Wednesday, 6 May 2015
By Tony Armstrong
Associate Director at CBRE in Sydney
The following post is adapted from the
, Australia’s leading business newspaper for the sustainable built environment and the people and issues that surround it.
The next big green wave sweeping the commercial property world is wellness for employees. That’s great light, clean air, water, nutrition advice, lessons in healthy cooking, a thriving veggie garden and even a doctor in house if you need it.
In Australia there’s a race to be the first to be accredited with a certificate from the International WELL Building Institute. Vying to create similar healthy workplaces with veggie gardens, good food and the like (but not yet registered) are Medibank at its 720 Bourke Street building in Melbourne, Australia Post also in Melbourne, and another owner in Brisbane is looking seriously at the concept. But the first to be certified is Macquarie Bank’s 50 Martin Place, in Sydney, the only Australian building to be registered so far, with a launch date expected in July.
In Australia, landlords see it as a ripe opportunity to reposition old ’80s buildings without having to redo the foyer out in marble or retrofitting the aesthetics of the lifts. There is a quite a bit of alignment with green buildings because requirements for clean air and good light are key to better workspaces. For instance, having doctors at the workplace is a highly efficient tool since this saves employees leaving the office for a few hours. Back to work they go with medication and recovery programmes tucked under their arm.
In addition, you can get nutrition advice and have your body fat tested at any time of the day. The lifts only stop on every second floor, unless you’re disabled. It’s win-win for employees and the company. There is also scope for working and keeping fit at the same time such as treadmills connected to work servers.
It is clear that a people driven sustainability approach is as important as an environmental one. Both must work hand in hand to ensure continuous improvements are made.
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