IFMA Insider
Feb. 17, 2012

Invisibility Cloak Could Protect Buildings From Earthquakes
The Telegraph
The prospect of cloaking devices has become more realistic in recent years as scientists have developed means of making objects invisible to certain wavelengths in limited circumstances. Now researchers from Manchester University say a similar approach could be used to defend structures against earthquakes and other natural disasters.More

Violence in the American Workplace Survey Reveals That Events Leading to Violent Encounters Are Epidemic in the American Workplace
Marketwire via MarketWatch
Violence in the American workplace is clearly an epidemic according to a recently released survey. The "Violence in the American Workplace" survey conducted by AlliedBarton Security Services reveals that more than half of Americans employed outside their homes (52 percent) have witnessed, heard about or have experienced a violent event or an event that can lead to violence at their workplace.More

Lost in a Dark Building? There's an App for That
The Globe and Mail
"A smartphone app may soon guide people through unfamiliar buildings by shining lighted arrows on the ground before them to show the way, U.S. researchers say," United Press International reports. "The Guiding Light app, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consists of a wearable badge with magnetic sensors and software that makes use of a projector built into many Samsung smartphones to project the arrows onto the ground."More

Mega Melbourne, Australia, Plan for Skyscrapers
Adelaide Now
Melbourne's already imposing skyline will grow to Manhattan-like proportions under a bold plan to expand the Victorian capital's CBD. The radical "Grand CBD" proposal by Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy could see the city transformed into a monumental metropolis, five times its present size. The city's tallest buildings would be built at Fishermans Bend or north of the Docklands.More

Having a 'Workplace Spouse' — Good or Bad?
Business Insider
Having a pseudo work marriage is tricky. It could really amp up your motivation or it could be hopelessly distracting. Then, there's the possibility of creating unnecessary inklings of neglect or mistrust in your actual partner at home.More

Making Motors More Energy Efficient
UCR Today
Energy efficiency efforts tend to focus on things such as lighting and insulation. But, in fact, motors that run heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are the largest user of energy in buildings. More

How Big Data Can Tackle Commercial Building Energy
GigaOM
There's a tremendous opportunity to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings, which currently account for more than 40 percent of the nation's total energy use. According to Pike Research, energy efficiency projects could eventually save US$40 billion in annual commercial building energy spending each year.More

Orkney, Scotland Installs Ground Source Heat Pumps for Public Buildings
BBC News
Work is under way to install ground source heat pumps at Orkney, Scotland's, four new major public buildings. The technology harnesses the temperature difference underground to create heat. It is being used at the new Kirkwall Grammar School, Stromness Primary school, Papdale Halls and the new developments at the Pickaquoy Centre.More

Policies are Key to Handling Workplace Romance
Business Management Daily
Romance may be in the air at your workplace this Valentine's Day. And while Cupid shoots arrows, workplace romances often blow up in a liability minefield. There is a good chance that some of your employees are dating one another. A 2011 survey by CareerBuilder.com found that 40 percent of those polled said they have dated a co-worker. It's enough to make an HR professional shudder. The inevitable question for an employer is how to handle these types of relationships.More

What to Evaluate When Choosing New Furnishings
FacilityManagement.com
When selecting furnishings for health care and education facilities, it is important to evaluate products within four distinct categories: durability and maintenance, healthy and safe, quiet and comfortable, and sustainability and value. Depending upon the environment and goals of the organization, one or more of these categories may be more important than another. More

Services and Maintenance: Effective Green Cleaning
Today's Facility Manager
Cleaning a facility involves the removal of unwanted matter, pollutants and contaminants from the indoor environment. By definition, this activity should always be environmentally friendly, but often it isn't. This is because some cleaning procedures actually add rather than remove pollutants, and this scenario is usually brought about by a combination of inappropriate processes and products. More

Silencing the Harsh Sounds of Thermally Active Buildings
Smart Planet
Thermally activated buildings are a staple of modern eco-efficient design. They retain heat and keep things cool through the use of slabs — often concrete — that also form the core of the building. That leaves a lot of exposed surfaces that can lead to disquieting, echoed noise levels undermining the health and productivity of workers.More

South Africa: Going up — Cape Town's New Skyscraper
AllAfrica
Cape Town, South Africa, city skyline will soon feature a stunning addition. The 32-story, R1.6-billion Portside Building — Cape Town's first new skyscraper since 1993 — represents a substantial investment in the Western Cape and a major boost for the local construction industry.More

When Office Jokes Stop Being Funny
Chicago Tribune
The class clown may get in trouble, but the office wag may be the glue that makes a workplace stick together. Research indicates that humor at work is a good thing. It builds morale and relationships. But it also hurts if it veers from being a bonding agent to an alienator.More