Brock Carmichael has been a contributor to North West Business Insider’s ‘Talking Property’ section each month for over a year now. We are asked for our opinions every month on a range of topics. January’s edition sees two opinions from the Partners on the topic of ‘Given the increased awareness of the link between staff wellbeing and productivity, how are buildings evolving to meet the needs of a more health-conscious occupier?’
John Cassell, Partner
‘What Workers Want’ surveys from Savills and Hays show the direct link between an office occupant’s performance and their wellbeing, and an employer’s ability to attract and retain staff. It’s not just about rooftop ‘stealthy-eating’ restaurants and running tracks, showers, lunchtime yoga lessons nearby and bike, vehicle charge point, creche and GP facilities. It’s accounting for a changing collaborative working environment, layout flexibility, ever more IT and the smart building control Apps which make a building intelligent, secure, adaptable and resource efficient. There is a direct correlation between smartness and a building’s environmental credentials.
Advances in office design transfer easily from the boardroom to executive and luxury homes where personal touches are added to complex design requirements. Our clients are conscious of wellbeing in light, space and functionality these days but our experience adds in adaptability, longevity and possibilities. Swimming pools can have a retractable dance floor and a rain-free running track too.
We are in the middle of our own office redesign this month so we will let you know how we get on. Wellbeing and its link to productivity was very much front of mind for us too.
Michael Cosser, Partner
Occupant wellbeing and health are as much to do with placemaking and the building’s environment as its purpose and facilities.
The WELL Building Standard® is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing. The next version of WELL, v2, will expand to ten concepts: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community.
These features will more and more influence the design of buildings that encourage us to adopt healthier lifestyles. Synchronisation with wearable technology and the information this provides to users is increasingly going to drive and shape the brief and performance standards that are expected of buildings.
There are proven wellbeing benefits for the elderly in integrating specialised facilities with the local community and with different age groups. Brock Carmichael’s work in Hong Kong for Y Hospitality is a good example. It features elderly day care and an active aging centre alongside an educational institution and a hotel.
Great design changes the way we feel about the places we live and work in, making lives better by building healthier, safer and happier environments. It can positively transform our lifestyles and facilitate long term benefits for all.