As a certified Bcorp, BRM is dedicated to using our business as a force for good. Across all services we deliver, from design, to project management and property strategy, BRM places the wellbeing of our clients at the centre of what we do. While wellbeing and commercial property haven’t always been closely associated, now, particularly with the Coronavirus outbreak, commercial property owners and tenants are taking unprecedented measures to ensure their buildings are healthy enough for the people within them. So what are the elements that make a building healthy or unhealthy?
When providing property search and design for clients, BRM favours NABERS and Green Star rated buildings. Buildings that use strategies from design to demolition that reduce negative impacts on the natural environment without jeopardising their function are part of a wider focus shift in the commercial property industry,
60L (60 Leicester Street) Carlton is one such building. This converted warehouse is one of the first buildings in Melbourne to adopt sustainable design principles and has led the way in green commercial buildings. 60L is a hub of like-minded, environmentally focused tenants. Among them, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), a client of BRM, to whom we provided office fitout services for its national headquarters at 60L. ACF was heavily involved in the design and planning of the building, which is known for its unique approach to water and energy consumption, as well as other sustainable practices.
The spread of Coronavirus has raised many issues regarding employee health and hygiene but has also triggered dialogue around general environmental factors impacting our health.
Poor air quality is a huge contributing factor to ill health and death around the world and given that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors, it’s about time we looked at the measurements needed to implement better air quality inside our office buildings.
Indoor environmental quality indicators are one of the things we look for when searching for properties on behalf of our clients. Business leaders are increasingly understanding the affects of the indoor environment on productivity and performance. Factors like temperature and outdoor air supply have been researched as significant factors in performance levels, sick leave and general wellbeing. Proper ventilation and smart indoor air quality monitors are therefore becoming a focus in property searches across Melbourne.
Incorporating more elements of nature is another trend that is becoming standard in today’s commercial property landscape. While streaming natural light was once reserved for the partner’s corner office, nowadays, buildings are taking great measures to provide sources of natural light. Currently, our work with a CBD-based law firm has seen us breaking down walls to allow greater access to natural light. Another upcoming project allows the BRM design team to use glass louvers in the partition design ensuring all work stations will benefit from the light. The underlying notion of these design methods is that humans thrive in environments that mimic nature.
The future of wellness in office buildings looks hopeful. As wellbeing trends become the norm commercial tenants will follow suit. The properties that don’t offer features that promote wellbeing will be less in demand and eventually lose value. Despite a wealth of research currently being conducted on wellness and productivity, it is still hard to measure. For now, the competition to attract and retain talent is the best test we have for the impact of wellness strategies in commercial real estate. In the meantime, both landlords and tenants can enjoy the benefits of a healthier built environment that contains happy occupants and profitable leases.
Contact BRM to discuss your current leasing situation and ways to improve your workplace's design.
Sign Up To Our Newsletter