In an article in the Property section of today’s West, our recently completed office fit-out for Charter Hall was recognised as the first business in WA to receive accreditation according to the internationally recognised WELL Building Standard. Launched in 2013, the standard provides businesses and communities with a method to improve the comprehensive health of their employees. The standard is the world’s first certification focused towards mental health and well-being, and takes into account aspects of health including nutrition, fitness and mood. A recent article in ArchDaily provides further insight into the Standard and details some ambitious overseas projects that are embracing its principles in their design.
The West Australian
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Words: Claire Tyrell
Communal eating spaces, office retreats and a focus on mindfulness are among the attributes of a commercial building standard taking hold in Perth.
The WELL building standard, introduced to Australia two years ago, is described as the next frontier in building standards after the environmental NABERS rating.
Colliers International sustainability manager Patrick Jeannerat, WA’s first accredited WELL professional, said the US standard grew from a need to emphasise wellness in the workplace.
A building’s air, lighting and water quality, nutrition and exercise opportunities and thermal and acoustic comfort are measures of WELL accreditation.
Mr Jeannerat said the WELL standard added a new dimension into the into the commercial property space. ‘Until now we are talking about landlords and tenants. This brings a third instance into the game, which is the actual staff and employees – the individuals within the space,’ he said.
Take up of the new standard has been higher in Eastern States offices than in Perth, but Mr Jeannerat said Perth would catch up as more businesses cottoned on to the idea.
Charter Hall is one of the first Perth-based businesses to apply for WELL accreditation, for its 225 St Georges Tce space.
The company’s executive of people, brand and community, Natalie Devlin, said Charter Hall was an early adopter of the WELL system. ‘We looked at our cultural values and when we relocated to Sydney we went to one of the purest forms of activity-based working. As part of that strategy, I thought a lot about the wellbeing of our people.’
Ms Devlin said when the WELL accreditation came to Australia in 2015, Charter Hall was already half way there.
She said since implementing the WELL standards, the property group had increased its employee engagement and performance.