Sydney Morning Herald: Wellness of a building is key plus for landlords and tenants
The Sydney Morning Herald, March 25, 2016
By Carolyn Cummins
In the current era of office construction, having a doctor confer with the architect is not out of the ordinary.
Given the world has embraced the fact that buildings must be green, making the box in which a majority of people spend much of their day, good for us, is no longer a “tick the box” exercise.
Lighting, nourishment, water, mind, fitness and comfort are now as imperative as offerings in an office tower, as a USB plug for the computer.
Sitting is also seen as the new cancer for office workers, so desks must be adjustable. Not having enough water fountains around the office is as a definite black mark.
While a WELLness building may seem a bit “new age” for some baby boomer bosses, its what draws in the millennial employees who are the workforce of the future.
Paul Scialla, the founder and chief executive of Delos and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which administers the WELL Building Standard globally, says it’s like putting a stethoscope to a building.
Mr Scialla is visiting Sydney for this week’s Green Cities Conference, where it was announced Lendlease and Delos have a collaboration to advance WELL Core & Shell Certification as a pathway to WELL ready workplaces for building tenants.
The International Towers Sydney (ITS), Barangaroo, will be the first buildings to be certified under the new global WELL Core & Shell Certification, representing 277,200 square metres.
Lendlease has also identified additional buildings and tenancies around the world to undergo certification, covering Australia, Europe and the US.
Delos also has a strategic alliance with CBRE, which aims to transform indoor environments into spaces that help nurture, sustain and promote human health and wellbeing.
Under the alliance, CBRE will pursue WELL Certification for at least 100 buildings, sites or offices managed by or associated with CBRE worldwide.
CBRE’s new office in Downtown Los Angeles was the first office in the world to be WELL Certified by the International Well Building Institute.
“We use doctors and architects to collaborate on the design of buildings in an effort to take an evidence-based approach to a building,” Mr Scialla said at a CBRE briefing during the week.
“Wellness is for people, Green stars are for buildings. We need to get the two together.”
He said the costs of converting older buildings is not catastrophic as its a case of changing the brightness of existing lights, adding water fountains and adjustable desks.
The healthy building movement in Australia also received a boost this week with the Green Building Council of Australia and IWBI announcing a new partnership.
The GBCA and IWBI have agreed to work collaboratively to promote health and wellbeing in the design, construction and operations of buildings, fitouts and communities in Australia.
The GBCA launched the Green Star rating system in 2003, and since then has certified more than 1050 buildings, communities and fitouts throughout Australia.
“A truly sustainable building not only addresses environmental impact, but social and economic impact too. Green Star’s focus on indoor environmental quality provides a critical foundation for human health and wellbeing – one which WELL enhances through its dedicated focus on evidence-based medical and scientific research and measurable performance,” said the GBCA’s chief executive, Romilly Madew.
Green Business Certification (GBCI), which provides third-party certification for the WELL Building Standard, will also support efforts to promote and deliver WELL across Australia.
“Increasingly, Australians recognise that our buildings have a dramatic impact on our health and wellbeing. This new partnership is an important step towards designing and building places that are sustainable, productive and healthy,” Ms Madew said.