INDUSTRY FOCUS – Real Estate, Infrastructure & Construction

The latest developments in technology, sustainability, innovation and megastructure amidst an economic climate shaped by the slowdown of China’s economic performance, lowered commodity prices and sluggish growth in economies across the globe

By Jennifer Khoo


AECOM

AECOM, an integrated infrastructure and construction firm, has launched a pilot program with Trimble to apply the world’s first use of Microsoft HoloLens “mixed-reality” technology for engineering and construction in projects on three continents. Through a lightweight headset, HoloLens technology adds holograms of 3D objects into a user’s view, allowing interaction with these virtual objects as if they were present.

The technology allows users to feed 3D engineering models into the HoloLens world, including models of large or complex projects, and it supplements conventional working practices and improves communication collaboration and visualization. It also makes it possible to physically point out potential difficulties or unforeseen conflicts in an evolving design.

As part of Trimble’s Mixed-Reality Pilot Program, AECOM is deploying HoloLens devices in London, Hong Kong and Denver. Engineers and architects across different continents can share the same holographic models simultaneously, with their movements and interactions linked together via the Internet connected by Trimble solutions.

Asia Pacific Properties

According to a market report released by Asia Pacific Properties earlier this year, global economic uncertainties and additional signs of slowing growth in China are continuing, foreshadowing a downturn in demand for property and rental rates. The views, however, are mixed on rental rate forecasts across Hong Kong. Recent reports suggest office rents in core business districts of Hong Kong will see a meaningful decrease and market correction throughout 2016, which may provide an opportunity for tenants to obtain Grade-A office space at attractive rates. Meanwhile, others remain optimistic and suggest there will be no significant rental rate decreases in core business districts.

The answer may hinge not on external economic factors but on the outcome of several substantial lease negotiations currently underway: a failure of those negotiations to achieve renewals at present space requirements may cause the return of a substantial amount of empty space to the market, and landlords may be forced to lower rents to maintain their buildings’ occupancy levels.   Black & Veatch, a global company in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, has been appointed to develop desalination plants in Hong Kong and Singapore. The two plants are set to establish new design and energy-use benchmarks for future water treatment plants.

Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is to design, develop and provide construction supervision across the first phase of the Tseung Kwan O desalination plant, which will have an initial capacity of 36 million gallons per day and will meet about five percent of Hong Kong’s water demand. A feasibility study to identify opportunities to harness green energy and reduce consumption of electricity has been completed.   In Singapore, it is to provide consultancy services for the country’s fourth desalination plant. The plant in Marina East, with a capacity of 36 million gallons per day, will be designed to treat two different sources of water: seawater from the Singapore Straits or raw water from the Marina Reservoir.

CBRE Limited 

Hong Kong has been identified as the world’s most popular market for new retail entrants in 2015, according to CBRE’s ninth edition of a report titled How Global is the Business of Retail? In total, Hong Kong attracted 73 new international brands in 2015, up from 58 in 2014, pushing it up four places to take the top spot globally. Singapore followed a close second with 63 new brands, while Tokyo as the top market in 2014 slid to third place.

Hong Kong ranked the seventh most penetrated city by international retailers, with 45 percent of retailers surveyed having a presence here. The city also remained a popular destination among expanding European brands, seeing an increase by more than one percent in the presence of European retailers in 2015. There has been a significant focus on Food & Beverage (F&B) among retailers expanding in Hong Kong. Of the 73 retailers having entered the market last year, 37 are F&B brands, accounting for roughly half (50.6 percent) of all new entrants – with robust activity by Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese brands.

Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd 

Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited, listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since June 2015 following a reorganization of business structure, has allowed the Group’s property portfolio to expand significantly and become more diversified both in terms of asset type and geographical locations by combining a large number of properties previously under the Cheung Kong Group and the Hutchison Group.

The newly formed entity now encompasses property development and investment, hotel and serviced suite operation and property and project management, in addition to three listed real estate investment trusts. It has a portfolio of diversified properties in multiple locations, including Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The Group has reported a full-year (for 2015) audited profit attributable to shareholders of HK$17,113 million, while profit before investment property revaluation was HK$15,568 million, 29 percent higher than that of the previous year, and investment property revaluation increment in 2015 was lower than in 2014.

CITIC Pacific

CITIC Limited has commenced commissioning the last two of six concentrator lines at its Sino Iron project in Western Australia, representing a major milestone of the construction and integration of a greenfield megaproject designed to process and export quality concentrate to steel-producing plants.   The greenfield site in the Pilbara region has been transformed into Australia’s largest, fully integrated center of magnetite mining, processing and export operations.

The infrastructure itself is the region’s first greenfield port development in 40 years, with a 51-gigaliter desalination plant, a 450-megawatt combined cycle gas-fired power station, and a 30-kilometer slurry pipeline.

Sino Iron – China’s largest overseas investment in the resources sector and considered an important aspect of relations between China and Western Australia – is expected to contribute billions in royalties to the State of Western Australia, generate substantial export revenue for the local economy and create significant employment opportunities for the local population.

Colliers International

Colliers International’s latest thematic report shows that demand for flexible workspace is rising across Asia, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore. The domains of traditional serviced office operators and co-working operators are increasingly converging.

Flexible working operators are expected to lease 20   percent more office space in Hong Kong in 2016 than what their Chinese peers took up in 2015. According to estimates by Colliers, Chinese companies secured 400,000 square feet of office space in Hong Kong under new leases in 2015, whereas flexible working space operators have secured 252,000 square feet of space over the first five months of 2016 alone.

The desire for more flexible working space will likely strengthen further, with implications for all property market players, including landlords, developers, flexible working operators, and investors. Landlords can expect higher demand for space, and developers can consider new features into building design for a new class of tenants.

Compass Offices 

Despite a forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of global economic growth of only 3.4   percent for 2016 and a weakened outlook for the next six months partly due to China’s economic slowdown, an index compiled by Compass Offices shows that 51 percent of Australians remain strongly confident about their business growth this year.

Australia has the highest level of optimism in the index measuring business sentiments in the region, compared with 43 percent in Singapore and 30 percent in Hong Kong. Japan, on the other hand, has the lowest level across the region, at 15 percent. The employment growth rate is also slated to slow this year. In Japan, less than 20 percent of surveyed clients plan to hire this year.

The index, however, also shows that 61 percent, 56   percent and 44 percent of businesses in Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong, respectively, plan to hire more personnel, potentially spurring the demand for serviced offices.

Cummins

Cummins has won the 2016 Award of Excellence in Energy Management from the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a global forum for policies and programs to advance clean energy. It has also joined the Energy Management Campaign in an effort to spur international collaboration with a goal of 50,001 global certifications by 2020.

Cummins’ commitment to achieving ISO 50001   certification at a total of 40 sites by 2020 follows is the third energy goal in ten years unveiled this spring, and it represents 90 percent of Cummins’ energy footprint. It pledges to achieve a 32 percent energy intensity reduction from company facilities by 2020 (using a baseline year of 2010) and increase the portion of electricity it uses derived from renewable sources.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, Cummins is a corporation of business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

DTZ Cushman & Wakefield  

DTZ Cushman & Wakefield, a global company in commercial real estate services, has reported that office rents in Hong Kong’s core business districts continued to rise in Q1 2016, particularly in Prime Central and Greater Central, surging 5.3 percent and 4.3 percent quarter-on-quarter to a monthly per-square-foot rate of HK$128.88 and HK$115.64, respectively.

The continuous surge of rentals was underpinned by demand from Mainland Chinese financial companies, which accounted for 49 percent of the major new leases in terms of volume in the area. Insurance, banking and financial companies were the main drivers of new lease demand in the first quarter, making up 80 percent of all major new leases during the first three months of the year.   Nonetheless, concerns of a global economic slowdown are prompting some retailers to seek earlier termination of their leases in an attempt to save costs. The general high street rent could see a drop of 10-15   percent from the current level if it became a broader trend.

Engel & Völkers  

Engel & Völkers has opened a residential property shop in the Canadian city of Markham, centrally located in the Greater Toronto Area, with special services catering to a growing class of Mainland Chinese customers looking to invest in real estate and residential property.

The residential property shop is located on Woodbine Avenue in Markham’s central business district where real estate agents are able to broker premium residential property throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Prestigious neighbourhoods include the Devil’s Elbow and the Grandview Community, as well as Unionville. Residential property in these areas can fetch sale prices of up to eight million Canadian dollars. A large number of high-tech and sciences companies are located in Markham, drawing many skilled professionals from around the world. As a result, the city’s population of 349,000 is made up of a variety of different cultures. Chinese native speakers form the second largest population group, after English native speakers.

Green Island Cement

Green Island Cement (Holdings) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd, is named a recipient of the “Good MPF Employer Award” for 2015 by Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, in recognition of employers in Hong Kong who have placed a high value on their employees’   retirement needs.

Green Island Cement was founded in 1887 at Tsing Chau (Green Island) in Macau. Today, it operates the only integrated cement plant in Hong Kong, and has two cement and concrete operations in South China, in addition to other shipping and mining activities across South East Asia.

Green Island Cement’s integrated cement facility in Hong Kong has a designed capacity of cement grinding and clinker production of 2.5 million tonnes and 1.5 million tonnes, respectively.   Cement products are traded under the brand names of Emerald, Golden Eagle, Special Green Island, Jade in assorted packings of 45kg, 50kg and 1,000kg bag as well as in bulk.

Hang Lung Properties

Hang Lung Properties has received four honors at the International Customer Relationship Excellence (CRE) Awards 2015/2016. The accolades, all in the category of property management, are “Corporate Employer of the Year,” “Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership of the Year,” “Employee Engagement Program of the Year” and “Best Use of Knowledge Management of the Year.”

For four straight years, Hang Lung has been recognized for its performance across a range of initiatives at the prestigious CRE Awards presented by the Asia Pacific Customer Service Consortium (APCSC). Over the years, the awards have served as a platform for the advancement of the service industry and for industry leaders and professionals to share best practices for quality service.

In addition, Academy 66, Hang Lung Properties’ learning and development division, has achieved the Customer Service Quality Standard (CSQS) Certification Level III Strategic Business Unit, which is the highest accreditation under the CSQS.

HOK International

HOK, a global firm specializing in design, architecture, engineering and planning, has been named one of two finalists for the Radical Innovation Award 2016 in a competition where the hotel industry is challenged to advance progressive thinking in design and operations.

Driftscape is a mobile, self-sustaining hotel made up of several modular units allowing guests to roam or touch down in previously unreachable travel locations through the use of drone technology. Components include community units and single guest room units which provide 360-degree views of the outside world and are fitted for untethered excursions of two to three days.

Driftscape, a hospitality concept designed by HOK’s Toronto office, was selected from a pool of entries submitted by more than 20 countries, and was highlighted for its creativity, design quality and potential to impact the industry. Finalists will present their ideas to the jury onstage at the New Museum where a vote by audience members will determine the grand-prize winner in October.

HK Shanghai Alliance Holdings Ltd

TVSC Construction Steel Solutions Limited (TVSC), a joint venture between VSC Steel Processing Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Shanghai Alliance Holdings Limited (HKSHA), and NatSteel Holdings (NatSteel), has launched Hong Kong’s first automated steel reinforced bar (rebar) processing and assembly plant.

The newly built plant is strategically located in Tsing Yi, with access to piers facilitating the transportation of construction rebar. It aims to lead the transformation of Hong Kong’s construction steel supply chain where steel reinforced bars for building construction are processed on the construction site – a model which can create safety hazards for on-site workers, high inventory pile-up, high scrap and inconsistent quality as well as cash-flow constraints for contractors.

By moving the process off-site and with automated processing, it creates a safe, efficient and cost competitive solution, allowing Hong Kong to catch up to other regions like Singapore in the use of automation while addressing safety issues and challenges deriving from a labor shortage.

HK Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

Inquiries among Chinese buyers about Australian homes have fallen by nearly 25 percent in 2016, according to Hong Kong Sotheby’s International Realty. The drop-off in appetite among investors of Mainland China for property in Australia could possibly be the result of restrictions on cross-border capital flows in China.

The Chinese government is reported to have taken a number of steps to stem the outflow of capital across the country’s borders after more than US$1 trillion left China last year amidst growing concerns over the stability of the Renminbi, China’s currency. Measures, both formal and informal, have been making it more difficult for Chinese private individuals and small companies to buy expensive homes overseas.   In a report by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, a representative of Sotheby’s International Realty, which specializes in high-end luxury homes is quoted saying “when we used to have new projects, more than enough people would register before we even pre-sell. Now, most projects are lucky to even sell 20 percent; it’s very slow.”

Hongkong Land 

Hongkong Land’s 11th Central Rat Race will take place on Sunday, 16th October 2016, and it promises the most exciting, fun-filled race yet with new challenges, more runners, bigger crowds and a host of creative activities for families and the wider community.

The Race, since its inaugural year in 2006, has annually drawn hundreds of participants to compete in a relay-style race where they dash through the streets of the Central Business District, clad in fancy costumes and carrying a briefcase as a baton. The Race is a parody of the corporate lifestyle and highlights the importance of work-life balance. Through the streets and commercial space of Central, it showcases the district’s excellence as a world-class business hub. All proceeds go to MINDSET, a charity that supports mental health organisations in Hong Kong and Mainland China. A maximum of 60   teams will be enrolled on a first come, first served basis. Children between the ages of five and 10 are eligible to compete in the Junior Rat Race.

Hysan Development Co Ltd  

Hysan has awarded the building contract of Lee Garden Three, Causeway Bay’s latest commercial project worth HK$1.6 billion, to Gammon Engineering & Construction Company, a subsidiary of Gammon Construction Ltd well known in Hong Kong and across Asia.

Latest construction technologies such as Building Information Modeling, 4D modeling and 3D scanning will be adopted to enhance the project’s environmental friendliness and construction efficiency. The project will be the second major partnership between Hysan and Gammon in recent years. The iconic and popular Hysan Place in Causeway Bay is a commercial complex developed by Hysan and constructed by Gammon.

Lee Garden Three will include 20 floors of spacious Grade A offices sitting atop a five-level retail podium of shops and an exhilarating range of food and beverage establishments. There will also be a five-level basement with around 200 parking spaces. The entire project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

JBA Consulting Engineers

The new Las Vegas City Hall – a project by JBA Consulting Engineers – is a case in which green design has proven its worth in sustainable development. The new seven-story building is now using less than half of the energy once consumed by the old facilities – and is potentially saving the city more than US$500,000 per year in utility bills.

The old building was made for a closed, very limited facility with relatively few windows heavily tinted to keep out the heat and save on cooling costs. The new design is not only bright and open but also conducive to significant energy savings, with tall steel structures known as “solar trees” standing prominently in the main plaza, each featuring a photovoltaic (PV) array on top.

Other green features in the building include high efficiency pumps with variable frequency drives, condensing boilers and chillers, waterside economizers, LED task lighting, high-efficiency glass for windows, sensors for electronic systems, and the extensive use of daylight harvesting.      

Jones Lang LaSalle    

Secondary home sales in March surpassed the 3,000-level for the first time since August last year, according to JLL’s latest report Monthly Hong Kong Residential Sales Market, highlighting figures released in April by the Lands Registry showing a rebound of home sales by 89.7 percent month-on-month to 4,494.

The total value of all home sales in March surged 101.6 percent to HK$34.5 billion, with the secondary market accounting for 3,200 sales, up 85.2 percent. In the primary market, Sun Hung Kai Properties’   Ocean Wings and Wheelock Properties’ Savannah have so far managed to sell over 70 percent of the 628 units and 55   percent of the 804 units, respectively. But competition is also increasing: the number of residential units pending pre-sale consent in April rose 29.4 percent to 12,937, the highest level in seven months. JLL estimates the average annual private housing supply between 2016 and 2019 should reach 18,700 units, about 68 percent higher than the annual average of the last 10   years.

Knight Frank

Knight Frank, an independent global property consultancy, has launched an Asia Pacific Prime Office Rental Index for Q1 2016 as a gauge to monitor prime office rents in 19 cities across Asia Pacific, of which 12   cities registered positive rental growth in the first quarter of the year, up from eight cities in the previous quarter.

Results of the first quarter according to calculation in the Index show a mere growth of one percent – it has accelerated from 0.2 percent in the previous quarter while the average vacancy level has fallen by 0.2 percentage points. Going forward, Knight Frank expects rents in 14 cities to increase or remain steady over the next 12 months.   Locally, although the Grade-A office supply pipeline is strong in Hong Kong, it is mostly concentrated in decentralized areas. Rents in Central continued to rise, however, as a result of limited available space. In markets overseas, Tokyo saw the highest rental growth in Q1 2016 as the prime vacancy rate remained at a multi-year low.

Lan Kwai Fong Group

Lan Kwai Fong Group has won a number of awards in architecture as it continues to build premium and innovative property projects across cities in Mainland China. The Group’s Shanghai DreamCenter, a collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, China Media Capital, and China Development Bank, was named the winner for “Best Chinese Futura Mega Project” at the MIPIM Asia Awards in 2014, and is due to open in 2018.

The jury examined 126 projects from 13 countries and shortlisted three projects in each of 11 competition categories.   The Shanghai DreamCenter beat out the Kunming Jungfa Dongfeng Square and Mapletree Business City & Vivocity. The DreamCenter is poised to become a shining landmark of Huangpu River in Shanghai’s Xuhui District and is the leading element of the “West Bund Media Port” project, which will position the area as a vibrant cultural hub. One of the largest cultural investment projects in China, DreamCenter will bring an integrated cultural & lifestyle landmark featuring world-class entertainment, international performing arts, premium restaurants and bars, fashionable retail and creative media.

LORD Asia International Ltd  

LORD Corp, a specialist in the management of motion and vibration control systems, is unveiling a variety of expanded sensing offerings for the oil and gas industry, building on the acquisitions of two companies, namely MicroStrain and Stellar Technology, over the past few years. Technology acquired from Micro- Strain and Stellar are now both branded under the LORD Sensing master brand.

The acquisition of Stellar Technology, a privately-held sensing solutions company headquartered in Amherst, NY, was completed in 2014. Its pressure, load, force, torque, displacement and temperature sensing products were highly complementary to LORD’s existing capabilities in sensing systems and motion control technologies.

The acquisition of MicroStrain in 2013 has helped strengthen LORD’s sensing portfolio through the addition of inertial measurement systems, micro-displacement transducers, wireless sensor networks and energy harvesting technologies. Upcoming advanced products will support applications across the entire oil and gas industry.

Marmon Engineered Wire & Cable  

Comtran Cable, a member of Marmon Engineered Wire & Cable and a manufacturer of standard and ruggedized specialty data and signal transmission cables including category cables for structured cabling as well as telecom, fire safety, circuit integrity and other high performance applications, has announced a line of X-Link communications cables designed for nuclear power production facilities as a long-term solution to data communications, security, and environmental monitoring systems.      Comtran’s engineers have designed a line of communications cables that will guarantee a specified category data transmission and will stand up to harsh installation methods and environments, as other commercially available off-the-shelf products are insufficient for nuclear environments due to their proximity to machinery, fluids, and hazardous waste.

The newly developed cables, featuring a shield and a thermoset insulation and jacket, are designed to reduce effects from electromagnetic interference and to provide enhanced thermal stability, all while maintaining resistance to fluids and radiation. Hence, they are physically robust, with the ability to meet high transmission rates.

Marubeni-Itochu Steel

Al Gharbia Pipe Company, a joint venture of JFE Steel Corp, Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc, and Senaat GHC (a private joint-stock general holding company owned by the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi), has recently held a ground-breaking ceremony for a large diameter welded steel pipe plant in the Khalifa Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi (KIZAD).

The joint-venture company in Abu Dhabi was established for the manufacture and sales of high-grade large-diameter welded steel pipes designed mainly for the energy sector in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are the six member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). With the development and production of oil and gas forecast to be robust in these countries, the demand for high-quality steel pipes for pipelines to transport these resources is expected to remain stable. JFE Steel will participate in the joint venture under the Abu Dhabi-Japan Business Promotion Initiative of the Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East.

Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd

Mitsui Fudosan, a Japanese property developer with subsidiaries in Europe and North America, has started the full-scale sales of residential housing of the London Television Centre, a large-scale urban redevelopment project by the group in London following an acquisition from the BBC in July 2012.      The project is set to transform the site into a multi-use facility comprising residential housing, offices, restaurants, a hotel and cinema, as well as other facilities, while the residential housing complex has retained the original building and some other details associated as iconic features of the BBC broadcasting network in an effort to create new charm and value while maintaining a British heritage.

Combined with the redevelopment project at the adjacent White City Place acquired from the BBC in June 2015, the total site area measuring approximately 1,338,000 square feet and a total floor space of roughly 4,263,000 square feet is the largest-ever city development in London by a Japanese company.

New World Development

For the second year in a row, New World Development Company (NWDC) has been named one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2016” by HR Asia, one of the trade journals on human resources in the region.

In addition to a flexible healthcare benefit scheme for employees, NWDC has introduced various family-friendly initiatives including family care leave, flexible working hours and seminars on parenting, as well as the “Inventing Your Future Education Sponsorship Scheme” for children of their employees. Other large-scale, company-wide activities in an effort to promote family bonding include Group Fun Day, Family Open Day and employee tours. The “Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2016” awards, organized by HR Asia, are intended to promote talent training and development. Entries are evaluated by a panel of judges based on extensive employee surveys. A total of 21 companies were honored with the awards.

Savills (Hong Kong) Ltd 

Savills, a global real estate services provider, has highlighted in a recent research paper that Hong Kong’s short-haul tourist market has experienced a modest recovery as mid-range retailers including those in F&B are making a comeback following a significant drop in inbound tourist arrivals and local retail sales in 2015.

Rents of prime street shops in traditional tourist districts dropped by five percent in the first quarter of 2016   after having tumbled by 30 percent last year. The steep drop in the Chinese market was somewhat offset by growth in other short-haul markets, which went up by nearly 14 percent in January and February this year.  As a result, market activity has increased, with high-street fashion brands, active wear retailers and F&B operators all taking up space previously occupied by watches and jewellery and other Mainland-focused trades. It’s been noted that landlords are now beginning to subdivide units while owners on the high street are returning units to their original size after years of subdivision.

Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development

Singapore-based companies venturing into China are now able to leverage a one-stop service platform at The Singapore Centre, which is part of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC), opened in July last year and located within an integrated business park called Ascendas OneHub GKC. The Centre is designed for companies using SSGKC as a strategic platform to establish a foothold in the China market by bringing together key agencies and resources of Mainland China and Singapore, facilitating business entry and growth in China, and offering high-quality business workspace, including plug-and-play facilities for the convenience of visitors.

The Singapore Centre is a collaborative effort managed by Ascendas, with the support from IE Singapore, SSGKC Administrative Committee, Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co Ltd (GKC Co), and Action Community for Entrepreneurship Ltd (ACE) to assist in areas of investment consultancy, government facilitation, business matching as well as streamlined company registration and set-up.

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

In a bid to extend its project management services and capture more infrastructure project opportunities, Canadian-   headquartered WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff has announced plans to acquire Sweett Group, a London Stock Exchange AIM-listed project management firm, valuing it at GBP24 million (US$34 million).

Sweett is a provider of professional services for the construction and management of building and infrastructure projects, covering quantity surveying/cost management, project management, building surveying and other specialist and advisory services. It operates in both the public and private sectors: education, healthcare, retail and mixed use, government/local authority, housing and transport and infrastructure.

The acquisition will create an opportunity to grow the range of advisory skills of WSP, expand its scale and management strength in the UK and Europe with a complementary client base for cross-sell services, and broaden its offerings to existing and new clients on a solid foundation from which WSP can achieve growth through a strong program as well as extended project and management capability.

United Technologies Corp

As population growth and urbanization as two megatrends continue to reshape many of the world’s cities, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) has highlighted the need for a global dialogue on sustainability through its Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series, most recently in Beijing and Singapore. The Series has reached more than 3,200 attendees through 29 lectures in 14 countries since it was launched in 2011.

Both China and Singapore are two major cities with significant demand for green buildings, according to the 2016 World Green Building Trends report, and hence they were chosen as the latest locations in a forum with international thought leaders and sustainability experts. China, in particular, is expected to see the highest level of growth in new commercial buildings as well as high-rise residential complexes and communities where protection of natural resources and minimization of environmental impact are increasingly becoming critical factors. Singapore, meanwhile, is positioned to be a global leader in building retrofits and new construction of commercial, institutional and high-rise residential infrastructure.         

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