11 questions answered by Manager of Retail Tenancies and Interiors in Victoria, Kevin De Almeida.
Frasers Property Australia’s (Frasers Property) new headquarters based in Rhodes Corporate Park, has achieved WELL Building certification, receiving a GOLD rating.
Sydney – 15 November 2017 – The $9.8 million Frasers Property Australia office fit-out comprising 3,700 sqm spread across two levels, is the second in Australia to receive this highly coveted sustainability certification and the 14th globally (GOLD certification). It is also one of the first in Australia (including the CBD) designed to target both 6 Star Green Star Interiors v1.1 (Green Building Council of Australia) and WELL (International Well Building Institute) certifications.
Reini Otter, Executive General Manager, Commercial & Industrial and Investment Property said, “We are very proud to achieve the WELL certification. One of the goals of the business is to build sustainable workplaces. Our headquarters is an exemplary illustration of putting this into practice. It was also important to showcase leadership in our new office design, which now reflects the corporate values and culture of the business as well as our future aspirations.
“The design approach, in collaboration with BVN Architects, makes conscious use of passive design as part of a strategy to encourage movement – both for fitness and to promote unplanned conversations and collaboration. Fundamental to the design is the belief that the built environment can directly affect our health – making employee wellbeing a top priority.”
“Mobility, natural daylight and comfort were important considerations to create a healthy working environment for the staff. The diverse range of spaces such as the kitchen, The Lounge, The Steps, terrace and meeting rooms have also helped increase productivity,” said Paolo Bevilacqua, General Manager, Sustainability.
WELL buildings are given credits for seven categories including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
Staff Indoor Environment Quality satisfaction scores have dramatically improved following the move into the new fit-out three months ago. There has been a 56 per cent improvement in staff satisfaction for overall health and productivity. Spatial comfort is up 77 per cent, indoor air quality has improved by 64 per cent and visual comfort recorded a 44 per cent increase in satisfaction levels.
- A significant air conditioning upgrade including more fresh air and higher filtration aimed at improving air quality, comfort and efficiency.
- Workstations and chairs assessed by an ergonomist who will also be on hand after the individual ergonomic assessments. Key items include adjustable monitor arms and chair adjustment.
- High quality and diverse breakout and private spaces including quiet rooms, booths and benches.
- Thirty per cent sit-to-stand desks and standing conference and meeting points throughout.
- Lighting system upgrades to full LED lighting with sensor technology to improve light quality, control and efficiency.
6 Star Green Star initiatives:
- Careful planning and waste management to minimise construction and demolition waste generated during the fit out. Surplus office furniture was sent to Tonga to support developing communities.
- The majority of new furniture and materials are independently eco-certified, hence are less toxic from a human health perspective and have a lower environmental impact. Acoustic treatments to minimise disruption in rooms and improve acoustic privacy.
- The new tenancy will use considerably less energy, with all remaining energy to be purchased as 100 per cent green power.
Wellness in the workplace initiatives:
- A focus on health and nutrition with initiatives such as daily fruit and vegetables, nutritional tips, a health and wellness library, reimbursements and subsidies for some structured fitness programs and activities.
- End of trip facilities including showers, lockers, change rooms and a bike repair kit have been built into the space, equivalent to a five-star hotel quality to encourage exercise either n the way to work or during the day.
- Indoor plants and trees (three metres high) improve air quality and connection to nature.
- Dynamic, collaborative spaces with open offices and flexible space to promote innovation and create a more exciting office culture.
- Subtle active design to facilitate a healthier environment:
- Single point of entry for all staff.
- Mingle with more people.
- Walk to your desk through a town hall space designed to encourage interaction.
- One main, large well-equipped café area for all staff – with only one other tea point in the office.
- A focal point is The Steps – place to meet, eat and relax to encourage walking.
Reini concluded, “The suburbs have been neglected in terms of innovation in the workplace with a focus on the main CBD areas. However, employers and workers are now starting to demand more. To remain an employer of choice and attract the best talent, companies need to offer workplaces that offer choice, flexibility, technology and atmosphere.”
Earlier this year, Frasers Property’s headquarters also won a Workplace Design award at the Australian Interior Design Awards.
Located at 1 Homebush Bay Drive, Rhodes Corporate Park – covering 90,000 sqm – has been developed by Frasers Property Australia in stages over the past 15 years. The Corporate Park has become a close-knit community supported by high-quality amenities including childcare facilities, pool, gym, extensive landscaping and direct access to a sub-regional shopping centre and rail line.