. London, Liverpool / Preston, Lancashire / Blackburn, South Manchester / Stockport, Newcastle, North Manchester & Surrounds, Oxford / Coventry, Reading / Oxford.

Basic salary c£50k + Bonuses + Car allowance

James Irving - 0208 514 9120 Andy Welham - 0208 514 9177 For our full range of opportunities alongside helpful career & CV advice please visit

Find your perfect job today Building Surveyors & Quantity Surveyors London and the South East Packages from £30k - £70k + cars Professional and confidential recruitment service

Call Roger Dunning - 07769 551846 / 01243 933263 or email -



RICS Recruit



CHANGE Connells Survey & Valuation are seeking Residential Surveyors. We are an established, respected and successful business offering an excellent remuneration package and work-life balance. We are looking for enthusiastic Residential Surveyors to join our team. Experienced candidates are preferred but we are prepared to provide relevant training for the right applicant.

We are looking to recruit RESIDENTIAL SURVEYORS in the following locations: • • • • • • • •

Birmingham Bolton Bradford Bristol Cardiff/The Valleys Coventry Croydon Hereford/Monmouth

• • • • • • •

Hull Leeds Manchester North Norfolk Nottingham Sheffield Wrexham/North Wales

If you are interested in any of these locations, then we would love to hear from you. Please contact:

Ian Jones MRICS on

01752 251220

or send your CV to



To view more jobs online visit

Take your career to new heights... Chartered Surveyors National locations

ÂŁCompetitive package

If you are a talented professional with proven experience Bruton Knowles can offer you the opportunity of a lifetime. As one of the UK's most successful property consultancies we are very much a people business, striving for excellence in everything we do. And to us, that means empowering our people, giving them the freedom and confidence to develop their talents and achieve their full potential. Due to growth, we are looking for Chartered Surveyors who are full members of the RICS, with ideally two or more years post qualification experience. Available roles will be based from one of our offices and we are particularly interested in candidates with experience in development, valuation, commercial, compensation including CPO as well as other areas. In return we offer excellent development, career progression opportunities and a modern and attractive package which improves with performance. We are flexible regarding the types of work contracts we offer. If you have the ability and personality to deliver, visit us at and upload your CV. We will then be in contact to explore opportunities further. You will be required to complete a DBS check. If you would like a confidential discussion, please call: Neil Young, HR Director on 07717 545530. Bruton Knowles is a leading and long established independent Property Consultancy, with 13 offices throughout England and Wales. Strictly no agencies.



RICS Recruit

TALENTED? AMBITIOUS? SELF-MOTIVATED? PROFESSIONAL? K2 are an independent and expanding consultancy who have operated right across the UK for over 15 years. Our team provides programme, project, cost and construction management services, all delivered by professionals within a collaborative and entrepreneurial culture. We are currently managing more than £1bn of major construction projects for owner-occupiers and developers across: automotive, student housing, hotels, commercial, residential, health, regeneration, retail and transport in both the public and private sectors. K2 Consultancy is continuing to deliver exceptional service to our clients, which is why our client base and workload is growing. As a result, we are looking for talented, ambitious and self-motivated professionals who want the opportunity to enhance their own career, as well as influence the future development of K2. If you believe you have what it takes, are prepared to work hard and constantly strive to deliver excellence in everything you do, then K2 would be interested in hearing from you. In particular, we are looking for: Project managers at all levels (assistant project managers, project managers, senior project managers and associate directors) Cost consultants Assistant cost consultants These roles would be based in our London office. We are also exploring the option of opening a Birmingham office in the future. You will need to be highly organised, have strong leadership ability and want to be part of a business that is uncompromising in its desire to be the very best. Excellent salary and benefits are commensurate on experience.

To apply please send your CV and details of your current/previous remuneration package to K2 Consultancy Ltd is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

M AY 2018_MODUS 55

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Apply your technical knowledge Looking to lead the field in Construction? We are looking for people who can act as a trusted consultant to our clients, bringing industry insight and regulatory knowledge together with a commitment to deliver service excellence as part of a true partnership approach.

Working on a 750-year-old building of historic national importance one day and a £250m laboratory the next, Bureau Veritas boasts an unrivalled array of projects and clients. We want self-starters and team players, who can build lasting client relationships. We offer: • Structured development programmes to help you fulfil your potential, including face-toface and e-learning programmes • The opportunity to deliver excellence for high-profile clients, including some of the world’s most recognised brands • A long list of awards including Top Employer six years in a row and continued success in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards

Current Roles: We are looking for self-motivated, professional Surveyors with commercial Building Control experience, ideally with either RICS or CABE qualification • •

Regional Manager, Building Control South East Principal /Senior Building Control Surveyor - London, South East, Wolverhampton

All positions offer a competitive package including a defined contribution pension offering up to 8% of your salary, 25 days holiday plus Bank Holidays and the option to buy an additional 5 days per annum, various insurances and other flexible benefits.

For more information, or to be considered for these opportunities, please send a current CV to:

HARGREAVES JONES RECRUITMENT 2018 Quantity Surveyors at Junior, Intermediate, QS, Senior QS, Associate and Director level are sought to meet company expansion plans Location: Nationwide Excellent Salaries + Car/Car Allowance + Generous Pension + PHI. Sector Experience Sought– Gas, Oil, Nuclear, Utilities, Commercial and Traditional Building Hargreaves Jones is a commercial and Project Management Services Consultancy serving the Oil, Gas, Nuclear, Utilities, including overhead Transmission Lines, Pharmaceuticals, Fast Moving Consumer Goods sectors (FMCG) and Commercial and Traditional Building sectors. We pride ourselves on delivering commercial and project services to clients engaged in capital construction and engineering activities on both large and small infrastructure projects for Blue Chip clients, or their respective design and project management service providers. The continued expansion and success of our growing business is reliant upon finding enthusiastic and motivated professionals. We provide APC training and support & opportunities to grow in an exciting professional environment.

Please send a copy of your CV and covering email to For further deatils please contact


RICS Recruit

SENIOR QUANTITY SURVEYORS / COST CONSULTANTS COVENTRY, WEST MIDLANDS Osbornes is a firm with over 75 years’ experience in the construction sector; our ethos is to promote continued commitment, teamwork and collaboration whilst upholding expectations and quality. We have opportunities for Senior QSs, who will support projects within the education, healthcare, commercial/industrial, civic and residential sectors. Benefits include: • Salary: Competitive • Company car or car allowance (dependent upon grade) • Healthcare insurance • Pension contribution The successful candidates will have a BSc in Quantity Surveying or equivalent and be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, or be working towards their professional qualification.


Cornwall Council offers a competitive employee rewards and benefits package and a can-do culture where talented people thrive. Couple this with beautiful beaches, stunning countryside and superb community spirit and Cornwall Council is a great place to work. We have some exciting opportunities to join our Capital Projects Team where you will assist in the delivery of commercial and contract management services to major construction projects within an up to £100m p.a. programme. You will be working with senior officers, stakeholders and the public and will assist in the commercial delivery of a range of Capital projects. The following roles are available for individuals who demonstrate tenacity, drive, commercial acumen and sound negotiation skills: • •

Contracts Manager (1 position) Senior Contract Specialists (4 positions)

Positions advertised until midnight on 29th April. To apply visit or for a confidential discussion on the new roles contact Steve Wood on 01209 614432 or email



Mind map


The vast volumes of water within flooded coal mines already lie at a constant temperature of around 12-16°C, but heat pumps could be used to boost this to more useful temperatures of 40-50ºC.

Dr Charlotte Adams Assistant professor in geography, Durham University and research manager at BritGeothermal

A vast resource exists in the abandoned mines beneath many towns and cities: geothermal heat.

The mine workings would be accessed by drilling boreholes, pumping water from the mine, and extracting the heat before returning the water to the mine.

Heat pumps are a tried and tested technology, and abandoned mines have proved capable of heating and cooling large developments in Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.


Many coalfields lie below urban centres, so there is potential for the technique to work in former mining areas. Developing this legacy could help us deliver a low-carbon energy future.



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RICS Modus, May 2018  

#RICSModus, May 2018 - The Squeezed Issue

RICS Modus, May 2018  

#RICSModus, May 2018 - The Squeezed Issue

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