A clever new fit out has won this Sydney office a top certification.

WELL certification is an international building standard that scores buildings on their contributions to the health of those who live and work inside them. The categories scored are Air, Water, Nourishment (providing or having easy access to healthful foods), Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind (optimising mental and emotional health through design).

Frasers Property Australia’s head office in Rhodes has just received a rare GOLD rating WELL certification. It is one of the first in Australia and only the 14th worldwide.

BVN architectural team worked with Frasers Property’s commercial division on the $9.8 million fit-out comprising 3700m2 spread across two levels of an existing commercial building. Completed in 2016 it was one of the first projects in Australia to target both 6-Star Green Star Interiors v1.1 (Green Building Council of Australia) and WELL (International Well Building Institute) certifications.

According to Ms Ninotschka Titchkosky, BVN Principal, “The workplace is an enabler for team building, coaching and developing people, but is also seen as a means to directly affect occupant’s health – making employee wellbeing a top priority.

“The approach taken with the Frasers’ design makes conscious use of passive design as part of a strategy to encourage movement, both for wellness and to promote unplanned conversations and collaboration,” notes Ms Titchkosky.

Some of the WELL features include:

  • Subtle active design to facilitate a healthier environment, such as single point of entry for all staff where they mingle with more people, andwalk to your desk through a town hall space designed to encourage staff interaction.
  • Natural light and views – accessible to many and owned by no-one with sight lines across entire floor plate.
  • Indoor plants and trees (three metres high) improve air quality and connection to nature.
  • Thirty per cent sit-to-stand desks and standing conference and meeting points throughout the office.

According to the company, 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.

“Fundamental to the design is the belief that the built environment can directly affect our health – making employee wellbeing a top priority,” says Reini Otter, Frasers Executive General Manager Commercial & Industrial.

Frasers Property also run several wellness in the workplace initiatives that include free access to Rhodes Corporate Business gymnasium for staff, and include design elements such as end of trip facilities with showers, lockers and change rooms, indoor plants and trees to improve air quality, plenty of natural light and access to outdoor spaces and the inclusion of passive design to encourage movement and collaboration within the workplace.